Sean Pickton

A bittersweet day at Drakes Beach…

We had a fantastic weekend in at Point Reyes, while most of the adult seals have left Drakes Beach, the weather was beautiful, the wildflowers have begun to bloom and there were many whale sightings on the Chimney Rock Trail. In addition to this awesomeness, thanks to the effort and hospitality of several docents we had a wonderful meal at the boathouse on Saturday. I came to PORE three years ago, largely for the wildlife and wilderness. Funnily enough, it…

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A walk on Drakes Beach – sunshine, happy weaners and lots of plastic

A quick thanks to each of the docents that were out in the park this last weekend. As Carlo mentioned, despite the mixed weather, visitation was surprisingly high. I was at KPVC Monday morning and she was still on the beach. Sadly Monday was the last elephant seal count of the season. There were lots of weaners playing in the water and still quite a few sub-adult males on the beach. Below the elephant seal overlook there were even several…

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A brief word about ticks

Docents, just a quick reminder about ticks in the park. They are there and they are hungry. Please, please remember to give yourself a quick tick-check after you leave the park. I managed to pick up a tick this last week during a seal count and I have heard of a park employee that picked up a tick in the vicinity of Drakes Beach. If you do find a tick that has embedded, here is what you should do: Remove…

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Drama to the Southwest of the Ken Patrick Visitor Center

On Tuesday, myself and one of Sarah’s volunteers did a seal count from the Ken Patrick Visitor Center down to the permanent closure. The permanent closure is the closure which if visible from the Elephant Seal Overlook. It was a beautifully cold day with a bit of wind and calm seas. As we rounded the point, I was struck by how much sand has been washed away. This is evidence of the stormy winter that we’ve seen. When we count…

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Drakes Beach Changes Mean WWD Process Updates

Hello Docents, thanks to all of you who were in the park this last weekend. By all accounts, the weekend was a huge success and docents have played a significant role in that success. Because the seals have taken over Drakes Beach, we have made a number of significant changes in the way that we are managing the weekend. Please read ALL of the below notes to better prepare you for your upcoming shifts: Access – the Drakes Beach Access…

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Farewells and Awesome Art

It has been a few weeks since my last post. Apologies. We have said farewell to the adult elephant seals. They are off to forage, looking to gain calories that have been spent during the last few months. The beaches are left with adorable weaners, learning to swim and lounging on the sand. Whale counts are on the rise and today we set another record with 100+ whales, including two Minke whales. With just a few weekends left, each day…

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Growing Interpretive Skills

It is a rainy Thursday here in San Francisco and I am excited to head up to the park tomorrow for a weekend with visitors, docents, park staff, and wildlife. Ron M and I stayed late at Drakes last Sunday and had a ton of visitor contacts between 415p and 545p. I was stationed at the closure sign and at one point found myself giving an interpretive elephant seal talk to 30+ people. There were two sub-adult males about 35…

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Drakes Beach – a mid season update

Happy Friday Docents, we’re beyond the midpoint in the season and there have been lots of changes to our process at Drakes. I thought that it would be worth a quick post on WWD activities at Drakes Beach. A HUGE thanks to those of your that have spent time at Drakes over the last month. Law enforcement rangers and Sarah Codde are quite appreciative. Our efforts here are are making a huge difference. The below bullets, should answer a few…

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Community Meal at the Lifeboat Station

Hello Docents, my apologies for the dearth of blog posts over the last 1-2 weeks. I wanted to share an experience from last week. After sending the reminder email for the upcoming docent shifts, I received an invitation to dinner at the lifeboat station on Saturday night. Dinner was to be potluck style and I happily signed up for dessert. When I arrived at the lifeboat station, pasta, salad and bread were all being prepared. The coffee table was moved…

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Feb 3rd / 4th – weekend update

It was a beautiful weekend out in the park. Temperatures reached the low 70s and the sun was out both on Saturday and on Sunday. Some of the noteworthy happenings over the last week: In her weekly report to all staff of Point Reyes National Seashore, the park superintendent specifically called out the Winter Wildlife Docent Program and praised the program’s rapid re-evaluation and response with new check-in/out procedures in light of the Lassen investigation and safety review. Thank you…

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