A National Geographic experience at North Point in
Morro Bay -- 9/8/2004
Just another day in Morro Bay... reported by Kara Hagedorn -- "Kayaking in Morro Bay on Wed. Sept. 8, 2004, I got a beautiful look at an Osprey flying over the state park marina with a large fish in its talons. Later I saw it again perched on a snag in the rookery and then it flew over again with another large fish. In the evening at 7 p.m. I had a National Geographic experience at North Point in Morro Bay. The first thing that caught my eye was the vast flotillas of Sooty shearwaters, some of them stretching into thin lines way out along the horizon. Then I noticed sea otters diving and floating just outside the wave break. I counted 12 of them. That is more than I have seen in some time. Then a pod of at least 8 dolphins glided by, and a harbor seal popped his head up as the water started to reflect the pink and orange ripples of the sunset. Directly in front of me about 500 yards offshore I saw a bubbling over the surface of the water just as two humpback whales emerged with their mouths wide open. The brown pelicans, gulls and terns went wild, diving and screaming. Then, sea lions started jumping from the center of the chaos, hundreds of them, of all sizes. The whales stayed at the surface for awhile and showed their backs in the setting sun before they flipped their tails and dove again. It was a spectacular sunset reflecting the diversity and abundance of this beautiful planet. -- Kara Hagedorn, Morro Bay, CA"
Morro Bay Estuary 10/28/03
I had a very exciting birding day on 10/28/03 which started with a Cooper's Hawk dive bombing a bush in my backyard (on Shasta Street in Morro Bay) and catching a house finch. At around 11 am I launched a kayak from Bay Shore Bluffs and passed about 100 White Pelicans packed together on the tiny bit of Grassy Island still above water with the incoming high tide. As I approached the sandspit a cacophony of Forester, Caspian, Royal and Elegant Terns circled above me screaming and diving. Then a parade of over 500 Double-crested Cormorants (mostly immature) casually passed in front of me, being led by one White Pelican! After hiking over the sandspit, I saw large rafts of Surf Scoters and Ruddy ducks floating just past the surf zone. Walking alone on the beach I saw several Semi-palmated, and Snowy Plovers and four Black-bellied Plovers, plus the usual shorebirds. I almost stepped on a Least Sandpiper sitting in the beach rack about 20 feet away from me. Then suddenly, like those "Magic Eye" pictures, hundreds of L. sandpipers came into focus. They were stretched out along the shore right in the dried kelp and I counted almost 2000 of them! They seemed exhausted, like they'd just flown in from the North but maybe they'd been pushed out to the spit by the extremely high tide in Morro Bay. I kept my distance as not to disturb them and most of them didn't even open their eyes. Only a couple of them got up to stretch. On the way back across the bay a Peregrine Falcon dive bombed a flock of Willets and Sanderlings sending the group into that stunning, flashing, flocking behavior. Arriving home, satiated, I started laughing to see a flock of 16 wild turkeys in my front yard. A symbol of nature's bounty, indeed! -- Kara Hagedorn, Morro Bay, CA
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