Lake Sonoma (May 15, 2011)

Hi All,
The campers met at the Park Headquarters at Lake Sonoma at 9:30 Friday morning. (Visitors Center and Fish Hatchery are closed for 6 months due to remodeling).
At the main boat ramp we loaded our kayaks in beautiful sunny 70 degree weather. There was almost no wind. Once loaded we started our adventure to Black Mountain. When we got near Madrone Point we saw 20 or so men in Orange sweatshirts weed eating and removing a tree. There was a fire truck at the top of the hill and a large boat with 2 porta potties at the bottom of the hill. The only thing we could read on the sweatshirt was crew. There was writing below that we were unable to read. We continued on to Black Mountain.
When we arrived at Black Mountain there were some campers still vacating from the night before. I asked them if there was any nocturnal animal activity. They said there were racoons that got in to their boat one night. While they were vacating we had lunch. After they were gone we set up camp. The afternoon was beautiful and sunny with very little wind. That afternoon we saw the orange shirt crew pass in their boat and head towards Sawmill. On their way back they had 2 of the older porta potties. Some camp past ours has 2 new ones. Black mountain has one.
Mid afternoon some birdwatchers stopped by with a spotting scope. I asked them about the Bald Eagles on the other side of the lake and they unfortunately told me that one of them had passed away last week. I do not know anything else about the Bald Eagle. Anyone have any info on this?
Dinner was a nice and all vegeterian. Friday evening was pleasant we sat by the fire and watched the almost full moon. At dusk we heard a Common Poorwill next to our camp.
After we went to bed the nocturnal activities began. First was the moving of a tent to flatter ground (not mine). Then I heard a racoon getting into the garbage can I scared it away. Also during the night the Pig hunters arrived in the next camp Bucks Pasture. This is a no hunting campground. They ran up and down the hill flashlights shining everywhere. I did not hear any gunshot. They finally left. At sunrise a boat of fishermen were nearby. That was the only boat I saw all morning.
When I got up I discovered the racoon tried to get into the cockpit of my kayak. It destroyed the back of the cockpit cover and scratched my seat. Cockpit cover has to be replaced seat is okay. Any one know of a good cockpit cover that racoons can not get thru?
Breakfast was my famous Boy Scout Vegeterian Omelettes. Yummy!!!
During the morning we could see the storm was coming in and we broke down camp. We decided to leave camp around noon and have lunch at the Marina on the way back. We had the wind at our backs all the way back to the Marina which made it a very easy pleasant paddle. We had a nice lunch on the deck of the marina. We ended our campout back at the Public Boat Ramp.

Over the 2 days the following birds and animals were spotted.

Swallows (eating insects at dusk)
Ospreys (saw alot on their own and saw 3 together circling)
Acorn woodpecker (heard them and saw them)
Western Bluebirds (male and female)
Great Blue Herron (flying and perched)
Merganzer ducks
Comerants (flying and perched)
Canada Geese (flying, swimming and on shore)
Common Porwill (heard did not see)

Racoon (saw in garbage can and saw evidence of)
Black-tailed deer (doe)
California Ground Squirrel (on shoreline and by Madrone point)

Any ideas for the next campout? I would like to explore some new areas.


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