Clouds dark as a herd of buffalos rumbled across the sky today. Looking up from my observations in the Meadow, I saw the deluge coming and hurried back to my car, but along the way I halted to get just a couple more shots of that Long-billed Curlew, and paid for it by getting lashed with an icy torrent. It passed overhead and ceased just about the moment I opened the car door, dripping. Minutes later the sun took charge, and in another half hour of walking along the paved loop trail around the park, I was dry again, and even toasty. The storm had stirred the bay deeply, leaving the water’s surface brown as mud.
I saw no new birds today but got better pictures of some of the “old” ones. Black Oystercatchers made an appearance both on the western and southern edges of the North Basin. A Mew Gull hung near the shore and didn’t mind having its picture taken, greatly improving on the fuzzy long-distance shot I got in my Thursday morning outing. The Long-billed Curlew again worked the mud flats near the Schoolhouse Creek outfall, where I had seen it Thursday, and came closer to the camera for a better portrait. Black Turnstones pecked at the barnacles in sunlight. My camera clicked on a pair of Common Goldeneyes just as the male took off, making a bit of an action shot.
Meanwhile the plant kingdom also clamored for attention. A bench on the north side of the loop trail nestles between several bushes of Ceanothus, with a Rock Rose behind it. I noted the loveliness of this spot in a previous post and am pleased to do so again. Romantic couples, this is a spot for you.