Whales!

November 20, 2018 at 4:05 pm (Birds - California, California, California Central Coast, Nature, Nature photography, Photography)

Humpback whale diving. Notice the barnacles and what looks like kelp growing on the tail!

My friend from Maine and I went on a whale watch tour with Monterey Bay Whale Watch, Nov. 13. We saw several humpback whales and a pod of orcas (killer whales.)

A closer view

Although I lived in Tacoma, Washington for 18 years, I had never seen orcas. So this was a new experience for me.

Baby orca

There was a small baby in the group, which I got a somewhat decent photograph of.

Four adult orcas and one baby.

At one point a humpback whale breached about a half mile away. It was an amazing sight as it jumped high in the air and came down with a splash. Too far away to photograph, though. I would have loved to seen it closer.

This was a very large orca.
Sometimes there are several boats when whales are spotted. The word gets out.
This is the best view I got of the baby with what I think is its mom.

We also saw quite a few Risso’s dolphins.

“Like a battered boxer, the bulky, blunt-headed Risso’s dolphin bears lots of scars. Its Latin species name griseus refers to the skin’s ghostly gray-white mottling—an effect enhanced with age by extensive scarring made by the teeth of its own kind or by the beaks and tentacles of squid, its preferred prey.” — Monterey Bay Aquarium

Another humpback tail during a dive

We saw a few good birds, too.

Common Murre in nonbreeding plumage
Brandt’s cormorant
California sea lions at the harbor entrance. Their barking can be heard from quite a distance.

The morning was hazy in part from the Camp Wildfire north of Sacramento. It provided soft light, which helped with detail. It also gave a bit of a mood to the landscape.

Point Pinos Lighthouse, Pacific Grove, seen from Monterey Bay.

Photos and text copyrighted by Cindy McIntyre

Feel free to reblog or share

Website:  CindyMcIntyre.com

Online gallery:  Smugmug and Fine Art America

Join my Facebook Page

Contact:  cindy at cindymcintyre.com

Advertisements

Permalink 2 Comments

Hi Mountain Lookout

October 15, 2018 at 7:27 pm (Bird photography, Birds - California, California, California Central Coast, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Uncategorized, Wildlife)

Cinnamon-colored American Black Bears
When I found out from the Morro Coast Audubon Society that the Hi Mountain Condor Lookout was having an open house, I cut my Eastern Sierras trip short and drove home so I could learn about the work being done to save California condors from extinction.

Although the condors aren’t often seen there, a cliff that was last used for nesting in 1969 is nearby and there is hope that the increasing wild populations will rediscover it.

However, one of the Hi Mountain volunteers gave an amazing presentation on the extreme efforts to save this magnificent scavenger, and how so many of them die from lead poisoning from eating animals shot with lead bullets and buckshot. We were led on a bird walk and a plant walk during the day, and I hung out by the feeders where the bird bath was to capture the morning visitors. The band-tailed pigeon was a life bird for me. Unfortunately, I missed capturing its band-tail spread out because I was returning from the outhouse sans camera! The sage thrasher is a rarity and was duly reported by one of the other birders. We all agreed the bears were the “best bird” of the morning!
There was a potluck dinner and an evening program, and you could camp up top if you wanted. I wanted. A wrentit found yummies (or water droplets) in a faucet.
California Thrasher
A California thrasher joined the hermit thrushes, juncos, and sparrows at the bird bath. Dawn was amazing, even though there was a cottony blanket of “marine layer” below.
Bird sentinel
Island in the Sky
This was the 17th annual open house. If you do it next year, be aware–the 6 mile road is very rocky.
Lopez Lake

Photos and text copyrighted by Cindy McIntyre

Feel free to reblog or share

Website:  CindyMcIntyre.com

Online gallery:  Smugmug and Fine Art America

Join my Facebook Page

Contact:  cindy at cindymcintyre.com

Permalink Leave a Comment

Mission San Miguel – Birds

September 1, 2018 at 5:00 am (Bird photography, Birds - California, California, California Central Coast, Nature, Nature photography, Photography) (, )

Cliff Swallow

This is the 4th in a series of photographs of Mission San Miguel, California.

Cliff swallow

Oak titmouse

House sparrows

Eurasian collared dove

Eurasian collared dove

House sparrows

House finch male

Male house sparrow

House sparrow

American robin

Photos and text copyrighted by Cindy McIntyre

Feel free to reblog or share

Website:  CindyMcIntyre.com

Online gallery:  Smugmug and Fine Art America

Join my Facebook Page

Contact:  cindy at cindymcintyre.com

Permalink Leave a Comment

Birds of the Oaks

July 8, 2018 at 6:00 am (Bird photography, Birds - California, California, California Central Coast, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Wildlife)

Acorn woodpecker female

Since I live in the Central Coast area of California, there are lots of oak trees, mostly blue oak, and there are some very nice stands of large valley oaks as well. The acorn woodpecker is extremely populous here, since there’s a plethora of acorns. You can see how striking they are with their black-and-white plumage topped with a red cap, and white eyes. Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink 4 Comments

Camp Parks – Wildlife Oasis, part 4

June 19, 2018 at 6:00 am (Bird photography, Birds - California, California, California Central Coast, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Wildlife) ()

Great egret with mouse

This great egret finds the grasslands of the Parks Reserve Forces Training Center, aka Camp Parks, to be an excellent hunting ground. Its bill was already quite bloodied before it caught the mouse. Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink 4 Comments

Camp Parks – Wildlife Oasis, part 3

June 18, 2018 at 6:00 am (Bird photography, Birds - California, California Central Coast, Nature, Nature photography, Photography, Wildlife) ()

Turkey families were abundant at the Parks Reserve Center Training Area, also known as Camp Parks, in the Bay Area of California.

Two hens and about 20 chicks were in this group. Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink Leave a Comment

Camp Parks – A Wildlife Oasis in Bay Area – part 1

June 16, 2018 at 9:52 am (Bird photography, Birds - California, California, California Central Coast, Nature, Nature photography, Photography) ()

Female northern harrier

An Army Reserve training installation in the San Francisco Bay area is small, but when it comes to wildlife, it is a powerhouse. Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink Leave a Comment

Bald Eagles

January 23, 2018 at 6:00 am (Bird photography, Birds - California, California, National Wildlife Refuges (US Fish & Wildlife), Nature, Nature photography) ()

_DSC7639 copy

Juvenile Bald Eagle

A family of bald eagles lives in Lockwood, California, not far from Fort Hunter Liggett.

_DSC7619 copy

I saw this adult, and then a few minutes later saw two juveniles. One had caught a ground squirrel and landed in an oak tree to eat it. Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink 1 Comment

Pretty Pintails

January 22, 2018 at 7:06 am (Bird photography, Birds - California, California, National Wildlife Refuges (US Fish & Wildlife), Nature, Photography)

Northern pintail drake

Several northern pintail ducks at the Colusa National Wildlife Refuge near Sacramento, California were at the pond at the beginning of the auto tour. The soft light brought out the subtle colors and designs in their plumage.

Between snoozing, preening, swimming and feeding, the pintails deserve a post of their own. Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink 2 Comments

Colusa NWR Birds

January 21, 2018 at 9:13 am (Bird photography, Birds - California, California, National Wildlife Refuges (US Fish & Wildlife), Nature, Nature photography, Photography)

_DSC7477 copy

Black-necked stilt

It was another foggy day at the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge Complex, but it didn’t seem to bother the birds much at the Colusa NWR to the south. Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink 2 Comments

Next page »