Tidepooling on the Ides of March

Snow showers this morning with brief sunny breaks between. Becoming overcast in the early afternoon. Snow started again later in the afternoon and changed to rain this evening. Breezy with temperatures in the upper 30s.

Snow started sometime early this morning. By the time I was up and about, a couple of inches had accumulated. With warming temperatures, it started melting off.

I revisited the shore below the kelp patch pullout. Mostly to follow up on a lichen observation I had made. I needed more than I had photographed on my earlier visit.

While there, I was curious if I could refind the conch. The tide was out significantly further than when I had first found it. That contributed to my disorientation as I tried to remember which rocks had been checking out when I noticed it. With some help from the gps coordinates recorded when I took pictures, I was eventually able to locate it again.

I had similar troubles with the lichen I was interested in. I remembered the area I had seen it, but had forgotten the rock it was on was not an one that stood out very much. I did find it, took additional photos, and scraped a bit off for a collection.

The tide was out far enough for the pools at Little Magic Island to be exposed, so I went there next.

What had seemed like a warm-ish breeze at the kelp patch pullout now felt quite chilly. The wind also rippled the surface of the tidepools, limiting my ability to see into them.

I didn’t find the branched sapsucker this time. I did find a leopard nudibranch (Diaulula odonoghuei), the first of those I’ve seen in a couple of years.

I will try to get back in the next couple of days, since there were some small growths on seaweed that I think might have been bryozoans. I didn’t get very good photos, so I’ll probably try collecting a bit to look at under the microscope.

One nice surprise was finding two California mussels (Mytilus zonarius). The large one several inches long. They are the first I’ve come across along the road system (they can be abundant in places along the more exposed outer coast).

Gull numbers in the channel were up since yesterday. I saw one that seemed on the pale side. I wondered if it might be pale enough to be a Kumlien’s Gull. I didn’t see any Glaucous Gulls or dark-mantled gulls, but I’ll keep checking.

My iNaturalist Observations for Today

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