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Stump Beach is another picnic area that offers one of the few sandy beaches north of Jenner and is also part of the Salt Point State Park.  Although the Stump Beach parking lot has been closed and the bathroom is no longer available for use due to state budget cuts, you can still park outside the gates along the Coastal Highway and walk in. Or, if you are a camper at either Gerstle Cove or Woodside Campgrounds you can walk along the bluffs following a trail that overlooks the ocean.

Ranger Jacque told us that is was a beautiful spot and perfect for the little ones to play in the sand and in the gentle surf. Ranger Jacque proved to be such a wealth of information and it was obvious she loved where she was and what she was doing, and I very much appreciated her enthusiasm and bright smile. PLUS, she proved to be spot on with all her recommendations.

There was a treasure of shells, hermit crabs, tumbled and smooth rocks and colored glass to discover.

It was a treat to have this sole Heermann's Gull Fly into the cove. There are only approximately 300,000 in the world and have been placed on the National Audubon Society's watch list.

This guy (above) was so curious and kept following me around the beach at a safe distance. In my head I kept hearing, “Mine, mine, mine, mine.”

These Western Sandpipers are in the middle courtship and breeding. They were so graceful and did everything in unison, whether it was running from the encroaching surf or flying away from my kids. At one point they swarmed around me several times before coming right at me and making Rich nervous enough to yell for me to duck! And to be honest, while I was behind the lens I had no idea how close they were to me! I was just glad I had the opportunity to capture these wonderful little creatures 🙂

The Western Sandpiper during breading