Monday, June 29, 2009

California Safari

We just returned from a 2-week trip to California, which turned out to be quite a wildlife-viewing trip. It wasn't really planned that way, but here's the list of notable animals viewed, followed by select photos.
  • 5 bears - 2 on two different days near Kern River headwaters, then 3 (a mom with cubs) in Sequoia Natl Park the next day.
  • Deer innumerable - most notably nestling among the hollow trunks of sequoia.
  • Hawks and vultures innumerable.
  • Sea lions - including a very friendly pup at Oxnard
  • Harbor seals
  • Elephant seals - the young bulls were play-fighting along the shore
  • Humpback whales on two days at two different beaches - at Oceano we were treated to several whales jumping up with the front half of their bodies above water, then splashing down hard on their backs. The next day at San Simeon with just whales surfacing and tails slapping was anti-climatic.
  • Dolphin on most days at the beach
  • Pelicans innumerable dive-bombing for fish, usually right where the dolphin and whales were also eating.
  • 1 bobcat - it sauntered across the road just few feet in front of us as we were walking around a campground.
  • The Budweiser Clydesdales at pasture - okay, they're not wild, but they were just hanging out on a hill next to our campsite.