Carlo Arreglo

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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Shutdown Over (for at least 3 weeks)

Remember the halycon training days of December? Who knew that we were barreling towards the longest shutdown in U.S. history? Well, it seems we are slowly ramping up to full, standard operations and the Winter Wildlife season will commence next weekend. Please check your scheduled dates! I’ll be getting up to speed this week and get the latest count on e seals for you.  All of the logistics will be worked on this week and I’ll be in touch via…

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Elephant Seal Diet Re-examined, Whale Earwax, and a Birthday!

One of the most frequently asked questions we get is “What do elephant seals eat?” and squid is often at the top of the list. But some new research challenges this belief! If you haven’t voraciously sucked up the article yet, like the way an elephant seal sucks up its prey, read “Energy-Rich Mesopelagic Fishes Revealed as a Critical Prey Resource for a Deep-Diving Predator Using Quantitative Fatty Acid Signature Analysis”! Thanks to Sarah Codde for bringing this to my…

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Welcome new crew members to the Winter Wildlife Docent Program!

This past weekend was a great success but, first, please keep fellow docents and all members of your communities in your thoughts as fires continue to rage throughout California. Stay safe! On Saturday, ten new docents, along with fifteen returning docents, were treated to the usual brilliance of Sarah Allen and Sarah Codde. They delivered Whales 101 and Elephant Seals 101 presentations, respectively.  On Sunday, new docents spent time in the field with Sean and me (btw, YAY!, Sean is…

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New Docent Training this Weekend

  2018-19 WINTER WILDLIFE NEW DOCENT TRAINING AGENDA November 10 Saturday, Red Barn Classroom by the Bear Valley Visitor Area  8:00am – 9:00am– Check in, coffee/tea mingle. Complete NPS volunteer forms. 9:00am – 11:00am – “Whales 101.” Sarah Allen, Ph.D. Science Program Lead, Pacific West Region, National Park Service. 11:00am – 11:15am – Break 11:15am – noon – “Winter Wildlife Overview 101.” Carlo Arreglo, Park Ranger – Winter Wildlife Program Manager and Sean Pickton, Lead Winter Wildlife Docent. Noon –…

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