Roseate Spoonbills on Big Slough

Roseate Spoonbills on Big Slough
Roseate Spoonbills on Big Slough

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Big Sur Outting

May 24, 2020

Last Sunday Cindy and I left the house early and took about a two hour drive to and then up highway 101 to Pfeiffer Beach. We had heard that it was open, but the parking lot was closed, so we joined another few score of cars parked off the road. (The day use area opened by the time we were finished exploring the beach and charging $10. So the the couple of hundred extra yards we walked, looked pretty good)

Almost immediately after starting our walk to the beach, Cindy spotted a band-tailed pigeon, then another one. We spotted four in the same area, all pretty far away and not showing their banded tails. We enjoyed more birds in the mixture of trees along the road and the creek as we walked down to a tail to the beach. Both of us got involved in landscapes and little plants and flowers.

Distant band-tailed pidgon

 Soon I lost Cindy as I went straight to the overlook and she kept to the main trail to the beach  while I investigated little trails that had interesting flowers on them.

Narrow leaved clover (Trifolium angustifolium)

View of the beach from the cliff we were exploring

The flower of the day was some variety of Indian Paintbrush

Rattlesnake Grasses

Finally I made a determined effort to get to the main trail that led from the day use area to the beach. The trail led down to an overlook, then did a sharp left turn and descended to several landings of stairs,  before finally reaching the beach. I spotted Cindy from the landing, finding lots to photograph so I rushed to join her. We were soon both enchanted with the shelled animals attached to the rocks.

The rocks were providing nesting sites for cliff sparrows

Cindy enjoying the incoming tide

I would have liked to explored this cave but the cold water was too deep 

This was the most interesting part of the beach - many of the rocks held various shellfish species

Black Tegula (Tegula funebralis)

California mussel (Mytilus californianus)

Think these are barnacles
The only guy breaking with required mask wearing and social distancing - that is my food box in the corner of the picture

After lunch we drove up a super steep, curving, narrow road  which leads to Hunter Liggett Army Base, then came home down Hwy 101. It all made for a great adventure.

The L-O-N-G view down from almost to the top of the mountains..........

......zooomed picture to show Hwy one just before the turn.

Postscript:  This will probably be my last blog for a while. I'll be figuring out how and where to live, and hopefully work, after my job at Monte Vista and Alamosa National Wildlife Refuges has been suspended for the foreseeable future. I sort of expect I'll not get to be a volunteer anywhere for a few years, until I'm vaccinated against Covid -19.   But I'll blog occasionally when I  have an adventure to share.