Thursday, December 29, 2011


Every night we have to walk up the road and close the main gate to the park. Virtually every night we hear the barking of California Sea-Lions from Northwest Bay, or the growling of Steller's Sea-Lions out at West Ballenas Island. Some nights we see Coastal Black-tailed Deer browsing in the forest along the road, or Raccoons slinking back up trees. A little less commonly, we hear an owl calling. Most often it is a Northern Saw-whet Owl whistling in the forest, but we have also heard Great Horned Owls and Barred Owls calls. Actually seeing an owl in the dark as we walk to the gate has only happened a few times. Tonight as I was headed out to lock the gate for the night, I saw a movement in the dark, and turned on my headlamp to see what it was. There, atop the sign in the parking area, was a Barred Owl. I quickly pulled my camera from my vest pocket, and snapped a quick shot as the owl dove into the nearby bushes, scuffling with something briefly, before fluttering back across the road and into the forest.

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