California Part III (Point Reyes, San Leandro Bay)

After visiting Abbotts Lagoon we headed up the road to the Tule Elk Preserve in hopes of finding some elk... Lucky for us they were hanging out along the main road.  The males were all together in one area while the females were over on the next small ridge.

They had a pretty sweet view...

We stopped to explore the Point Pierce Ranch, which was not very exciting overall, but this Turkey Vulture passed by at close range....

We noticed a heckuva lot of deer at Point Reyes...

Our last stop was to see the elephant seals... I had never seen the males before and man are they nutty looking!

Driving back out of Point Reyes we had to pay attention to things like cows crossing the road...

On Monday, my last day in California, we decided to check out the paths around San Leandro Bay in Oakland..  We had some breakfast pastries and juice at a picnic table under the watchful eyes of ground squirrels...

Out on the water were ducks, grebes, scoters, and gulls...

Horned Grebe

I think this was the goldeneye in the next photo but I could be wrong... I love it anyway.

Barrow's Goldeneye

 Common Goldeneye

 Surf Scoter

 There was a marshy area nearby with tons of American Avocets and other shorebirds...

There were some Black-necked Stilts mixed in...

There were tons of other shorebirds that were just too far away for me to identify...

There were lots of California Towhees around....

We walked the trail for awhile to another marshy area protected by a fence.  Inside were many egrets, yellowlegs, Willets, and even a bunny.

Great Egret

 Snowy Egret

 Greater Yellowlegs

There is a boardwalk out into another marshy area where Clapper Rails live... We didn't see any but the boardwalk was covered in Marbled Godwits and Willets...

Ring-billed Gulls

It was a really pretty place to walk around...

That was it for my California trip... I added a lot of birds to my January list bringing my total to 112 species!  Woohoo!  That includes 6 new ones!   Good month!   Now I can return to less-crazed birding for the rest of the year, haha....


  1. I grew up in Berkeley and always go to Arrowhead Marsh when I visit - is that where you were? It sure looks like it....famous for the Clapper Rails around that boardwalk. Never knew if it was part of the San Leandro Bay. Can you believe the perfect blue skies? I just love visiting in winter. Glad you had a good time - it's easy in California.

  2. Some lovely images there Jen. Sounds like you had a great time


  3. What a fanastic place abd tour you gave us. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  4. What a great trip. Wow at the shorebirds. Too bad you couldn't get closer. Great pics nevertheless. Elk are awesome!

  5. HOW exciting--you got great photo memories to bring back from your adventure! I love that diving shot..the timing was perfect on that! Nice to see all the other critters you saw too!

  6. @Laura- We were definitely trying to go to Arrowhead Marsh though we never saw any signs to confirm that's where we actually were!

  7. Oh my gosh, Jen. What great posts you've put up. That must have been a wonderful trip you went on. I was wondering what you were up to.


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