Toad in the Hole

July 13, 2004

San Mateo Coast

We took a jaunt down the coast to Pescadero last Thursday, and didn't see the little gull (make that Little Gull) that's been reported there -- gives a certain something to the day, having to look twice at every damned gull. Just the usual gull suspects, though that includes Heermann's gulls along with the brown pelicans, so I guess it's summer. There was a marbled marbled murrelet, always a pleasure to see in the nominate summer plumage, way out at the limits of the spotting scope's resolution, bob bob bob bob bob bob on the waves. Windy as all get-out, hawks and gulls going sideways; we had to use the scope kneeling sometimes.

We saw a pair of black oystercatchers with a chick, right on the rocks below the Pescadero Creekmouth overlook. They must have nested and hatched it there; it was barely mobile, still all downy and wobbly. Those rocks are accessible from land, so there was luck involved. Funny-looking thing, chunky and blockheaded, its head looking almost as big as its body; pink oystercatcher legs but a more generic dark little bill.

It's fall, too; little flocks of shorebirds gathering already, whimbrels and such. Fresh peas and tomatoes at roadside stands, and we got some beans from the bean zoo at Phipp's Ranch and pie at Duarte's and a loaf of garlicky artichoke bread at the Archangeli grocery in Pescadero. There's a big lot for sale right at the junction of Route 1 and Pescadero Road, overlooking the ocean, and if I had 15 million bucks in my pocket I'd buy it this minute.

Posted at July 13, 2004 04:38 PM


And you'll need a caretaker, of course. (I work cheap.)

Posted by: Chris Clarke at July 14, 2004 05:41 PM