Caught this tide at Pillar Point. Arrived around 3:30ish to hazy, overcast conditions with moderate surf, fairly turbid waters. Low was a -1.5, scheduled for 6pm, about 1 hr after sunset, so things were still fairly high. Not too much happening in the harbor aside from some buffleheads, loons, and scoters out in the harbor, some willets and a plover along the shore. I did, however, meet up with some birders who had a scope on a Long-tailed Duck! The conversation went something like this:
"What are you guys looking at?"
"Well, we think we're looking at a female Long-tailed Duck"
"A Long-tailed Duck?! No shit!"
"Ah, you're a birder!"
Female Long-tailed Duck it was, in winter plumage. New bird for me, very exciting.
The reef was beautiful, as always, and almost bereft of people, which definitely not always the case. The pool of plenty was still pretty deep when I got out there, so I spent some time examining some higher pools as the sun set, finding a cool Giant Rock-scallop, and a few slugs here and there. When the sun was good and gone, though, things really started picking up. Slugs were everywhere! Abundances were higher than I've ever seen them out there, T. maculata everywhere, with D. montereyensis right behind them in numbers. Numerous clown dorids, and some relative rarities, including Limacia and Dirona picta.
All in all a wonderful evening tidepooling. I need to go out at night more often. Had dinner at Barbara's Fish Trap, which was overpriced and kind of mediocre. Still looking for good food in that area...