Baja California

Feb 18, 2019 - National Geographic Sea Bird

After breakfast we were shuttled ashore for an exhilarating walk on the sand dunes of Isla Magdalena. We trekked across the powdery sand, passing specialized plants and piles of shells discarded long ago by human visitors. The beach on the Pacific side, scattered with sand dollars, stretched for miles.

During the afternoon, the ship motored north through a narrow channel where herons, sandpipers, and even some coyotes could be seen on the mudflats. Bottlenose dolphins rode the bow wave on a couple of occasions. As dusk settled in, we saw a green flash on the horizon for an instant at sunset, followed by a blaze of pastels painted across the sky.

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About the Author

Gretchen Pederson

Gretchen Pederson


Gretchen became intrigued by plants, animals, and the out-of-doors at an early age while growing up in the San Francisco Bay area. Tolerant and encouraging parents permitted almost any pet imaginable, which provided excellent opportunities for her to observe animal behavior. Later, at the University of California, Davis, she focused her studies on zoology before completing a Master of Science degree in wildlife biology at Humboldt State University. As a graduate student, through a U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service grant, she researched the feeding ecology of mallards and northern pintails, a project that combined her interests in ornithology, botany, and invertebrate zoology - all lifelong passions that she still pursues today.

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