This past weekend was bittersweet as one cow remains and, with her departure, males will leave the beach in about a week or so. The picture above captures the alpha and remaining cow under a rainbow. We thought for sure we would witness the cow depart Sunday afternoon as she headed from the iceplant, lumbered on the beach, and towards the surf but her pup’s frantic and desperate vocalization held her back mid-beach and she stayed to nurse. It was quite a sight and the rain kept getting in our eyes. As of Monday morning, the cow was still there.
Despite the rain and steady chilly wind, the docent contacts were surprisingly high: 670 on Sat 3/9 and 947 on Sun 3/11.
We experimented with the docent programs by letting visitors walk along the promenade or sidewalk with at least two docents, one giving the program and one watching the seals and keeping the group tightly together. Carlo and Sean provided overwatch. We will continue with this for the remainder of the season and will cap the group size at twenty. Thanks to Sterling and Frank for leading the way with the new twist to the programs!
Carlo provided a tour to a VIP, a former special assistant to the Secretary of the Interior. A College of Marin class randomly showed up and asked for a program. Fortunately, Sean and Carlo were able to accommodate them with Sean talking about elephant seals and Carlo talking about Coast Miwok ecology, history, and culture.
Q: If a female loses a pup early in the season, will she go into estrus and how soon?
A: Yes, she will go into estrus but it’s unknown how soon she will do so. Not within a day, maybe a week, but that’s a pure guess.
Finally, mystery scat showed up on one of the parking spaces in front of the beach. Speculation ranged from e seal to human to bear to elk! Thanks again for volunteering for the program and Point Reyes National Seashore! How fortunate are we to be connected to this park?