Park Wavelengths - February 2014


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The new moon of March 1 ushers in a week of 6-foot-plus high tides in the mornings with afternoon minus tides.

Spring is peeking out everywhere with the first of the blooms. Pinkish white milkmaids are thriving at the Elephant Seal Overlook and in some full sun areas. Visitors may even see a Douglas iris or two. Bay trees are also in bud and willows are fuzzy with catkins.

Whales are few and far between, but the elephant seal colony at North [sic] Drakes Beach is full of activity. Weaner pods of pups are forming and males are swimming about blowing bubbles and sneaking up on the beaches. [The colony is located at the southwest end of Drakes Beach. - Ed.]

A rare image of a Northern Spotted Owl feasting on a California Quail has been posted to the park Facebook page. Typically, they feed on rodents and rabbits, so the quail image was an unusual sighting in the park forest.

Annual seal protection measures begin March 1 with Drakes Estero [and Estero de Limantour] closed to boating. South Blue Gum Beach in Tomales Bay and the very tip of Limantour Spit are also closed. Harbor seals will be pupping on park beaches and need time to rest ashore as they raise their young.

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Forwarded to Park Wavelengths Subscribers

Date: Monday, February 17, 2014

Subject: pile burning in lower pasture near VC, Tuesday Feb 18

Fire management staff will be burning 3 to 4 vegetation debris piles in the lower pasture near the Bear Valley Visitor Center on Tuesday, February 18.

Jennifer Chapman
Fire Communication and Education Specialist
S.F. Bay Area National Parks

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Thursday, February 6, 2014

A full moon comes up Friday, February 14 with high early morning tides.

A very unusual sighting of a sea otter in Tomales Bay was reported by local outfitter Point Reyes Outdoors. Typically, the kelp bed habitat preferred is found along the outer seashore areas, where occasional sightings have been reported. The overall population of sea otters, most prevalent in Monterey Bay, has sustained various illnesses so there are fewer animals to recolonize Point Reyes.

Spring seems to be arriving on its own schedule with bright yellow acacia trees in full bloom along Sir Francis Drake Boulevard. Flowering plum and other fruit trees are awash in blossoms, along with native pink flowering currant on Bear Valley Trail.

The recent dry spell has affected spawning salmon in park creeks both at Point Reyes and Muir Woods. The news concerning Lagunitas Creek has been more positive: Marin Municipal Water District (MMWD) reported 118 live adult coho and 45 new coho redds last Friday. Our Dual-Frequency Identification Sonar (DIDSON) system that uses sonar to produce fish images documented a net upstream movement of 267 adult salmonids. Based on MMWD survey data the majority of these fish are likely adult coho!

Follow the link below to see some of our DIDSON video clips on Lagunitas Creek:

The Bear Valley and the Lighthouse Visitor Centers will be open on Monday, February 17, the Presidents Holiday [sic] weekend. If the weather is clear, shuttles will be running.

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Last updated: March 11, 2019

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Mailing Address:

1 Bear Valley Road
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956


This number will initially be answered by an automated attendant, from which one can opt to access a name directory, listen to recorded information about the park (i.e., directions to the park; visitor center hours of operation; weather forecast; fire danger information; shuttle bus system status; wildlife updates; ranger-led programs; seasonal events; etc.), or speak with a ranger. Please note that if you are calling between 4:30 pm and 10 am, park staff may not be available to answer your call.

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