Monday, 29 October 2012

California part 4

Day 11
Drove the 310 miles between Lone Pine and Cambria a beautiful run, we saw another Golden Eagle over the grassland near the coast. Cambria hosted a scarecrow festival the 3 advertising drink were not ignored.
These birds ignored me
 Day 12
We went to Morro bay for an hour or two where Sea Otters were seen as well as Peregrine and Long Billed Curlew. Our next stop was an Elephant Seal colony just off Highway 1, then we went up the Big Sur coast hoping for Condors. The entrance to Julia Pfieffer Burns state park gave views of a single adult high up. A record shot at 140 digital zoom shows this giant in all its glory. Arrived in Carmel and went to the beach seeing Bottle Nosed Dolphin and Black Oystercatcher among others.
Long Billed Curlew

Seal colony

aahhh Condor

Black Oystercatcher
 Day 13
Whale spotting was the order of the day, out of Monterey. Saw some close up Pacific White Sided Dolphin and got distant sightings of a Humpbacked Whale. Red necked Phalaropes  a Sunfish, Pink-footed, Flesh-footed, and Black-vented Shearwaters made the trip more interesting. The harbour held lots of wildlife including Western Grebe.
Humpbacked Whale

California Sea lion 

Giant Brown Pelican
Next day we flew home from San Francisco.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

California part 3

Day 8
Woke to snow but headed to Bodie anyway, this ghost town in the mountains is an old gold rush place full of old deserted buildings and everyday stuff. As we got there the snow/sleet stopped and the sun came out, we walked round in wonder,another great place. Next we headed to Mono lake another (insert superlative here) place, it was covered in birds mainly Black Necked Grebes. The shore was thick with Brine Flies, fodder for the birds 
Bodie ghost town

American Avocet

Mono Lake

Wish they all could be

California Gulls

Black Necked Grebe

Ruddy Duck
  Day 9
Back to Mono Lake and a walk to Dog Lake in Yosemite and one of the highlights of the trip, a beer tasting session at Mammoth Breweries. Tasted 15 types, Epic I.P.A. was my favorite.
Brewers Blackbird

Death Valley

Day 10
Blasted down another scenic highway on our way to the well named Death Valley saw a Roadrunner on   the way. In Death valley we did a couple of walks, the only life forms in the extreme centre were Ravens. They made a living off the tourists it seems.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

California part 2

Day 6
Sequoia and Kings Canyon Nat Parks only $20 for the car and us for 7 days, on entry to the park 2 roadside Brown Bear cubs feeding in a tree. Then it was up to the big trees where Mountain Chickadee and Golden Crowned Kinglet were seen . After Kings Canyon back to Sequoia and the tunnel and Tharp's logs, the first a drive through fallen tree, second a once lived in fallen tree. Another amazing day 

Tadcaster  brown available allover 

Acorn stash
Acorn stasher

Brown Bear Cub

Giant Seqoias

The General and the Boss

ch ch ch Chip and Dale
 Day 7
Left Three Rivers and headed for Yosemite  a young Bald Eagle was seen on the way, then into the park $20 yes $20 all in for a week. They must subsidize the parks with the $1000 a time fine you get for littering anywhere in California, brilliant. The park was beautiful and gave breath taking views and a few birds.
Steller's Jay copyright Sara

Oregon race Dark Eyed Junco


Sunday, 21 October 2012

California part 1

Day 1
Collected car from San Francisco airport and headed north on highway 1. Sara was ill so we only stopped when she needed to puke but from the car saw some good stuff. The highlights were Black Crowned Night Heron, Red Shouldered Hawk and Snowy Egret

Day 2
Woke early and went out as soon as it was light enough, the first things I saw were tiny little Anna's Hummingbirds zipping around the flowers, Brown Pelicans fished offshore and Divers were abundant on the sea. Heading north we stopped off at Laguna point saw plenty of sea birds including Heermanns Gull. Shore birds included Black Turnstones and Oystercatcher.  Next the Avenue of the giants a drive through a spectacular forest of Redwoods.

Anna's Hummingbird
Black Oystercatcher

The view from the motel 

Day 3
Our only days birding started at Arcata Marsh and ended at Humbolt Bay, Arcata was good and gave up good views of lots of different birds including Peregrine, White Tailed Kite, American Bittern, and loads of ducks and waders. Humbolt bay NWR was less birdy but the spit along the Hookten road ended in a beach full of birds.
Long Billed Dowitcher

Marbled  Godwit

Birds on a wire

Western Sandpiper Dunlin and Sanderling
Day 4
Could not leave the Redwoods without another walk through them, then drove south towards our next destination the Nappa Vally . Ticked off Clarks grebe on Clear Lake and had  a walk round Anderson Marsh

Spot the blogger
Day 5
Paid $20 to walk round some petrified Giant Redwoods that were buried by a volcanic eruption 3,400,000 years ago. They were not a patch on the Lesvos ones, I felt cheated for the only time on the trip. Drove further south towards Three rivers passing 2 Golden Eagles and more Red Shouldered Hawks en route.

Golden Eagle
Red shouldered Hawk

In part 2 more big trees, bears and Newcastle brown ale



Friday, 19 October 2012

California, beer and birds.

Just back and the highlights were many, but what was really good was the amount of micro breweries in Northern California. A good pint was available at every restaurant or bar and lots of them were named after wildlife or wild places. We only did one day birding proper but everywhere we went I was looking for wildlife and was not disappointed. An amazing place with lots to offer especially if you like big trees, more pics soon. 

Anna's Hummingbird (tiny)
Big on flavour
White tailed deer ?

never had a sore head
both good 
Red tailed hawk 
don't drink more than 8 at altitude

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

California dreaming

Guess where I'm off to, be back soon with lots of good photo's hopefully.