I am thankful for the amazing gifts of Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Humpback whales are still around as well as all the other wonders of the bay. Yesterday, we saw a young male elephant seal “bottling”, a resting position at the surface (not pictured).
At first glance from a distance the pointy proboscis had the appearance of a dorsal fin and not that of a cetacean. As we approached, we could then hear the “dorsal fin” breathing and realized it was a pinniped. Elephant Seal sightings from our kayaks are rare but the whales these days are not!
As we left the harbor, we saw the scarred nose of a recently mated female otter as well as great views of buffleheads…what a day!
Flocks of White Pelicans stole the show today on our Kirby to the Coast kayaking exploration of Elkhorn Slough. Conditions were ideal as an ebb tide carried us effortlessly to the coast winding through an intricate maze of tidal creeks. Unlike the Western Brown Pelicans which are plunge divers, White Pelicans feed by scooping fish with their bIlls.
They are known to work cooperatively together herding fish using their large bodies to form a net. Concentrating the fish within a “net of birds”, they then take turns scooping up a meal. With a wing span of nine feet, they are an impressive sight. Join us as we paddle throughout the winter in Elkhorn Slough and beyond at http://www.bluewaterventures.org.
Strange Otter Behavior
Over the last 20 years of kayaking in Elkhorn Slough, I’ve witnessed an amazing array of species and behaviors. The theme of our tours could be “weird otter behaviors”. They are a constant source of entertainment and intrigue. On Saturday, I observed a female sea otter holding a young harbor seal on her chest. Apparently, she had been “holding” or “holding captive” this young seal for several days.
Perhaps this female lost her otter pup and she chose to adopt another pup, just happened to be a pup of another species. No one will ever know but they are amazing animals to share the Slough with!
Once again, “pinheads” what the local fisherman call immature anchovies, have moved close into the Bay attracting an array of predators from brown pelicans to humpback whales.
We thought that perhaps the whales were on their way to the coast of Mainland Mexico where they will give birth and care for their calves before making the journey back to our coast to feed. With these tasty anchovies still around, so are the whales. Enjoy the frenzy while it lasts! http://www.bluewaterventures.org.