My biggest privilege of living in the National Seashore is the diversity of wildlife that I see daily. My morning commute takes about 50 minutes. My evening commute usually takes 2 – 3 hours, with many stops to enjoy and photograph wildlife.
The mammal that I usually see first on my way to work is the Black-tailed Jackrabbit. I leave the apartment around 5:30 a.m. and usually spot 1 – 3 jackrabbits within the first ½ mile. It is dark at this time of the year. Therefore, I view them via my headlights. Since they are nocturnal, I do not see them on my return trip, which is usually during the daylight hours. Nor have I seen them elsewhere in the park yet.
The most common mammal is the Black-tailed Deer. In late June and early July, it was light enough at 5:30 a.m. that I would occasionally see deer while walking to my car. They typically hang out around the apartments. They are the most common mammal I see on my evening commute.
It is always a treat to see the Tule Elk on my commute. I enjoy the occasional times I need to stop to let them cross the road in the early morning hours. This is my kind of traffic jam. On my afternoon commute, I often take a little detour out to the Drake’s beach area to check on the elk herd by Historic D Ranch.
Coyotes living at the National Seashore do not have the fear of man like those living in areas where they are hunted. I probably average seeing one coyote a week.
While I have not seen many skunks yet, I am guessing the sightings will become more common with the changing daylight hours. I suspect that when my evening commute coincides with sunset, I will see more skunks out feeding. I look forward to more photo opportunities, WITHOUT getting sprayed by one.