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Friday, February 23, 2018

Going down and going green

Recent weather conditions (cold and clear) have created great conditions for green flashes.  Here's one on 23 February 2018:

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Gold or bronze?

Marbled Godwits (Limosa fedoa), Bodega Harbor, 19 February 2018

(Click on the photo for a larger and sharper version.)

Tuesday, February 20, 2018


I love the wind-sculpted waves of late winter.  

The northwest winds are blowing hard enough in these conditions (~25 knots, with gusts to ~35 knots) that it's difficult to hold a camera steady. 

It's also very cold when it's this windy.  I did something funny yesterday.  I hardly ever need to wear gloves in Bodega Bay.  When I was taking these pictures, I thought to myself, "I'm going to have to put on my (fingerless) gloves."  But then I realized I already had them on!

Monday, February 19, 2018

Terning in?

On my way home from work in the late afternoon, I noticed a flock of Forster's Terns (Sterna forsteri) on the tidal flats near Spud Point.

It was another very windy day, so perhaps the terns were looking for shelter in the harbor?

There were at least 21 terns.  Here are a couple of photos showing most of the flock:

Many of the terns appeared to close their eyes as soon as they landed.  In the images below, note the white spot at the lower edge of the black ear/eye patch.  When the terns' eyes are open, their dark eyes blend in with the black ear/eye patch.  But when their eyes are closed, the white lower lid comes up and contrasts with the black eye/ear patch.  This had the interesting effect of making the birds look awake when their eyes were closedi.e., from a distance, it looks like the terns have white eyes.  [Click on the pictures for larger versions.]

One more close-up:

Nice to see some terns today!

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Small craft advisory

Northwest winds were blowing ~30 mph (~25 knots) with gusts to ~40 mph (~35 knots) in Bodega Bay this afternoon.  Hold on!

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Little marbles on the sand

Comb jellies (ctenophores) have been washing up on local beaches lately.  Perhaps you've seen them?  They look like little glass marbles on the sand.  Each one is ~10-15 mm across.

This species, Pleurobrachia bachei, is often called a Sea Gooseberry.  I've written about them before, but it's been a while.  To see what these comb jellies look like when they're swimming, and to learn more about them in general, check out these posts:

"Sticky side arms" on 15 July 2013 

"A two gooseberry day" on 19 February 2012

Thursday, February 15, 2018


I was watching this Allen's Hummingbird (Selasphorus sasin) when it flew in and landed fairly close to me:

With a slight turn, the gorget (throat feathers) lit up:

And check out this gorgeous color when it turned head-on:

I loved seeing the color variations across the gorget:

 One more view:

I was very grateful for a few minutes with this beautiful little hummingbird in the Bodega Dunes.