It started raining today, beginning what may end up being a repeat of last year's soggy December. Hopefully not, though. I was rather enjoying the cold and snow. At any rate, I'm glad that we took advantage of yesterday's beautiful weather to take the dogs to the beach. Here are some pictures from our day.This is a scene I don't think we'll be seeing the likes of in Arizona.We spotted a lone Barrow's Goldeneye floating out in the bay. There was a raft of Common Mergansers behind him in the distance, and I think I remember seeing several Harlequin Ducks fly by. And of course there were the ever-present Glaucous-winged Gulls providing a nice chorus of cackles for our walk, but overall it was pretty quiet yesterday as far as the birding went.
As we left the beach at around 2pm, I turned around to snap a photo of the sun setting over the mountains and the bay to the south. The evidence left behind of our fun and energetic romp in the snow definitely put a smile on my face. While standing on the beach, with the gentle waves lapping at our feet and a solitary sea lion swimming by, Sonja asked if I was going to miss the ocean. Yeah, I think I am. I'll miss watching Harvey dive for rocks while an otter watches from offshore. I'll miss chasing Luna around the beach trying to prevent her from licking dead jellies. And I'll miss watching a Crested Auklet, a rare visitor from the Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea, looking like it's trying to cough up a hairball. So yeah, I think I'll miss living three blocks from the ocean.
At the same time, though, I am very excited to begin exploring the red-rock canyons and deserts of the Southwest. Arizona holds its own unique wilderness adventures for us to experience, and both Sonja and I are looking forward to seeing what lies ahead.