Tidepooling Pillar Point... At Night!

Caught this tide at Pillar Point. Arrived around 3:30ish to hazy, overcast conditions with moderate surf, fairly turbid waters. Low was a -1.5, scheduled for 6pm, about 1 hr after sunset, so things were still fairly high. Not too much happening in the harbor aside from some buffleheads, loons, and scoters out in the harbor, some willets and a plover along the shore. I did, however, meet up with some birders who had a scope on a Long-tailed Duck! The conversation went something like this:

"What are you guys looking at?"

"Well, we think we're looking at a female Long-tailed Duck"

"A Long-tailed Duck?! No shit!"

"Ah, you're a birder!"

Female Long-tailed Duck it was, in winter plumage. New bird for me, very exciting.

The reef was beautiful, as always, and almost bereft of people, which definitely not always the case. The pool of plenty was still pretty deep when I got out there, so I spent some time examining some higher pools as the sun set, finding a cool Giant Rock-scallop, and a few slugs here and there. When the sun was good and gone, though, things really started picking up. Slugs were everywhere! Abundances were higher than I've ever seen them out there, T. maculata everywhere, with D. montereyensis right behind them in numbers. Numerous clown dorids, and some relative rarities, including Limacia and Dirona picta.

All in all a wonderful evening tidepooling. I need to go out at night more often. Had dinner at Barbara's Fish Trap, which was overpriced and kind of mediocre. Still looking for good food in that area...

Posted by kueda kueda, December 06, 2009 08:16 AM

Observations

Photos / Sounds

What

Sea Clown Triopha (Triopha catalinae)

Observer

kueda

Date

December 4, 2009 05:37 PM PST

Description

One of two pairs of Triopha catalinae I found mating.

Photos / Sounds

What

Monterey Doris (Doris montereyensis)

Observer

kueda

Date

December 4, 2009 05:11 PM PST

Photos / Sounds

What

Spotted Triopha (Triopha maculata)

Observer

kueda

Date

December 4, 2009 05:35 PM PST

Tags

Photos / Sounds

What

Opalescent Nudibranch (Hermissenda opalescens)

Observer

kueda

Date

December 4, 2009 04:53 PM PST

Photos / Sounds

What

Three-lined Aeolid (Coryphella trilineata)

Observer

kueda

Date

December 4, 2009 04:24 PM PST

Photos / Sounds

What

Black-tipped Spiny Dorid (Acanthodoris rhodoceras)

Observer

kueda

Date

December 4, 2009 05:20 PM PST

Description

One of several I found out there. Madness.

Photos / Sounds

What

Sickle Jacknife (Solen sicarius)

Observer

kueda

Date

December 4, 2009 06:56 PM PST

Description

Given the shape of the bit of shell that's showing, maybe a razor clam? Siphon was ~3-4 cm long.

Photos / Sounds

What

Black-tipped Spiny Dorid (Acanthodoris rhodoceras)

Observer

kueda

Date

December 4, 2009 06:03 PM PST

Description

These weird little amphipods were everywhere. Go nightpooling!

Photos / Sounds

What

Sea Lemon (Peltodoris nobilis)

Observer

kueda

Date

December 4, 2009 05:46 PM PST

Description

This P. nobilis was "surface crawling," so I shot it from beneath.

Photos / Sounds

What

Cockerell's Dorid (Limacia cockerelli)

Observer

kueda

Date

December 4, 2009 05:45 PM PST

Description

One of the few I've found intertidally.

Photos / Sounds

What

Modest Cadlina (Cadlina modesta)

Observer

kueda

Date

December 4, 2009 05:16 PM PST

Description

First time seeing this one in a while, actually.

Photos / Sounds

What

Colorful Dirona (Dirona picta)

Observer

kueda

Date

December 4, 2009 05:41 PM PST

Description

Very green, much like the last one I found at Pillar.

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Red Dorid (Rostanga pulchra)

Observer

kueda

Date

December 4, 2009

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Pato Havelda (Clangula hyemalis)

Observer

kueda

Date

December 4, 2009

Description

When I got to the harbor and was just about to cross over to the rocky area beyond the jetty, a met three birders intently watching something out on the water, which is usually good sign. Turns out they were looking at a female Long-tailed Duck! Life bird for me, very cool. No long tail, of course, but it did have a distinctly steep forehead and the hint of the clownish smile extending back from its beak.

Tags

Photos / Sounds

No photos or sounds

What

Chorlito Gris (Pluvialis squatarola)

Observer

kueda

Date

December 4, 2009

Description

It was a plover for sure, and probably a black-bellied. Stupid winter plumage.

Photos / Sounds

What

Red Rock Crab (Cancer productus)

Observer

kueda

Date

December 4, 2009 06:12 PM PST

Photos / Sounds

Observer

kueda

Date

December 4, 2009 05:23 PM PST

Description

Pretty sure it's a bit too "loose" looking to be Baptodoris.

Photos / Sounds

What

Giant Rock Scallop (Crassadoma gigantea)

Observer

kueda

Date

December 4, 2009 04:21 PM PST

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