notes from baja – punta lobos
Hiking. Posada La Poza. Laguna. Over rocky hills to beach. Many birds. Surf. Pacifico. Magnificent frigates, brown pelicans. Buzzards. Wind. We walk a long way, past hills and ruins and a light house, to Punta Lobos. Pangas at rest. Dead fish, beach plants, birds in motion and at rest. Boys playing with a soccer ball, no other people close enough to talk to. Walk back, more wind. Tiring and ready for dinner and sleep. No relatives.
From the guidebook (Moon, Baja, p 461):
Common throughout the coastal areas of southern Baja is the magnificent frigate, called tijera (scissors) in Mexico because of its scissors-shaped tail. In spite of their seafood diet, frigates can’t swim or even submerge their heads to catch fish – instead they glide high in the air on boomerang-shaped wings, swooping down to steal fish from other birds, especially slow-witted boobies.
Brown pelicans, the only truly marine species among the world’s seven pelican species, dive 10-30 meters underwater to catch fish. Other pelicans only dip their beaks beneath the surface and tend to frequent inland waterways rather than marine habitats. Browns have disappeared almost entirely from the U.S. shores of the Gulf of Mexico and are declining in the coastal islands of California – apparently due to the pesticide content of the Pacific Ocean. Baja’s Cortez and Pacific coasts are among the last habitats where the brown pelican thrives.