Park Wavelengths, 2008-09-23

The National Park Service publishes a newsletter about events, closures, natural history, and cultural history at Point Reyes.

Riots of fall colors with the autumnal equinox this week – check out brilliant red poison oak along Limantour Road. The new moon rises Monday, September 29 with higher than usual daylight tides 5.4 – 5.9 feet in the afternoons. Other fall delights – the continuing presence of humpback whales off the Great Beach, splashing and breaching; the fall bird migration is underway – blackpoll warbler at the Lighthouse and some redstarts.

A young bat has been stopping in at the Lighthouse over the past few weeks, lingering in the fog signal building, an unusual siting for this spot.. The overall bat population in the park remains healthy, 325 Townsend’s Big eared bats were counted in the annual survey last week at their roost in Olema Valley. Traditionally, roosts were inside cavities of old growth redwoods and hillside caves; as these roosts disappeared they have moved into old barns and attics.

Large fish observed under the green bridge in Point Reyes are not early salmonids – they are carp; look for the noticeable scales and the fact they are ‘out in the open’ not seeking deep cool waters to hide. They are native to Eurasia and like slow moving shallow streams with lots of organic matter to root around in.

Marin County Open Space rangers will be exploring the “Pond Life of the Palomarin Area” on Sunday, September 28th between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm; meet at the Palomarin Trailhead off Mesa Road near Bolinas.

A planned closure of the Olema Marsh Trail is now posted for October 6th (originally slated for September 22) as part of the Giacomini Restoration. Trail staff are working with Marin Conservation Corps groups on reconstructing the Abbotts Lagoon Trail; the reroute of Greenpicker, Rift Zone and Estero Trails. These are not closed but you may see the crews at work.

Prescribed burns may occur this week on Wednesday (24) and Friday (26), off Limantour Road west of the Hostel and off Highway 1 near the Randall Trail to manage fuel loads and reduce exotic plants.