368. Point Lobos: North Shore Trail Overlook Blue Fish Cove

Guillemot and Fledglings

Looking across Blue Fish Cove below, farther out you may be able to see whale spouts in Carmel Bay, or passing dolphins. The large rock at the far end of the cove is Guillemot Island, home to many species of nesting birds, especially the Guillemot Pigeon. Unlike birds that incubate their young in carefully built nests, sea-loving guillemots lay their eggs in rather precarious places — on rock ledges and exposed cliffs. The bottom-heavy shape of guillemot eggs prevents them from tumbling off cliffs: When the eggs get knocked over, they spin in a tight circle.

Erosion has caused the granite cliffs to separate from the mainland over time, and has created over 450 islands surrounding Point Lobos, which provide nesting opportunities for Black Oyster Catchers, Cormorants, Western Gulls and Black-crowned Night Herons, where their chicks are safe from territorial predators. In the Spring, you will see many wildflowers along the trail, especially the large Ceanothus bush with its bight blue flowers, and the gray-green lace lichen hanging from the branches of the Monterey Pines. Stay away from the poison oak along the trail with its shinny clustered leaves of three.