Artful sand dollars

During low-tide walks this week sand dollars (Dendraster excentricus) have been the dominant life form. Everywhere dotting the exposed sand were white tests (as in dead shells), soft deep-purple disks (the healthy live ones), and shapely sand traces (from under-sand burrowing). The feeding must be good and the living… Read More

Black-footed albatross feeding

On Thursday I went whale watching with FastRaft and friends. I expected to see whales — humpbacks are usually in the Monterey Bay during the summer — and there had been reports of Risso’s and other types of dolphins, too…. Read More


I wrote about our local June gloom — thick marine layer (fog) — in a June 2013 post. Since that post explains the why behind the cloudy days, for this post I’ll just show you this year’s gloom. Fortunately,… Read More

Song sparrow

Everywhere I walk this time of year I hear, and often see, song sparrows singing. They have a distinctive and melodious song. So I’m sharing with you my collection of these songsters. While reading up on song sparrows, I learned… Read More


This week sanderlings showed up on my local beach en masse — nearly a thousand little pinball birds, along with marbled godwits, whimbrels, and a variety of gulls. All were feeding on sand crabs in the wash of very… Read More