Early yesterday evening a blanket of fog started to descend on the islands, and it never really lifted all the way today making for very gray weather. Still, with no rain or wind, I was drawn outside and we decided to go out to Lime Kiln State Park to see what there was to see. There were an amazing abundance of sea birds out, most of them lounging in loose rafts on the extremely calm water. I saw kingfishers, loons, cormorants, harlequin ducks, auklets, murrelets, guillemots, gulls, and even this group of common mergansers that flew overhead:
There weren't many people out, but I did come across some of the park staff tending a large brush fire. They had actually taken down several madrone and other trees in order to open up vistas, especially from the upper trail since not all visitors can navigate the trail down to the lighthouse. It definitely looked a lot different and will take some getting used to! Historically, there were no trees at all between the upper buildings where the lighthouse keepers lived and the lighthouse itself, so they could keep a constant watch on the tower and the straights. The lighthouse was actually designed so that the light at the top would flash right into the keepers' bedroom windows. Luckily, with an automated lighthouse, that no longer has to be the case, since there are some beautiful trees in the vicinity!
This will also be the first post I link on Birdfreak.com, a bird conservation site that has a weekly post for its readers to reference their own posted bird photos, with a goal of getting as many species as possible represented in a given week. I just learned about the site today from Vickie Henderson's blog, where she documents many of her own local bird sightings, down in Tennessee posts some of her artwork, and follows the trials and tribulations of the endangered whooping crane.