Bolinas Lagoon
5 Images

Bolinas Lagoon Preserve, Calif.

Bolinas Lagoon
Wings flapping, a great egret comes in for a landing on a redwood at Bolinas Lagoon Preserve at Audubon Canyon Ranch. The preserve just north of San Francisco has become one of the West Coast’s largest nesting grounds for great blue herons and great egrets. (Peter DaSilva / For The Times)
Bolinas Lagoon Preserve
A lesser yellowlegs explores the shoreline of the lagoon, which is a great place for bird-watching. During nesting season, a ranch guide says, the preserve will be so crowded with herons and egrets that the redwoods will look like giant Christmas trees. (Peter DaSilva / For The Times)
Bolinas Lagoon Preserve
A great egret heads for a redwood. The birds’ annual courtship ritual is “almost like a ballet in the trees,” one guide says. The males arrive first, picking out the best nesting sites. When the females arrive, the males show off. By April, pale turquoise-colored eggs are visible in the nests. By May, the chicks are hatching. (Peter DaSilva / For The Times)
Bolinas Lagoon Preserve
Joshua Chynoweth and Helena Horak of Palo Alto, Calif., use spotting scopes to view shore birds in Bolinas Lagoon Preserve near Stinson Beach. The preserve is a seasonal nesting ground for great herons and egrets -- and home to the occasional bird of prey. One day, a visitor spotted a raven, a red-tailed hawk and an adolescent bald eagle. (Peter DaSilva / For The Times)
Bolinas Lagoon Preserve
Visitors hike one of the many trails at the preserve, which is located on a 1,000-acre former dairy ranch. A word to the wise for visitors: Wear comfortable hiking boots and prepare for steep climbs along muddy trails. (Peter DaSilva / For The Times)
1/5