Poppy on the Dipsea Trail

Last night as we sat on the porch looking at the sea I saw a possible albatross: a bird alternately flapping and gliding, very long, slender wings, about one-and-a-half times as long as the body, bent back at the wrist, and forming a gentle S-curve when viewed flapping from behind.

Amy and I hiked over from Muir Woods today. In Muir Woods we saw what was possibly a Hermit Thrush. It was making a call we heard a number of times, a soft, sad aaahooee. The one sighting was high up in silhouette: it had rounded wings, separated from the square tail, which extended beyond the wing tips, and in profile it had a sparrow-shaped head but with a sharper triangular beak. The recording I have of the Hermit Thrush has some liquid ornaments than we didn’t hear, but the underlying notes are right.

On Steep Ravine Trail we saw the usual Chestnut-backed Chickadees and Dark-eyed Juncos. One group of chickadees seemed to have a mother feeding a larger child. They were making a slightly different call, a wheezy aaee-aaoh. As we came out onto the Dipsea we saw swallows (which I always forget to mention, but are ever-present in this open heath) and as always the soaring vultures.

The Dipsea was covered with wildflowers: thistles, poppies, a flower with four veined petals that comes in yellow, white, and pink, daisies, and a small yellow flower with four round petals that looks like what I would call a bladderpod in Arizona.

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