Friday, January 29, 2010

Hiking the High Trails

The last two calm and rainless days on the coast (plus my recovered knee along with knee support pads) allowed us to hike high above the ocean, viewing coves we've never seen before and others we've never before seen from above. We discovered that, although farther away when we're up high, there is less distortion off the water and we can see better than at sea level. Plus we can see areas on the top of offshore rocks that we could not see from shore. This is an exciting development which we'll see how plays out during our summer Black Oystercatcher nest surveys.

Especially exciting is the discovery that we can see all our Road's End oystercatcher habitat from a public trail high above the shore... a pretty short and easy trail except the last part up the steep knob (photo below along with photos taken from the top of that knob). We were able to see a pair of oystercatchers on a rock far below us and another pair on an offshore island we cannot see well at all from shore. It's amazing what a difference being high above the water makes. It was also startling to see a Bald Eagle flying under us, instead of over.

Johnny was excited to find a geocache on top of the cliff. We had no GPS with us and no idea a geocache was up there, but there it was. Later, back at sea level, a Peregrine Falcon posed. And the falling tide created lovely patterns in the sand. What a great couple of days!

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