Readers’ wildlife photos

These pictures from Joe Dickinson were from August 30, and I recently found them in an old email.  But everyone else’s photos (I think) are safely tucked away, so no worries. Please keep sending them in.

Joe’s comments are indented; he saw a bunch of diverse wildlife on this trip!

Here are photos of assorted wildlife seen on the way down to San Diego and the return trip.

First, we looked in on the sea otters (Enhydra lutris) at Moss Landing.  There was a very tight cluster of 15-20 animals plus many others scattered around.

Here is a California ground squirrel (Citellus beecheyi) on the grounds of a hotel in Pismo Beach.

Near the same hotel was a cliff on which many brown pelicans (Pelicanus occidentalis) roosted.  The last pair seemed to be showing each other pieces of plants, but I don’t know what that was about since it was not nesting season (or location, so far as I know).


This female mallard (Anas platyrhynchus) was resting on some water lilies in Balboa Park, San Diego.

In Port San Louis (return trip) the California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) had a special “dock” provided for their convenience, but several had decided to take over a fishing boat anchored nearby.

Back in Pismo Beach (different hotel) this immature black-crowned night heron (Nyctocorax nyctocorax) perched on a railing by our room.

This brush rabbit (Sylvilagus bachmani) lived in shrubbery just outside a boundary fence, dining on the hotel lawn when safe.

Finally, a western gull (Larus occidentalis) seemed to be doing a monumental yawn (or “sassing” a neighbor?).



  1. Randall Schenck
    Posted November 3, 2017 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Outstanding photos of a lovely part of the country.

  2. Posted November 3, 2017 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Wonderful! We were in the San Francisco / Monterey area this summer, and never saw sea otters in the wild. Those are a lot of otters!

  3. Posted November 3, 2017 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Nice photos Joe! I love the composition of the mallard photo! Well done!

  4. Posted November 3, 2017 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    Where do we send photos to be included in these posts?

    • Posted November 3, 2017 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      Google “Jerry Coyne” and one of the first links will give you his email address.

  5. rickflick
    Posted November 3, 2017 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    Pelicans don’t mate for life, as some birds do. So the intimate affair between the two plant passers is puzzling. Perhaps they are juveniles practicing their moves in anticipation of the real thing.

  6. Diane G.
    Posted November 5, 2017 at 3:24 am | Permalink

    Wow, sure glad Jerry found these! What a treat!

    Do you have a nice long lens? Surely you weren’t that close to most of these guys. 🙂

    I’ll bet that fishing boat’s captain wasn’t too thrilled with his passengers. 😀 That Mallard pic is quite lovely! How wonderful to see otters in the wild!

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