It's the middle of our winter. There's a little human activity: a few sailors on the weekends and the occasional fisherman. But other life on Tomales Bay has been unusually active. The herring runs are the largest I remember in our ten years here. A friend asked how I knew the herring were here. I told him to just look. On most of the incoming tides, we can see frenzied activity: Brown Pelicans dive-bombing, groups of white pelicans surrounding the herring schools and scooping them up, Double-crested and Brandt's Cormorants along with three or four species of duck diving and splashing. Even the occasional sea-lions and harbor seals dig in.
This morning's king tide brought in what must have been a huge herring run. Literally hundreds, maybe thousands of birds were frantically feeding just off our dock. Then as the activity waned, the pelicans and cormorants crowded on to Manka's dock, while at the IYC, the birds lined up on each edge of our dock like they were soldiers waiting for inspection, all facing the same way. Across the bay, an enormous raft of ducks, probably mostly Greater Scaup, stretched from well south of Millerton Point to north of the Oyster Company.