Friday, February 5, 2010

habitat ~ 02/05/10 ~ Monterey Bay Recreation Trail

Monterey Bay Recreation Trail
February 2, 2010

I was attempting to capture all 3 flowers in one pic to show what's blooming right now. The bright orange flower is definitely a California poppy (Eschscholzia californica) because of the red ring at the base of the encased bud. The seaside daisy (Erigeron glaucus) is in the back with the spoon-shaped leaves. And the bright yellow Bermuda buttercup (Oxalis pres-caprae) is the non-native flower in the mix.

godwit, willet, gull ~ 02/05/10 ~ Monterey Municipal Beach

marbled godwit, willet, & gull
Limosa fedoa & Catoptrophorus semipalmatus

We saw a huge flock of shore birds on the beach, a calm one which we normally visit for grunion greeting nights. Once we got closer, it looked like there were 2 kinds of birds chasing the waves and pecking at the sand. The marbled godwits are the tan birds with two-toned beaks and the willets are the grey birds.
elephant seal and harbor seals

We've noticed in the past couple of months that one or two elephant seals have been beaching where the local harbor seals usually hang on the north side of Stanford's Hopkins Marine Station. We don't know if this is a recently new occurrence or if we're simply more aware of our local nature.

ps 02/11/10 - Two nights ago when I couldn't sleep, I stepped out on our balcony and heard the familiar deep, Harley-Davidson type grunt, grunt from the elephant seal. I'll be curious to see if our local beaches end up being a popular spot for the massive Miroungas.

coots ~ 02/05/10 ~ El Estero

American coot
Fulica americana

This flock can almost always be seen near the corner of Camino El Estero and Fremont Avenue in Monterey on the shores of Lake El Estero. They are funny looking birds. I'd love to see a downy young with a bald red head some time.

ps 12/15/10 - It looks like the adults leave our area from around mid-May to mid-October. I don't think I would have particularly noticed their absence if it weren't for the fact we were looking for juvenile coots this spring and summer and were surprised we couldn't even find the adults.
harbor seal

This is a very typical scene from the rec trail near Fisherman's Wharf. This seal is particularly fat and made me laugh thinking how the heck it got up on the rock.

happy wanderer ~ 02/05/10 ~ Cannery Row

happy wanderer
Hardenbergia sp.

This picture looks similar to the one I posted January 31, 2009, but the scale is very different. This particular one, next to an antiques mall about 20 yards from the rec trail in Cannery Row, was massive - at least 10 feet tall and stretched the whole length of the parking lot! I'm actually thinking this might be H. comptoniana due to what appears to be multi-foliolate leaves, but there are many cultivars of H. violacea. The next time I walk by, I'll take a closer look at the leaves. It's a native of Australia.