What came as a bit of a surprise (although it shouldn't have!) is that creating the Natural History of Bodega Head has also done these things for me! Trying to post something every day has forced me to be more attentive, to always be on the lookout for interesting sightings. And researching the species we've encountered has taught me more than I could have imagined.
American Pipits spend the winter from the Pacific Northwest to El Salvador. At this time of year you can see them on beaches foraging among seaweeds and driftwood.
A fact I hadn't known until tonight: The hind claw of American Pipits is unusually long (see next photo). The Birds of North America Account (Verbeek, Hendricks, and Pyle 2012) suggests that this feature may help in walking across snow — crampons for a ground-dwelling songbird that breeds on arctic and alpine tundra!
Looking back on this past year, I'm grateful to the local plants and animals for sharing their worlds, and to you for joining me on this natural history adventure!