Tiny Rasa Island is a noisy, busy place. Located in the Midriff Islands of the Gulf of California (Sea of Cortez) and within the San Lorenzo Marine Archipelago National Park, it is an ideal seabird nesting area. Ninety-five percent of the world’s population of Heermann’s gulls and elegant terns pack tightly together on the ground during breeding season. We arose early today for a spectacular sunrise Zodiac tour around the island. Besides the two main breeders, we also observed Craveri’s murrelets, eared grebes, ravens, and ospreys on a nest. It was an extra treat to visit the island after breakfast.

Bahia de los Angeles was the jumping-off spot for our late afternoon excursion to the Valle de los Cirios Natural Protected Area. Also known as boojums, cirios are odd plants that are tapered like a candle and only occur in a very restricted area. Other desert plants also thrive here, and there were many flowers in bloom. The light was beautiful, and photographic opportunities abounded.