2017-09-17 Sunday in Morro Bay

Pelagic Cormorant

It was a big day in Morro Bay Sunday. I found otters at their usual place at the upper end of the harbor. To my delight, there were two babies with doting mothers in the group. The lighting was a little dicey early, but that did not prevent me from attempting too many pictures. When I’d saturated my lust for otter pictures, I walked the bayside trail around Morro Rock in search of birds. There were Black Oystercatchers on the south jetty rocks, but I was hoping I might find them on the north jetty. Alas, it was not to be, though Long-Billed Curlews and Marbled Godwits I found were more cooperative. The only passerine birds that presented themselves were White-Crowned Sparrows, whose songs differed from the gambelli subspecies I know from San Diego and Alaska. I heard both Bewick’s and House Wrens from above on the rock, but they resisted the urge to show themselves to me.

I spent the middle part of the day exploring the southern end of the bay and finishing the blog about the upper Central Valley. Later, as the sun dropped into western skies, I revisited Morro Rock for another session with otters and birds, but in a different light. I’m glad I did too, as the soaking wet babies of the morning were groomed and fluffy resting on their mother’s bellies, looking like Ewoks of George Lucas’s Star Wars films. I walked to the north jetty again and found a Peregrine Falcon perched far too high on a ledge, and photographed in hopes it would take off, but it was not to be <sigh>. As I walked back to the harbor, I came upon a smaller, very black cormorant perched on a nearby rock and posing nicely. It was a Pelagic Cormorant! Very different from the Double-Crested Cormorants I’ve been seeing on this entire trip.

Leaving Morro Bay, I drove to Santa Barbara to stay there through Wednesday. I looked forward to seeing my friends from the February 2017 Revillagigedos expedition again (Peter, Nancy, Julie, Tanya and Ken).

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