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Nesting Birds at Bodega Head

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010 | Posted by

A bird walk not to be missed is one on Saturday, June 19th when Hollis and Jerry Bewley will take a close look at “Nesting Birds at Bodega Head.”

Bodega Head, Photo by Kathy Thompson

The couple are avid birders and members of the Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods which is sponsoring the walk as one of their many Ecoadventures open to the public.

“We’re hoping there will be nesting activity on the Head in June as food supplies are lean during El Nino years and sometimes they don’t even bother under those circumstances,” Hollis Bewley explained.

She went on to explain that she and her husband Jerry are not birders who are “listers.”

We aren’t the type who set up our scopes, quickly count the number of species seen and then rush off to the next site. We’re slow observers and have been watching these guys do the very important job of raising their families for several years.

Black oystercatcher & chick, Courtesy of Hollis & Jerry Bewley

The Head plays host to more than oystercatchers and pelagic cormorants and what’s visible to us changes from year to year – but the family lives of those two species alone are captivating and worth an entire morning or afternoon.

The cormorants have absolutely wonderful personalities once you get to know them.

They’re very loving and affectionate and, living on narrow ledges the youngsters have to be cooperative rather than competitive so they take turns exercising their wings. You have to spend some time with them to fully appreciate them.

Other possible nesters are Western gulls, Northern harriers, Great Blue herons, and Common ravens.

Western gulls & chicks, Courtesy of Hollis & Jerry Bewley

Hollis enthused about the “flight school of Western gulls,” and how raven chicks “begin life as true ugly ducklings, but eventually develop into sleek beauties.”

Raven & chicks, Courtesy of Hollis & Jerry Bewley

A variety of other birds may be seen as well, such as Pigeon guillemots, Ospreys, Brandt’s cormorants, egrets, and “even a chance for a rare sighting of a Peregrine falcon or Burrowing owl.”

The walk starts at 10:00am and ends at 1:00pm. The Stewards’ Ecoadventures and classes are very popular, so early registration is recommended. A $15 donation per person is suggested.

To register, go to www.stewardsofthecoastandredwoods.org.

The Bewleys recommend dressing in layers and bringing binoculars. They will have a couple of telescopes to share with other birders.

“Our objective is to introduce people to these families and offer them an opportunity to move in close enough with scopes to really see what they’re up to with the hope they’ll return on their own throughout the season to follow the progress…through fledging. It’s something we’ve enjoyed year after year and most people are intrigued once they’re aware of the drama unfolding right there on the rocks.”

  • Gerald (gerry) Mosher

    Hollis I hope you the hollis bewley that helped so much years ago with Photo shop on compuserve
    If you are give a phone # I would love to talk to you again after all these years.


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Andrea Granahan is our Bodega area correspondent.
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