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Friday, July 1, 2011

Nesting colony of Brandt's Cormorants on Gualala Point Island - an aerial photo.

Gualala Point Island is a large, rocky island sitting off the northernmost end of The Sea Ranch. It is a haven for many birds and pinnipeds and many of us enjoy watching them from the bluffs. But on the far side, where we landlubbers cannot see, there is a large colony of Brandt's Cormorants currently nesting.

TSR are Stewards of the rocks and islands off their stretch of the coast, which are part of the California Coastal National Monument. They have formed a Task Force to monitor the seabirds. Recently their aerial photographer Craig Tooley went up with pilot Tom Osborne as part of their 5th year of monitoring and captured this photo. There are also some Common Murres in the photo, a cause for excitement. There is hope they may be prospecting for nests. And one lone Gull at the top, hoping for a free meal.

This is the big reason why fireworks over the 4th of July weekend in Gualala are a bad idea. We are fortunate to have nesting seabirds here. Don't feel sorry for us! We have fireworks in Point Arena 11 miles to the north.

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