Day 39 – Monterey Bay – birding and more

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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)

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

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

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Harbour Seal and Brandt’s Cormorant

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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)

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

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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

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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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