Tag Archives: Doug Forsell

A very unusual sighting happened on the beach at Gualala Point Regional Park a few weeks ago. Doug Forsell wrote, “There is several hundred thousand Euphausiids, Krill, washed up on the beach. They are Thysanoessa spinifera, which are the most common nearshore species in California."

‘These are small shrimp-like animals that feed on phytoplankton and zooplankton.  They can form large swarms providing food for whales, birds, and fish. They are an important link in the ocean food chain, and many species are dependent on them. The unusual thing about the stranding is the winds have been calm, and the surf low for the past couple days. Perhaps it was so calm there was no surf to warn them away from shore. All of these animals appeared very fresh.”

Doug said there were over five hundred “fat and happy” Gulls and a handful of Turkey Vultures gorging on the Krill. He watched a Peregrine Falcon take a pass at the feasting Gulls, but the falcon didn’t nab one. And out on the water he could see Surf Scoters, Loons and other birds that appeared to be eating Krill.

I sent Doug’s photos to whale expert, Scott Mercer. Scott wrote, “Watch for feeding Blues and Humpbacks. That's prime Blue Whale dinner. Sounds like prime avian dinner too.  What a bonus for the vultures. I've never seen euphausiids wash up like that.”

So, thanks to Doug, we learned of this event. It's wonderful to know the Pacific Ocean is filled with these creatures that feed so many animals, including the biggest of them all, the Blue Whale.

Thanks to Doug, also, for allowing me to share his photos with you here.

Jackie Sones spotted this sand dollar washed up on the beach, with unusual Barnacles on it.

sand-dollar-with-rare-barnacles-paraconcavus-pacificus-by-jackie-sonesJackie has been finding a few sand dollars on beaches in Bodega Bay with red and white barnacles on them. With the help of barnacle experts Bill Newman and Bob Van Syoc, the barnacles were identified as Paraconcavus pacificus, a rare sighting of barnacles usually seen south of Monterey. Jackie thinks Manchester Beach has potential as a possible place to see them.

Jackie has a wonderful blog post showing how these barnacles were identified and you can read it at this link: http://bodegahead.blogspot.com/2016/09/unexpected-plate-appearance.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TheNaturalHistoryOfBodegaHead+%28The+Natural+History+of+Bodega+Head%29

Thanks to Jackie for allowing me to share her photo with you here. Doug Forsell found a sand dollar with barnacles this past week at Manchester Beach and we are waiting for Bob Van Syoc to take a look at it. I will report back!

Absolutely stunning day here on the Mendonoma coast. It feels like a gift.