An entertaining place to witness birdy hi jinks is Oceanside Beach Recreation Site. It’s crowning geological feature, a collection of sea stacks called Three Arch Rocks, is a breeding ground for both seagulls and cormorants. Nesting goals between the two often erupt into comedy.
An interesting route delivers you to the stage. First, you walk north along Oceanside Beach until you see an ominous door at the base of Maxwell Point that looks like it should have “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here” carved above it.It’s pretty dark in there.
The smaller stacks are known hangouts for Western Seagull gang members.
Meanwhile, the gentle Pelagic Cormorants tend their rocky rookery on the cliffs above. They eye everybody who approaches with suspicion.
Not sure what the gulls were on about unless they suspected hidden food in that grass, but the twitchy cormorants were no match for these bullies. The cormorants would retreat and regroup every couple of minutes, congregating on the opposite cliffs to ponder their next move (which mainly consisted of waiting for the gulls to get bored and leave long enough for them to make another thatch run). This scenario played out again and again for hours.
Cute but shy rock lice lodged in the cracks.
The only people singing along were between 400 and 2000 pounds each and furry. Steller Sea Lions packed their own bandstand daily with a sold out show called Seal Rock. Humans got the cheap seats on the beach, too far away to enjoy their antics, but if you were smart enough to bring opera glasses or a digital zoom….
Back at the parking lot in Seaside, I was treated to one last event in the form of flying humans. Paragliders don’t quite have the acrobatic skills of the seagull or the charisma of a seal, but their gangs were no less colorful.
June 9, 2011