Readers’ wildlife photos

Today is the first part of a two-part contribution by regular Joe Dickinson. Joe’s notes and IDs are indented.

Here is the first of two sets of photos from a trip down the coast to Cambria and Morro Bay.  That means, of course, elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris), sea otters (Enhydra lutris) and California ground squirrels (Otospermophilus beecheyi).

First is a great egret (Ardea alba).

This is the flowering stalk of a member of the genus Yucca or one of its relatives. I can’t be more specific than that.  The view is north (or maybe more west) along the coast from our favorite d*g friendly motel.

Cambria has a nice boardwalk along the cliff top which my d*g loves because squirrels live under it and let him approach fairly close before diving under.

The rest are elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) at the rookery a few miles north of Cambria.

These pups have really packed on the pounds since being born this winter.

Is this a contented look or what?

They spend a lot of time throwing sand on themselves.

More sand throwing.


  1. Charles A Sawicki
    Posted March 11, 2020 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    Great pictures! Thanks!

  2. Posted March 11, 2020 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Very good! Never seen elephant seals, though I have driven the coast thru there a few times in a ‘former life’.

  3. Posted March 11, 2020 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    Nice pix. That is one lazy bunch of seals. They seem to sleep so much, I can’t help wondering if they are related to cats.

  4. jedijan
    Posted March 11, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Lovely pics. Some seals look so gluttony, especially on land, they perhaps should have been given the sloth name rather than the present incumbent.

    • rickflick
      Posted March 11, 2020 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      They do resemble big slugs.

  5. Posted March 11, 2020 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Great egret! And nice doggy!

  6. John Conoboy
    Posted March 11, 2020 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Lovely pictures as always Joe. One of my favorite parts of the coast, and I plan on being there this summer enroute to a wedding in Point Reyes. There is an area just north of Cayucos where I would always see egrets, sometimes quite a few. Is that where you got the picture?

    • Joe Dickinson
      Posted March 11, 2020 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

      No, it was on the cliff top right in Cambria. There is a wildlife refuge on Elkhorn Slough just inland from Moss Landing where I have seen large numbers of egrets.

      • John Conoboy
        Posted March 11, 2020 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

        I will check that out. Plan to spend time in Cambria area and Monterey before heading north to Point Reyes. That is if it is still possible to safely travel by then.

  7. Posted March 11, 2020 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Wow! What cool photos. Those are a lot of seals. Thanks for sharing the pictures.

  8. Mark R.
    Posted March 11, 2020 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful part of the country…I love the Northern California coast. Thanks for these enjoyable photos.

  9. Teresa Carson
    Posted March 11, 2020 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    I love Cambria. My mom grew up in the San Antonio Valley, on the other side of the Santa Lucia Mountains, so she went to the beach there often when she was a child.Her family also went north to Pismo, back when there was nothing there. Even when my children were young, there was nothing there except the seals and the sea lions and the kelp. I’m officially homesick now!

  10. Posted March 11, 2020 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    Very nice photos, Joe! I enjoyed that.

  11. Posted March 12, 2020 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Why the sandthrowing?

    • Joe Dickinson
      Posted March 12, 2020 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      I think they mostly are trying to get some sand on themselves for protection from the sun.

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