Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Brandt's cormorant ~ 05/31/11 ~ Cannery Row

I've always assumed these are Brandt's cormorants that congregate every year on this remnant of a sardine factory loading dock. However, as I look it up, these birds may be mixed in with double-crested cormorants (P. auritus), which I had previously thought only nested in trees. It's a crummy picture above, because the lighting was low and a fence kept me from getting closer. The third type of cormorant that is found in the Monterey Bay is the pelagic cormorant (P. pelagicus), and I've learned to recognize it by its white butt and solitary nesting behavior. I'll have to take binoculars the next time I walk through Cannery Row.

Oh, that green stuff in the foreground is non-native sweet fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) in the Apiaceae family. I always want to call it anise, which is an incorrect term that several lepidopterist-type like to call it due to the anise swallowtail butterfly. Towards late summer it's quite pretty here with feathery greenery and prolific yellow flowers covering the dilapidation of local history.

ps 06/22/11 - So far this year, I don't have any pictures of cormorants or sea lions from the Coast Guard Pier, because they closed it off from public access since around mid-February for repairs. I was told by Coast Guard personnel that it would only be closed for a week. Ha! While driving home the other day, I noticed the Coast Guard Pier is finally open again with a black chain link fence along the breakwall. I want to get out there to see what's up. I do know we haven't had the influx of sea lions like we did last year.

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