Phainopepla

I spotted this Phainopepla — or as I call it, the black bird with red eyes and the name I can never remember — while hiking around Mississippi Bar this morning. While I was pleased to get a few good shots, it was a little frustrating that the tree branches blocked my view; and then of course my phone rang […]

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The space between

In a previous post I wrote about our recent drive up Highway 1 as far as the Point Arena Lighthouse; but there were a few other, less well-known spots between Gualala and our ultimate turnaround point where we made brief stops for a quick look around. I’m sure we could have happily spent a lot more time at each one […]

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Windemere Point

The Fort Ross Lodge is located on the Sonoma coast between Fort Ross State Historic Park and the upscale Timber Cove Resort. The lodge actually sits on the south side of Timber Cove, at the base of Windemere Point, and there are a few trails leading from the lodge property to the cliffs, with some really stunning views of the […]

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To the lighthouse

Just a short way farther north from the Point Arena Pier is the turnoff, Lighthouse Road, that leads to the Point Arena Lighthouse. There were plenty of tempting sights urging us to pause along this narrow 2-mile road, but we carried on to the end of the cul-de-sac and parked. The first thing I noticed was not the lighthouse itself […]

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Point Arena

While staying a few nights at the Fort Ross Lodge, we decided to take a drive up the coast beyond Gualala, farther than we usually go on our escapes to the ocean. Since I failed to consult a map, I had the mistaken impression that Fort Bragg was just a short trip up the coast, and I expected we would […]

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Small beauties

It’s easy to see the beauty of larger avians like the Bald Eagle, the Great Blue Heron, or the Snowy Owl. A lot of times I miss the small birds because they are more shy, they move very quickly, and at a distance the intricacy of their plumage may not be visible.

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American Kestrel

North America’s littlest falcon, the American Kestrel packs a predator’s fierce intensity into its small body. It’s one of the most colorful of all raptors: the male’s slate-blue head and wings contrast elegantly with his rusty-red back and tail; the female has the same warm reddish on her wings, back, and tail. Hunting for insects and other small prey in […]

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Big sky

The day after the rainstorm, the ocean off the Mendocino County coast looked calm and the sky was a serene blue, but the waves still pounded the shoreline, throwing foam high up onto the cliffs. We stood back and admired the sea from a safe distance!

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