Showing posts with label marine mammals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label marine mammals. Show all posts

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Here come the elephant seals, Año Nuevo State Reserve

Last weekend was our annual trip to Año Nuevo State Reserve to see the northern elephant seals. We had a terrific trip, and I came home with some images that I'm pretty excited about. Thus, there will likely be a lot of big marine mammals on the blog this week. I'm just so fascinated by these awesome creatures!

Nothern elephant seal, Año Nuevo State Reserve -- Pat Ulrich Wildlife Photography

Here are two shots to get things started while I work my way through the pile. This is a bull on Loser's Beach making his presence known around sunset. I like the first image slightly more since the eye is a bit more visible, but the second one shows him stretched a bit taller with the nose a tad more prominent (I know, pretty subtle differences). This guy was no where near the largest of the bulls we saw, but he was the most photogenic.

Bull northern elephant seal, Año Nuevo State Reserve -- Pat Ulrich Wildlife Photography

And since making-of images are always fun, here's a shot taken by my wife of me behind the lens photographing this male. The rule at the reserve is to stay at least 25 feet away from the seals at all times, but I'm not sure that I would ever want to get that close!

Elephant seal making of

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Like mother, like pup

A highlight of our August trip to MacKerricher State Park on the Mendocino coast was the harbor seals that hauled out on the rocks that were just offshore. This provided a great opportunity to observe them at relatively close range, and since there was water between the beach and their rocks, they were at ease when a group of onlookers stopped by.

Like mother, like pup

We saw a handful of young pups in the group, some of which were playing in the water, and some like this one were hauled out on the rocks. Based on the struggles we saw of other pups trying to get out of the water, I'm not quite sure how this little guy made it all the way to the top. But kudos to him, and perhaps some encouraging pushes from his mother were in order.

Mother and pup

I found the diversity of coloration and patterns on the seals to be quite interesting, and my personal favorite were those with the really dark colors like this mother. Perhaps her cute pup will one day grow up to look just like her!

Harbor seals

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

California sea lions, on the rocks

On the Rocks

A group of California sea lions in a relatively quiet moment as they settle in for the evening at Fisherman's Wharf in Monterey, CA.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Quiet moments at the wharf

My wife and I always enjoy a quick weekend trip to Monterey when we get a chance, and we were down that way over the July 4th weekend. While I was unfortunately fogged out of doing photography at Moss Landing State Beach as I had hoped, we had an unexpected surprise with a sizeable group of California sea lions drawing crowds at the Old Fisherman's Wharf.

Sleepy sea lion

When we walked by on our way to dinner the sea lions were as noisy as they usually are, barking loudly and generally making a ruckus. But after we had our meal and were heading out, the last of the light was drifting below the trees and the sea lions were much more subdued.

Sea lion moments

It seemed to be mostly younger animals in the group, with only one large male along the shore, and this youngster appeared to be enjoying quiet warmth of the last rays of sunshine before they slipped below the horizon.