Archive for the ‘Beach and Coastal Wildlife’ Category
Posted by Jody on May 20, 2013
Posted by Jody on May 15, 2013
The Santa Cruz Wharf on California’s Central Coast ~A quiet midweek in early May~
At 2,745 feet in length, the wooden Santa Cruz Wharf is the longest pier on the West Coast of the USA.
Greg and I had the best time exploring the Santa Cruz Wharf. We could hear the California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) barking from the beach, but we didn’t spot the first set of these noisy critters until we got to the very end of the wharf. The next morning, there were quite a few sea lions out enjoying the sunshine on the deck alongside the wharf’s waterside stairs. They were quite active and very entertaining!
About the marine sanctuary aspect of the Santa Cruz Wharf:
“The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) is a Federally protected marine area offshore of California’s central coast. Stretching from Marin to Cambria, the MBNMS encompasses a shoreline length of 276 miles and 6,094 square miles of ocean. Supporting one of the world’s most diverse marine ecosystems, it is home to numerous mammals, seabirds, fishes, invertebrates and plants in a remarkably productive coastal environment. The MBNMS was established for the purpose of resource protection, research, education, and public use of this national treasure. The MBNMS is part of a system of 13 National Marine Sanctuaries and one marine national monument, administered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.”
More helpful links~ The City of Santa Cruz: The Santa Cruz Wharf
Posted in Beach and Coastal Wildlife, Northern California Beaches, Sea Lions and Seals | Tagged: beach, California Sea Lions, California's Central Coast, Marine Protected Area, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, pier, Santa Cruz Wharf, Zalophus californianus | 4 Comments »
Posted by Jody on May 7, 2013
The first of May officially marked the beginning of the sea turtle nesting season in the state of Florida. Although we want people to come to Florida's Space Coast to enjoy our beaches, we also want residents and visitors to be aware that they're not the only ones out there.
To ensure the survival of sea turtles, but still enjoy yourself on our coast here's a short list of things to remember during sea turtle season:
The sea turtle nesting season runs from May 1-October 1.
- It is against the law to touch or disturb nesting sea turtles, hatchlings, or their nests.
- If you see an injured or dead sea turtle, call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission 1-888-404-FWCC (3922) or *FWC from your cell phone.
- Avoid going to the beach at night. If you must be on the beach at night, limit your walking and do not use flashlights or flash photography.
- Turn off outside patio lights and shield indoor lights from shining directly onto the beach by closing the drapes at night. Lights disturb nesting sea turtles and hatchlings.
- While enjoying the beautiful beaches during the day, avoid disturbing marked sea turtle nests, and please take your trash with when you leave the beach.
- When crossing a dune, please use designated cross overs and walk ways. Do not climb over the dunes or disturb the dune vegetation.
- Interested in taking a guided sea turtle hike? Here’s a list of organizations permitted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to conduct public turtle watches.
Florida's Space Coast is located 35 miles east of Orlando on Florida's Atlantic Coast. With over than 72 miles of sandy beaches, the Space Coast is the "gateway to the stars, home of East Coast surfing and the world's second busiest port."
Posted in Atlantic Coast Beaches, Beach and Coastal Wildlife, Sea Turtles, Tuesday Tallies & Tips | Tagged: beach, Florida sea turtles, Florida Space Coast beach, sea turtle nesting season | 4 Comments »
Posted by Jody on April 16, 2013
Down at the base of the cliffs were heaps of surf-worn rocks or little sandy coves inlaid with pebbles as with ocean jewels; beyond lay the sea, shimmering and blue, and over it soared the gulls, their pinions flashing silvery in the sunlight.
“Isn’t the sea wonderful?’ said Anne… Don’t you think it would be nice to wake up at sunrise and swoop down over the water and away out over that lovely blue all day; and then at night to fly back to one’s nest? Oh, I can just imagine myself doing it.
~L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
Posted by Jody on March 13, 2013
Abbotts Lagoon Beach, Point Reyes National Seashore, Northern California
The lovely 1 ½ mile walk through coastal vegetation (across a bridge over a small river dividing the two-stage lagoon and traversing soft, shifting sandy hills) might seem a bit more like a hearty (yet low-key) footslog than a “moderate walk.” The unequaled Abbotts Lagoon “trail” brings hikers through soft, deep sands that seem to slow one down to the bare minimum speed. In this piece of Point Reyes paradise, wayfarers can expect a scenic and unhurried journey!
Greg and I weren’t in any rush on the day we visited! The leisurely pace made it all the easier for us to really take in the spectacular scenery along the diverse trail. Wildflowers abound at Abbots Lagoon, and bird watching is simply unavoidable! We didn’t actually see very many birds on our January visit, but these lagoons reportedly attract many species of migrating shorebirds in the fall, followed by ducks during the winter months.
If you’re really lucky, you may even spy a peregrine falcon looking for a tasty meal! The sand dunes backing the beach are also home to the threatened western snowy plover. It’s important for visitors to keep an eye out and tread carefully on the sandy beach during their nesting season (spring and early summer).
Eventually the path opened up before us to an awe-inspiring panorama of the Pacific Ocean. This varied trail brings happy hikers right to the shores of the Great Beach. The far-reaching Great Beach is actually made up of many sections of sandy shoreline, and the beach at Abbots Lagoon is just one small, beautiful portion of the uninterrupted 11 mile expanse of bluffs, dunes, and natural shoreline.
Greg and I were blown away by the beautiful “sands” we found near Abbotts Lagoon. Sifting through the rich greens, bold reds, and bright yellows of the tiny beach pebbles was an amusing highlight of a lovely walk to a beautiful beach on a warm and sunny winter’s day!
Up, down, out and across; there’s something to see in every direction on the trail to the beach at Abbotts Lagoon!
Helpful link: National Park Service/Point Reyes National Seashore
Posted by alainaflute on February 19, 2013
I’ve got to get myself to the beach! Of course, chances are higher that I’ll find myself on a beach in the United States in the next few months, but I can keep dreaming of those far off destinations, can’t I?
In an online search for fun and exotic beach destinations, I stumbled across “Imagine Africa,” part of a British travel group. This site lists many enticing beach destinations in Madagascar. I’ve only included those that do not directly pertain to a resort.
Let’s move it, move it!
Located 5 miles (8km) off the northwest coast of Madagascar, Nosy Be (“Big Island”) is a tropical paradise. With several activities to enjoy, such as snorkeling, hiking, cycling, and diving, you can experience what promises to be an amazing vacation on this volcanic island. There are several close-by islands in the archipelago to explore as well: Nosy Komba, Nosy Mitsio, Nosy Sakatia, and Nosy Tanikely.
Made (slightly) famous by 1994 BBC Reality TV show Girl Friday, Tsarabanjina is an inlet of the Mitsio Archipelago in the northwest of Madagascar. Although it appears that the island is managed by Constance Hotel Tsarabanjina (the only hotel on the island), the description deserves still mention: “Fringed by white sandy beaches with extraordinary birds, lush vegetation and encircled around by coral reefs, the region is bathed in sunshine all year round.” Activities include wind surfing, canoeing, water skiing, and excursions such as boat trips to the nearby great basalt columns and Les Quatre Frères islands. This is truly heaven for the birding beach-goer.
The only island in Madagascar to be visited by both the endangered Hawksbill and Green Sea Turtle, Nosy Iranja “spans two stunning islands which are joined by a 1.2km sandbank, Iranja Be and Iranja Kely which is home to Iranja Lodge & 13 hectares of paradise.” You might be able to catch a glimpse of turtles frolicking in the water or eggs hatching (if you come at the right time of year). You can also enjoy scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, windsurfing, Hobie Cat sailing, and excursions to Nosy Komba to spot some lemurs.
Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum! Doesn’t Ile Sainte Marie just look like a pirate’s dream? Right off the eastern coast of northern Madagascar, this is no longer a den of thieves and vagabonds, but a tropical “treasure island for those seeking palm-lined beaches, coral reefs and relaxation.” A hot spot for whale watching from July to September, you may well be able to spot humpback whales migrating through the channel between Sainte-Marie and main island Madagascar. Rich with activity and nature, you can cycle the island or dive to explore wrecked pirate ships and coral reefs. Have fun spotting one of the many lemur varieties that lives on the island (including black-and-white ruffed lemur, brown lemur, mouse lemur, and grey gentle lemur) or even the Parson’s chameleon (one of the largest in the world). I don’t know about you, but this one definitely makes the top of my list!
They like to move it, move it!
Posted by Jody on February 4, 2013
We’ve made some wonderful acquaintances here at Beach Treasures and Treasure Beaches. Recently, one of our favorite blogging friends, Wingclipped, at The Coastal Path shared a link with us that was quite intriguing! It seems that a Mr. Ken Wilman and his curious canine companion Madge were walking along a Lancashire beach in the North of England one day when they happened across a very smelly beach treasure on the sand. After a bit of google searching, Mr. Wilman discovered that their rock-like “floating gold” might be worth over $136,000 USD!
Wingclipped sent along this video link (which sadly refuses to be dis-embedded from the Sky News website, and therefore can not be directly posted here. Go ahead and click the link below to see the video!).
FYI: What Ken and Madge actually found is a lump of ambergris. According to Merriam-Webster.com ambergris is “a waxy substance found floating in or on the shores of tropical waters, believed to originate in the intestines of the sperm whale, and used in perfumery as a fixative.”
Score one (a really big one) for beachcombers everywhere!
~ Sending along very special thanks to Wingclipped for sharing such a fun beachcombing story. You too can follow the family travels and antics of Wingclipped, his lovely wife, and their energetic twins as they explore the coast of Britain on foot at his blog The Coastal Path. His most recent entry is entitled “40d – Entering Dungeness” (Britain’s only desert and “Europe’s largest stretch of shingle landscape”). This week’s post comes complete with a heartwarming twist!
Posted in Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Beaches of Great Britain and Ireland, Monday Miscellaneous, Whales and Dolphins | Tagged: ambergris, beach, beachcombing, floating gold, Lancashire beach, North of England beach | 14 Comments »
Posted by E.G.D. on January 16, 2013
Don’t let the name fool you: Beachapedia is not affiliated with Wikipedia! On the contrary, it is an independent beach ecology resource that is staffed by a group of dedicated writers including “scientists, engineers and activists.”
Prior to this morning, I had never even heard of Beachapedia, which is a terrible shame! In very little time, I learned from the Beachapedia vegetation page that vegetation on beaches falls into three different categories depending on where the plants grow in relation to the tidal area and the dune. The plants in each category display certain patterns of characteristics as a result of their respective locations. While I was at it, I also read an interesting little article on wrack, which The California Coastal Commission defines as “organic material such as kelp and sea grass that is cast up onto the beach by surf, tides, and wind,” and which is important to both plant and animal beach wildlife. That article links to another very good article from the National Science Foundation called “All Washed Up and Somewhere to Go,” which I highly recommend any dedicated beachgoer read.
Now, as you can see, I was looking specifically for “Wild Wednesday” wildlife material for this article, but Beachapedia has information on everything coastal-environment-related from A to W (X,Y, and Z apparently don’t start any beach related topic words). It’s a really useful website, I think, especially if you’re looking to learn about the nuts and bolts of how beaches function. Also, you never know when you might want a clear and very detailed definition of beach related terms like “estuary” or “neap tide.”
It never hurts to take a little time to better understand our beaches! After all, whatever would we beachcombers do without them? Happy beachgoing, everyone- E.G.D.
For more information on beach ecology, you can also visit these other Beach Treasures and Treasure Beaches articles:
And to some degree or another, most Wild Wednesday posts!
Posted by Jody on January 1, 2013
Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!
Here’s how Greg and I celebrated the last day of 2012 at Tingley Beach in Albuquerque, New Mexico…
It was our second dusting of snow this season! -Click on any photo to enlarge and scroll through.
~~~Happy 2013 to one and all!~~~
Posted by Jody on December 30, 2012
Haystack Rock is located near Cannon Beach on the North coast of Oregon, Haystack Rock is a unique monolith that attracts wildlife and tourists alike. Towering 235 feet over the beach, the Rock is home to nesting seabirds in the summer and marine invertebrates all year long. It is one of the largest “sea stacks” on America’s Pacific coast.
The rocky reefs of Haystack Rock and the neighboring Needles have abundant and rich intertidal life. Tidepoolers are drawn to its wonders every day. As many as 200,000 people visit Haystack Rock every year, mostly during the summer months when the tidepools are teeming and the nesting seabirds, proudly showing off breeding plumage, are busy introducing little ones into the world. Haystack Rock is protected under Fish and Wildlife regulations as a Marine Garden and a seabird nesting refuge.
Source: City of Cannon Beach
Be sure to bring your binoculars so you can spot the well-coiffed resident Tufted Puffins throughout the spring and summer months!
Posted in Beach and Coastal Wildlife, Beach Birding, Pacific Coast Beaches, Tide Pools, Weekend's Rock | Tagged: beach, Cannon Beach Oregon, Haystack Rock Cannon Beach Oregon, Oregon Coast beaches, Oregon Coast tide pools | 9 Comments »