Carlo Arreglo

Winter Wildlife in the Time of Novel Coronavirus

Last year, the Winter Wildlife Docent Program got off to a late start due to the government shutdown. This year, the program started but did not finish due to the effects of the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 locally and around the world. As you know, we unofficially cancelled the program this past weekend and, yesterday, the park officially cancelled volunteer programs. See text below from nps.gov/pore (emphasis mine): “Following guidance from the CDC and public health officials, and to comply…

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K Barriers, Jersey Barriers, E Seals, Oh My!

K-Barriers By Allison Culver, lead docent What are these “beautiful” concrete barriers doing here? These  4,000 pound k-barriers are here at the request of Sarah Codde, if Sarah has a title it belongs here. The barriers are to deter the elephant seals from going into the parking lot. As many of you may know, the elephant seals like to venture into the parking lot. Last weekend a sub-adult became tired of the comfy ice plant and wormed his way to…

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2019-2020 Season Begins!

Hello docent crew! Allison and I warmly welcome you aboard to NPS Winter Wildlife! Thanks for being a part of this year’s crew! It has been a start marked by waiting, waiting, waiting, Waiting for gray whale numbers to go up, waiting to see if pregnant cows show up at Drakes, waiting to see if all of Drakes will get closed like last year. Regarding gray whales, some of you might recall the numerous gray whale deaths reported last year.…

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Curious sighting at Drakes Beach

Greetings docent crew! This past weekend was busier than the previous one, with docent contacts at 844 on Saturday and 622 on Sunday. Dogs were 11 on Saturday and 10 on Sunday. These were dogs and their owners who would have made a beeline for the beach and would have certainly wandered right up to the seals had not traffic cones and docents been there (along with the actual beach closure). About a dozen surfers on both days. But the…

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One Last Cow at Drakes

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…

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KPVC E seals = Weaners!

Hi docent crew, Another successful weekend concluded at Drakes! The rainy weather kept visitation lower compared to previous weekends with docent contacts at 394 on Sat 3/3 and 679 on Sun 3/4. Did I mention it was rainy? It wasn’t a heavy downpour but a steady, chilly rain that persisted both days. Cows are low, five or less with at least two pups still being weaned. Saturday was quite active with that males; Sunday was pretty quiet. Carlo tried out…

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Super Busy President’s Day Weekend

What a weekend! Thank you to everyone that made it out for this three day weekend, which peaked with 1325 docent contacts on Sunday. Totals were 793 for Sat 2/16, 1325 for Sun 2/17, and 1164 for Mon 2/18! Keep in mind, this is without shuttles, lighthouse, and whales. Pretty remarkable! Thanks for volunteering your time for this program, Point Reyes National Seashore, and the National Park Service!

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Peak Mating, Heavy Press, and More

Hi docents and welcome to the Drakes Beach Colony! First of all, THANK YOU for your flexibility and resilience in adjusting to this new colony amid a shutdown that saw us lose about 12 docent days. 12 days! Yet you all have made up for it with an energy and enthusiasm that would be the envy of other volunteer programs in the service. As you’ve probably seen, the park superintendent was out this past weekend and she sent me an…

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