I sit at my desk in the murre blind with an open window view of Point Reyes 17 miles beyond Fisherman’s Bay, listening to some tunes and noting the unique color band combinations of tens of thousands of murres chattering away and shuffling on the slope below. The wind has entirely died overnight; the sea is like a lightly rippled blue tarp, with gentle lines from the northwest lapping the weathered white guano covered granite of Sugar Loaf Islet. Fringing the murre colony, Pigeon Guillemots display their vibrant red mouths as they whistle a soft high pitched call; while regal Western Gulls stand in pairs on the cliffs around the blind window, ready to defend their patch of Farallon Weed from any foreign invader or challenger. Prospecting Tufted Puffins, the clowns among the breeding seabirds here, circle at eye level just meters from my window; their rock star head gear fluttering in the wind. Two resident Gray Whales break the calm of Fisherman’s Bay with their powerful exhalations, surfacing for a few quick breaths as they feed on Mysiids and other pelagic invertebrates. In the distance, spouts from a different kind jettison from the blowholes of the largest mammal ever known to breath – the Blue Whale – weighing over 100 tons. The goliaths are early this year, along with at least 40 Humpback Whales that scatter the horizon in all directions. I pause the MP3 device to hear the low growl of Steller (or is it Steller’s?) Sea Lions basking in the morning sun at Arch Rock, accompanied by the strange squealing vocalizations of Northern Elephant Seal weaners and the familiar dog-like bark of California Sea Lions. This chaotic symphony of pinnipeds emanates directly upwind of my perch, my nose full of the pungent odor of molting marine mammals in the light breeze.
As seen in losfarallones.blogspot.com