2022-03-24 Crescent City Again

Double-Crested Cormorant - Phalacrocorax auritus
Past visits to the Crescent City Harbor have shown me it is a worthwhile place to meet seabirds and waterfowl. I expect these cormorants are a common presence in the coastal zone of the Pacific Northwest.
Brewer's Blackbird - Euphagus cyanocephalus
While I was surveying the beach near Battery Point, I met a large group of these blackbirds in the company of starlings. Crescent City Harbor in the far northern California coast.

I spent ten days in Medford (Oregon), addressing minor upgrades to the RV, spinning the most recent yarns about my trip. During this time I enjoyed the company of my sister-in-law, and a couple of visits with my oldest niece. I wasn’t able to see my nephew, his wife, his youngest daughter, or my brother-in-law. Out of extreme concern about my brother-in-law’s health, the household is in voluntary lockdown. Covid-19 has hit the Lower Rogue Valley much harder than most of the country, mostly because of an excess of rabid anti-vaxers. The most recent reports show much fewer cases, and I’m hoping my family can begin letting down their guard.

I’ve known my sister-in-law since high school, but for one reason or another, we’ve never had much of an opportunity to spend time with each other. It was such a joyful visit because of the time we shared, for which I am most grateful.

After driving to Crescent City from Medford Wednesday, I stopped at the harbor and enjoyed photographing loons and grebes. I would have enjoyed a better visit with the Horned Grebes I found at the boat basin, but I had to content myself with only a few images of them. Later, I drove around to Battery Point and found the blackbird flock where they were ten days ago. This time there were no Brown-Headed Cowbirds, no Tricolored Blackbirds, or any Red-Winged Blackbirds in the bunch. European Starlings had replaced them and joined the throngs of Brewer’s Blackbirds.

I finally found a good place to park for the night in Crescent City. I’ve had problems in the past here with restricted overnight parking regulations and at the Walmart, getting scoped out by some sketchy characters looking for opportunities to steal. Last night I stayed at the side of “B Street” near Battery Point, and it was perfect. I started working on the day’s images, separating the wheat from the chaff, and embedding the relevant information such as map location, species, and commentary, to the metadata of each file.

Thursday morning I awoke to dense fog in town. I drove back to the boat basin and briefly scoped out the water for birds, but it was very quiet. I followed my fruitless scouting mission with a lovely breakfast at the nearby Good Harvest Cafe, a place I’d not tried before. It proved to be a delightful place for dining. The food, staff and atmosphere were all first rate. After breakfast I returned to the boat basin once more before I turned north and worked my way up the Oregon coast. The Horned Grebes had returned, and though still quite shy, I captured a few usable images through the morning fog.

After gathering the morning’s images, I resumed my northbound trek, making several stops along the way. I’ll save that story for later. During this visit to Crescent City, I met the following species: Black Oystercatcher, Brewer’s Blackbird, California Ground Squirrel, Common Loon, Double-Crested Cormorant, and Horned Grebe.

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