To see the Parakeet Auklet, we had to locate the Hermit Rock. We have taken countless walks along Lands End but never knew a rock named Hermit.
We went along the coastal trail in search of the Hermit Rock (I like to see it as the home of a giant crustacean). From the lookout, 200ft above the sea, we spotted a Black Oystercatcher on the beach and followed it up the rock. We watched a Turkey Vulture comb the beach for food…
…but, we did not see the Parakeet Auklet.
We made our second attempt after learning that low tide is the best time to see the Parakeet Auklet. Numerous pelicans and cormorants later, we squealed at the sight of a little seabird bobbing in and out of the choppy sea.
Wait, two of them.
And then there were three…
So cute! Red feet 😍
Maybe, we don’t need to see the Parakeet Auklet.
Rumor has it, some guy from New Jersey caught sight of this Parakeet Auklet in 2016 but it was the first observation of 2017 that made birders flock to San Francisco.
We went back to the same coastal trail lookout again, this time with [R]. The sea was rumbling even more violently than before and the waves were crashing against the rocks. [R] pointed us in the direction of the Parakeet Auklet 👀
I forgot how we rolled down the cliff and jumped over slippery rocks but we made it to the beach. There, this roly-poly toy of a seabird tumbled in the sea and rode the waves.
As we went back home to upload our blurry photos on iNaturalist, we couldn’t help but notice… that first observation of 2017 was [R]’s. This was #hisParakeetAuklet 🙂