Monday 23 April 2012

An even better sign

Only in America

Alongside signs re no smoking and not to consume food or drink not purchased in the canteen was this. I had to take mine back to the room!

USA 2012 last few bird pics

Well these are the last few bird pics. A detailed trip report will be available in a week or two.
Yellow Chevroned Parakeet - 2 seen on the outskirts of Universal Studios - Hollywood

Western Grebe - common around harbours

Clark's Grebe 

More birds in Monterey Bay

As well as the whales we also saw a few birds:

Pelagic Cormorant

Common Loon

Peregrine with prey

Sooty Shearwater

Cassin's Auklet

A beautiful Red Necked Phalarope

What a cracker 

Common Murre

Pacific Loon 

Red Necked Phal and Pacific Loon

Large flocks of Red Necked Phals, hundreds in size, swirled over the sea 

Black Footed Albatross Monterey Bay

What can I say! What a cracking bird. The Killer Whales having made a kill attracted a good number of Black Footed Albatross, at least 8, possibly double figures. I think I was the only person on the boat doing as many "wows" for the Albatross' as the whales. These birds passed as close as 20 feet to the boat at times. Very very smart indeed.

Sunday 22 April 2012

Risso's Dolphins and Humpback Whales in Monterey Bay

As well as the Killer Whales we were treated to some very playful Rissos Dolphins (c.50), very close to the boat, and at least 4 Humpback Whales, all of which were surprisingly close to the Killer Whales, just a few hundred yards at times.

Killer Whales in Monterey Bay

It must have been fate. The wind had dropped considerably and the whale watching trip was on. As we pulled out of the harbour the captain informed us that there was news that a pod of Killer Whales had made a kill about 10 miles out and they were still in the area feeding. It took about an hour to get around 10 miles out where we found the whales. What an awesome sight they were. There were 10 whales including 1 huge male and a few small calfs. Killer Whales are a big draw and attracted 4 boats, from local whale watching companies. Also seen were 4 Humpback Whales and around 50 Risso's Dolphins. Pics on next post, plus let's not forget the birds!  Oh and by the way, it turned out that the Killer Whales had killed a Minke Whale!

Monterey - 17 Mile Drive

We arrived back at Fisherman's Wharf the following morning to hear that the day's whale watching trips had in fact been cancelled due to rough seas. We were very disappointed but booked to go on the following morning's trip, weather permitting. So what to do? We decided to spend the morining doing the 17 Mile Drive. Entry is $9.25 onto a private estate that has some lovely houses, gold courses and a fantastic sandy and rocky shore line. Birdwise it was a cracking morning, followed by the afternoon round the pool.       

Mixed flock of Western Sandpiper, Black Bellied Plover and Marbled Godwit   

Black Turnstone

Ruddy Turnstone

Marbled Godwit



Western Sandpiper (not Sanderling - oops!)

Pelagic Cormorant

Black Oystercatcher

Western Gull