Bottlenose dolphins visit Breakwater at Alameda Point

Bottlenose dolphins do not usually come to mind when thinking of wildlife at Alameda Point.  In fact, only three have been observed there in recent years, and those sightings were from canoes and kayaks.  But on July 24, two more dolphins were observed with two regulars meandering around next to Breakwater Island.  The standalone rock wall, or breakwater, is visible from Pier 3 where the USS Hornet Museum is berthed.

The first-time visitors were from Monterey Bay and identified by researchers with Golden Gate Cetacean Research (GGCR).  The group tracks the dolphins using a catalog of 91 dolphins showing individual markings, some with names. Continue reading “Bottlenose dolphins visit Breakwater at Alameda Point”

Marine ecosystem thrives at Alameda Point

Conservation of wildlife isn’t just important at Crab Cove 

Visitors flock to Crab Cove, a State Marine Conservation Area, to learn about and experience the Bay’s sea dwellers. The educational lessons at the Crab Cove Visitor Center are equally relevant throughout the waterway south of the USS Hornet at Alameda Point where even more creatures thrive in relative obscurity.

The area encompasses an interconnected web of vegetation, birds, seals, fish, mollusks, crustaceans and worms. Ghost shrimp, bat rays, leopard sharks, striped crabs, mussels, California sea hares and fish with light-emitting diodes are just a sampling. A 36-foot-wide rock wall, known as a breakwater and built by the Navy in 1945, forms the mile-long southern boundary.

Ghost shrimp at Breakwater Beach, Alameda Point. Red spots on shrimp are baby shrimp. Click on photo to enlarge.
Ghost shrimp at Breakwater Beach, Alameda Point. Red spots on shrimp are baby shrimp. Click on photo to enlarge.

Continue reading “Marine ecosystem thrives at Alameda Point”

Brown pelicans of Alameda’s Breakwater Island – September 2013

Breakwater Island runs along the south side of the Alameda Point Channel.  It was officially transferred from the Navy to the City of Alameda in June of 2013.  It is the largest night roosting site for California brown pelicans in San Francisco Bay.  During the warm months, hundreds of pelicans can be seen on the breakwater.  An early September kayak trip past Breakwater Island found their numbers down to a few dozen, most likely due to good fishing elsewhere in the Bay Area.  By December most of the pelicans will have migrated south to places such as the Channel Islands where they nest.

Brown pelicans on Breakwater Island, Alameda

Brown pelicans of Breakwater Island, Alameda

Brown pelicans of Breakwater Island, Alameda

Young brown pelican on Breakwater Island, Alameda

Brown pelicans of Breakwater Island, Alameda

Brown pelican on Breakwater Island, Alameda

Brown pelican on Breakwater Island, Alameda

Brown pelican on Breakwater Island, Alameda

Brown pelicans on Breakwater Island, Alameda

Brown pelicans of Breakwater Island, Alameda

Brown pelicans of Breakwater Island, Alameda

Brown pelican flying toward Breakwater Island, Alameda

Breakwater Island.  Alameda Point is to the right.  San Francisco Bay is to the left.  San Francisco is in the background.
Breakwater Island. Alameda Point is to the right. San Francisco Bay is to the left. San Francisco is in the background.