Day 39 – Monterey Bay – birding and more


The most amazing spectacle of the day was the Southern Sea Otter in the harbour. These amazing creatures keep their new-born infants safe and dry – they aren’t fully waterproof at this age, by nursing them on their bellies, whilst doing the back-stroke to get around!

Our itinerary brought us to Monterey for one specific purpose, to look for sea-birds. We had originally hoped to be able to connect with a pelagic (a dedicated boat-trip to deep off-shore waters) but were told that, because of the unpredictability of the weather in Spring, the boats don’t run. We were advised that the next best option was to take a whale-watching cruise into Monterey Bay. There’s plenty of choice – for $200 we could have got any number of boat trips, but recent sightings only involved Hump-backed Whale, Dolphin, Seals and Sea Otter – with no specific information on bird species. Instead, we decided to spend the day looking for birds in the harbour, on the adjacent beaches and sea-watching from Point Pinos. What a good decision! We saw some excellent birds and marine wildlife and some interesting historic places into the bargain. Altogether, a fabulous day, packed full of interesting stuff and virtually no driving!

Also in the harbour, Common Loon and Pigeon Guillemot (very like our Black Guillemot)



In the gull roost at the local boating lake we found this 2cy(?) Glaucous-winged Gull


Historic Fisherman’s Wharfe – home to some amazing marine wildlife


Harbour Seal and Brandt’s Cormorant


Highlights of the afternoons sea-watch (aided by the arrival of local sea-watching expert Mark Kudrav – thanks Mark for your invaluable assistance) – Heermann’s Gull (record shot)


Black-footed Albatross – a ‘life tick’. Seen here with some of the thousands of Sooty Shearwaters streaming past


Oh, and this guy – a relatively close in-shore Hump-backed Whale. Who needs a whale-watching trip when you can see all of this from the shore


This entry was posted in Birding.

One comment on “Day 39 – Monterey Bay – birding and more

  1. Martin Coates says:

    Very impressed with the Albatross so close to the shore at this time of year. That might ease the pressure a bit on your final trip over to Vancouver Island? We saw evidence of Humpbacks up and down the coast from numerous roadside lay-bys so keep looking!

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