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July-- The Dry and the Wet

Posted: August 1st, 2014, 10:14 am
by JAMAUGHN
I get to spend my day sitting in the office, so I thought I'd post this now. Like Zach, I've found July pretty slow, hot, and very dry as far as herps are concerned. Here's a bit of what I did manage to find, though:

ImageWestern Side-blotched Lizard, Uta stansburiana elegans by J. Maughn, on Flickr

ImageCalifornia Whiptail, Aspidoscelis tigris munda by J. Maughn, on Flickr

ImageValley Garter Snake, thamnophis sirtalis fitchi by J. Maughn, on Flickr

ImageNorthern Pacific Rattlesnake, Crotalus oreganus oreganus by J. Maughn, on Flickr

ImageRed-eared Slider, Trachemys scripta elegans by J. Maughn, on Flickr

ImageSierran Treefrog, Pseudacris sierra by J. Maughn, on Flickr

ImageSan Francisco Alligator Lizard, Elgaria coerulea coerulea by J. Maughn, on Flickr

ImageCoast Garter Snake, Thamnophis elegans terrestris by J. Maughn, on Flickr

ImageWestern Pond Turtle, Actinemys marmorata by J. Maughn, on Flickr

ImageCalifornia Red-legged Frog, Rana draytonii by J. Maughn, on Flickr

...and the herping-highlight of my month:

ImageAlameda Striped Racer, Coluber lateralis euryxanthus by J. Maughn, on Flickr


So that's it for herps. The month has yielded up some interesting (to me) bird observations. Here's a bit of what else I've seen:

Birds:

ImageCalifornia Brown Pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus by J. Maughn, on Flickr

ImageSandhill Crane (Grus canadensis), Snowy Egret (Egretta thula), Willets (Tringa semipalmata), and Marbled Godwits (Limosa fedoa) by J. Maughn, on Flickr

ImageCommon Loon, Gavia immer by J. Maughn, on Flickr

ImageAllen's Hummingbird, Selasphorus sasin by J. Maughn, on Flickr

ImagePhainopepla, Phainopepla nitens by J. Maughn, on Flickr

ImagePigeon Guillemot (Cepphus columba) with a Goby by J. Maughn, on Flickr

ImageCooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii) Preying on a Northern Pygmy Owl (Glaucidium gnoma) by J. Maughn, on Flickr


The real highlight of the month, though, has been the Monterey Bay. We've been experiencing an unprecedented summer here that has drawn me to the water's edge, and out onto the bay, more days than not. Here's some of what I've seen:

ImageEgg Yolk Jelly, Phacellophora camtschatica by J. Maughn, on Flickr

ImagePurple-striped Jelly, Chrysaora colorata by J. Maughn, on Flickr

ImageLion's Mane Jellyfish, Cyanea capillata by J. Maughn, on Flickr

ImageOchre Sea Star, Pisaster ochraceus, and Gooseneck Barnacles, Pollicipes polymerus by J. Maughn, on Flickr

Dead, unfortunately, but still cool to see:
ImageSalmon Shark, Lamna ditropis by J. Maughn, on Flickr

ImageGiant Ocean Sunfish, Mola mola by J. Maughn, on Flickr

ImageSouthern Sea Otter, Enhydra lutris nereis, enjoying the company of a Pacific Rock Crab, Romaleon antennarium by J. Maughn, on Flickr

ImageCalifornia Sea Lion, Zalophus californianus by J. Maughn, on Flickr

ImageHarbor Seal, Phoca vitulina by J. Maughn, on Flickr

ImageCommon Bottlenose Dolphins, Tursiops truncatus by J. Maughn, on Flickr


...and finally, the real stars of July:

ImageHumpback Whale, Megaptera novaeangliae by J. Maughn, on Flickr

ImageHumpback Whale, Megaptera novaeangliae by J. Maughn, on Flickr

ImageHumpback Whale, Megaptera novaeangliae by J. Maughn, on Flickr

ImageHumpback Whales, Megaptera novaeangliae, Lunge Feeding by J. Maughn, on Flickr

ImageHumpback Whales, Megaptera novaeangliae, Lunge Feeding by J. Maughn, on Flickr

ImageHumpback Whales, Megaptera novaeangliae, Lunge Feeding by J. Maughn, on Flickr

ImageHumpback Whales, Megaptera novaeangliae, Lunge Feeding by J. Maughn, on Flickr

ImageHumpback Whales, Megaptera novaeangliae, Lunge Feeding by J. Maughn, on Flickr

ImageHumpback Whales, Megaptera novaeangliae, Lunge Feeding by J. Maughn, on Flickr

ImageHumpback Whale, Megaptera novaeangliae by J. Maughn, on Flickr

ImageHumpback Whale, Megaptera novaeangliae by J. Maughn, on Flickr

ImageHumpback Whales, Megaptera novaeangliae by J. Maughn, on Flickr


...Did I mention all of these whale shots are FROM SHORE? If you have even a passing interest in Marine Mammals, and live within a couple hundred miles of Moss Landing, CA, you owe it to yourself to get out there before this goes away. It's a mind-boggling experience.

Thanks for looking,
JimM

Re: July-- The Dry and the Wet

Posted: August 1st, 2014, 10:26 am
by Fundad
Wow just WOW....

so awesome, so amazing..

Great camera work..

Thanks for sharing

Re: July-- The Dry and the Wet

Posted: August 1st, 2014, 8:26 pm
by LouB747
I've never heard of a Salmon Shark before. Looks like a little Great White or maybe a Mako. Very cool. Great hummingbird shot!

Re: July-- The Dry and the Wet

Posted: August 3rd, 2014, 6:32 pm
by Zach_Lim
Looks like a pretty decent month, Jim.

I love the Alameda Striped!

Your oceanic shots and finds are stellar. I LOVED the jellies, as well as the salmon shark.

That sunfish....wow!

Re: July-- The Dry and the Wet

Posted: August 3rd, 2014, 7:34 pm
by gopher
Very nice shots! I love the Humpback Whale shots, especially since once could can see the small fish the whale is preying upon. Nice to see someone else taking some time at the beach now that snake season is slowww.

Re: July-- The Dry and the Wet

Posted: August 6th, 2014, 12:37 pm
by Steve Bledsoe
Good eye on the shark Lou.
Salmon sharks are basically cold water makos - closely related to great whites.
Great whites, makos and salmon sharks are all members of the family Lamnidae, aka Mackerel Sharks

Re: July-- The Dry and the Wet

Posted: August 6th, 2014, 1:18 pm
by Fundad
Makos and Salmon Sharks are two of the coolest sharks on the planet IMO.. Fast Quick Agile predators..

Proud to say I never killed a Mako when I caught them..


Though nothing is more majestic than whales.

:thumb: :thumb: :D

Re: July-- The Dry and the Wet

Posted: August 6th, 2014, 5:47 pm
by JAMAUGHN
Thanks, everybody.

Lou, I'd never heard of a Salmon Shark, either, and had actually first IDed this one as a juvenile Great White. It was only after doing more research that I was able to figure out the difference. (...and the research only happened after I got a gentle nudge about my ID from someone on iNaturalist. ) There's some differences in coloration and snout shape, but yeah, it sure looked like a little Great White to me, too.

I actually got out and saw some snakes today. After all the whales, it almost seemed like a novel experience!

JimM

Re: July-- The Dry and the Wet

Posted: August 16th, 2014, 7:23 pm
by yolodave
Great stuff James. The whales have been spectacular down here.

Dave