Pescadero & Pacifica.

I spent last weekend down in California visiting friends, doing another pelagic with Shearwater Journeys, and attending an annual meeting of Bird Bloggers Anonymous.  Before we get to all that I'm going to share adventures with my friend from Monday down in Pescadero, then back up in Pacifica.  We stopped at Pomponio Beach to check out this big hunk of Heermann's Gulls:

Next stop was Pescadero State Beach where a lone Black Oystercatcher was rather unconcerned with us.

Black Turnstones were around also...

After the beach we went over to Pescadero Marsh, a pretty spot though fairly uneventful.

Field crescent, I believe

                      Yellow bush lupine

From the marsh we went down to the Pescadero State Beach trail off Water Lane, a fine place for lizards.

Western fence? 

 Cardinal meadowhawk

 Coral hairstreak? 

                      Praying mantis

Much of this trail was tame so when a Barn Owl came tearing out of a tree next to us it was pretty startling.  But awesome too.  No time for photos unfortunately.  Back at the beginning of the trail is a small stand of pine trees that hosted piles of Chestnut-backed Chickadees and Pygmy Nuthatches.  And I finally crushed one of those nuthatches.

I also started a new list:  Birds seen perched on old microwaves.  It's a short list so far.

Back in Pacifica we got lunch from Dinsoaurs (delicious!) and headed over to the fishing pier to walk around.  A Red-tailed Hawk was busy plucking a pigeon on a light pole.

We walked out on the pier for views of Common Murres, Brandt's Cormorants, Red-throated Loons, and all of their gull and pelican friends.

Red-throated Loon

 Brandt's Cormorant

 Good times!!  Stay tuned for tales from the open ocean...