After watching the River Otters mating, I pedaled off westward bound along the Sir Francis Drake Highway toward the Point Reyes Lighthouse. It’s a windswept landscape of dunes and pasture land, as green as Ireland this spring.
Power and telephone lines run along the highway and make perches for birds who have to make do with very few trees and bushes. At regular intervals, about every 500 meters, hawks sat atop the poles. They were not used to having humans take enough interest in them to photograph them. Several flew off when I stopped to have a look at them. This guy flew off soon after posing for the camera. Not sure what kind of hawk he is. Perhaps a Cooper’s Hawk?
Most of this land supports dairy operations permitted by the seashore in what otherwise might be a wildlife refuge. The Parks service wish to retain some of the uses to which these lands once were put. But not all of it is. One field had a herd of Roosevelt Elk.
Ravens and Turkey Vultures are two of more than 400 bird species that visit the park. Both Ravens and Turkey Vultures are thought of as scavengers. But Ravens are actually omnivorous. Given an easy kill, a Raven will kill prey for a meal.
Out at chimney Rock eight Turkey Vultures were slope soaring in a swirling wind above the Elephant Seal Colony on the sand below. Their skill in flying is delightful to watch.
The view of Drakes Bay was breathtaking.
A short walk down a path led to an overlook of an Elephant Seal Colony resting out of the wind in the sun on a white sandy beach protected by the Point Reyes Headlands.
The ride back to the car parked at the Estero Trailhead lay ahead of me, so I mounted my trusty yellow bike and began the journey home.