Posted by: atowhee | June 24, 2010

Marvelous Monterey

Wednesday we drove from Dublini downb to Monterey, hopped onto a 10AM whale-watching trip and thence made our way to Big Sur.
We made a stop at San Juna Bautista in early morning.  The dominant bird was bantam chickens, moving about the town.  But we also found Eurasian Collared-dove, Lesser Goldfinch, Mockingbird and Cal. Towhee.  We stopped at Seaside: could not find GT Grackle.

Three-hour whale watch boat trip from Monterey Fisherman’s Wharf.  A handful of new bird species and several new mammal species for the trip.  Black-footed Albatross was most impressive, with a flock of nine on the ground and a few others on fly-bys. 

Hundreds of Sooty Shearwater and one lone Pink-footed. Cassin’s and Rhino Auklet.

Unexpectedly we found this Slaty-backed Gull, like a Western on steroids.  He was loitering about near the entrance to Monterey’s Fisherman’s Wharf, among the Western Gulls and dozens of loafing sealions.

Here’s the Slaty-back in front of a local Western, SB has the heavier chest, much larger beak. The animal in the foregound of the two-gull pic: a young male sealion.

You dasn’t go to Monterey and come away without a sea otter picture.

Our whale watching trip yielded: Pigeon Guillemot, Cassin’s Auklet, Marbled Murrelet, Sooty Shearwaters by the score, harbor porpoise, three species of dolphin including Risso’s, humpback whale and heavy seas.  Perhaps that should be “heaving seas.” Next to Fisherman’s Wharf was a lingering Pacific Loon. Heermann’s Gulls galore.

After we arrived at Big Sur Lodge there were Brown Creeper, Olive-sided Flycatcher, sounds from Common Poorwill and Screech-owl.  All the eastern birders had added more than ten lifers.  And our trip list stood above 130 species.


  1. […] Was That Gull? Did we truly have a Slaty-backed Gull down in Monterey last month?  One large gull sure had us going. But the man who knows, Mr. Monterey Birding, Don Roberson, sent us this gentle but firm correction […]

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