Monday, July 21, 2014
Next stop was at the northern end of Cayucos, a narrow little residential street with an overlook that looks down on a pocket beach with rock formations. Somewhere in the rocks is a Oystercatcher nest that is easily viewed from the overlook. Every other birder in town has seen it. Could I find it? No! I tried various angles, walked down a private driveway hoping to get a view of the rocks, but no luck. I really wasn't disappointed as I have seen them several times in MdO.
What I did observe was a feeding frenzy with Brown Pelican, 3 species of Cormorant, 3 species of Tern, gulls, and 2 Sea Lions; the chaos was marvelous.
Next stop, the Cayucos Pier, an historic landmark built in 1872 by Captain James Cass, the founder of Cayucos. It was built out of Cambria Pines Logs for a cost of about $15,000. The pier closed in 2013 due to damaged pilings; rebuilding is scheduled for next month. In the meantime the precious old pier is being enjoyed by a variety of birds, mainly the very vocal and elegant, Elegant Tern, plus a few Forster's Tern and the big daddy of Terns, the Caspian. Gulls, Western and Herrmann's are here and there and a few Brown Pelicans (photos were shot through chain link fencing).
Sunday, July 13, 2014
(the teens were being photographed by their mother). News of the whale's arrival had spread fast. In the process of decomposition, gases such as ammonia, methane, and sodium nitrate build up causing the whale to bloat and turn over; now its under side was exposed and the severity of the wound to the tail could be seen. More than likely the humpback had become entangled - a recent study showed that entanglement in fishing gear is the primary cause of Humpback Whale death. I have a one minute video that shows the whale in the process of decomposition. http://youtu.be/jhUdQV6waVI
While on the beach had the pleasure of seeing a few Snowy Plover, Oystercatcher, a large flock of Heermann's Gull, Willet, Whimbrel, and a Great Egret feeding in the surf. Oh, I must not forget the 50 or more Turkey Vultures circling over the area.
I have not been active at MdO for a couple of years and it is good to be back.