Arizona-California Trip 2006

Post your warm-blooded air-breathing vertebrates!

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herpseeker1978
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Arizona-California Trip 2006

Post by herpseeker1978 » February 26th, 2012, 10:31 pm

Back in '06 I was itching to see the ocean, so I decided to take my sister to Sea World and the zoo and wild animal park. We started off by stopping at Tonto Natural Bridge in Arizona.
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On the way out we saw these running around:
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We continued on to California. We stopped at the Chula Vista Nature Center and saw this rabbit:
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Scrub Jay
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rays at a touch pool
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Leopard Sharks

The next morning we got up and checked out the beach nearby and saw these:
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Rock Squirrel
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American Coots
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Seagull
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Mallards

Then we went to Sea World:
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I don't remember what species these were
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Bottlenose Dolphin
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False Killer Whale
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Polar Bear
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Killer Whale
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California Sea Lion

The next day we went to the zoo:
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Tiger
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Giant Panda
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Tree Kangaroo

The next day we went to the Wild Animal Park and saw these:
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rabbit
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deer
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Zebra
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Giraffe and other Savannah animals
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Okapi
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Lions
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Baby Indian Rhino
The next day we went on a whale-watching cruise. We had quite the day, we saw several marine mammals and birds:
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Rizzo Dolphins
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Common Dolphins
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This pod was huge! There had to be a thousand or more! All you could see in every direction was dolphins jumping, it was so amazing!
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Our captain told us while we were watching these that another boat had spotted some gray whales. We headed toward them and saw them:
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In La Joya there is a beach where a lot of Common Harbor Seals like to lay out:
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Thanks!
Josh

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Curtis Hart
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Re: Arizona-California Trip 2006

Post by Curtis Hart » February 27th, 2012, 10:16 am

Nice job on the Risso's. Getting into the big pods Common Dolphins is quite the experience. Almost better than seeing whales. I like the javelinas as well.


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mrichardson
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Re: Arizona-California Trip 2006

Post by mrichardson » February 27th, 2012, 12:09 pm

Nice post. You did well on the boat trip, especially seeing the Risso's.

VICtort
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Re: Arizona-California Trip 2006

Post by VICtort » March 2nd, 2012, 12:44 am

I have had real good luck seeing Risso's out at San Clemente Island, off shore from San Diego county, CA. Also, the harbor seals you photographed hauling out at La Jolla cove, children's pool have been quite a phenomenon, with dramatic politics and conflicts between those who would use the beach for there puposes, ie. diving, kids playing in the gentle surf etc., and those who want total "protection" for the harbor seals. Some of us don't regard these marine mammal haul outs on the mainland as a "natural" situation, 200 years ago I suspect a Grizzly would be eating the pups and native americans would be spearing the seals...and thus most hauling out was on off shore rocks, islands and remote headlands. Abundant marine mammals are a real issue on the pacific coast, with inevitable conflicts between them and vessel owners, beach goers, anglers etc. Those harbor seals started using the Children's pool area in just the last decade or so...they are controversial pitting "environmentalists" against real estate owners, court decisions, with complaints of poor water quality and the stench associated with seal/sea lion haul outs/rookeries. Several other places on the coast too, Piedras Blancas, Big Sur, Ano Nuevo, SF bay, Machkerricher park , etc. For out of staters visiting the coast, these haul outs make great photo opportunities to see marine mammals, and the elephant seals are impressive. Your unidentified dolphins with so much white, are they Dall's porpoise? I think the false killer whale might be a pilot whale...but not certain. Looks like you had a fun trip and saw a lot of mammals.

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Re: Arizona-California Trip 2006

Post by Curtis Hart » March 2nd, 2012, 5:38 am

VICtort wrote:Your unidentified dolphins with so much white, are they Dall's porpoise?
Commerson's Dolphins. Note the rounded dorsal fin and the white goes over the top of the back. Quite similar looking to Dall's Porpoise.
VICtort wrote:Also, the harbor seals you photographed hauling out at La Jolla cove, children's pool have been quite a phenomenon, with dramatic politics and conflicts between those who would use the beach for there puposes, ie. diving, kids playing in the gentle surf etc., and those who want total "protection" for the harbor seals. Some of us don't regard these marine mammal haul outs on the mainland as a "natural" situation, 200 years ago I suspect a Grizzly would be eating the pups and native americans would be spearing the seals...and thus most hauling out was on off shore rocks, islands and remote headlands. Abundant marine mammals are a real issue on the pacific coast, with inevitable conflicts between them and vessel owners, beach goers, anglers etc. Those harbor seals started using the Children's pool area in just the last decade or so...they are controversial pitting "environmentalists" against real estate owners, court decisions, with complaints of poor water quality and the stench associated with seal/sea lion haul outs/rookeries. Several other places on the coast too, Piedras Blancas, Big Sur, Ano Nuevo, SF bay, Machkerricher park , etc. For out of staters visiting the coast, these haul outs make great photo opportunities to see marine mammals, and the elephant seals are impressive.


The answer is obvious then. Reintroduce Grizzly Bears to eat those pesky seals.

Really, though, you should start a topic on this.




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PNWHerper
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Re: Arizona-California Trip 2006

Post by PNWHerper » March 2nd, 2012, 8:12 am

This is a fun post. I really like seeing the javelinas!
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This guy is actually a California ground squirrel (Spermophilus beechyi). They are similar to rock squirrels you see in the SW, but they are different.

VICtort
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Re: Arizona-California Trip 2006

Post by VICtort » March 2nd, 2012, 11:12 am

Dear Curtis, good call on the Commerson's, a species I had no idea existed. A quick Google search reveals only about 25 of this species are captive. Curiously, they superfically resemble the Dall's porpose, and they both inhabit opposite (south and north) hemisphere's respectivley.

Herpseeker, you have a good eye for photo worthy subjects. The javelina are really cool, and I once woke up surrounded by them in a southeast Arizona campground, they are cute little buggers...

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herpseeker1978
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Re: Arizona-California Trip 2006

Post by herpseeker1978 » March 2nd, 2012, 3:14 pm

VICtort wrote:I have had real good luck seeing Risso's out at San Clemente Island, off shore from San Diego county, CA. Also, the harbor seals you photographed hauling out at La Jolla cove, children's pool have been quite a phenomenon, with dramatic politics and conflicts between those who would use the beach for there puposes, ie. diving, kids playing in the gentle surf etc., and those who want total "protection" for the harbor seals. Some of us don't regard these marine mammal haul outs on the mainland as a "natural" situation, 200 years ago I suspect a Grizzly would be eating the pups and native americans would be spearing the seals...and thus most hauling out was on off shore rocks, islands and remote headlands. Abundant marine mammals are a real issue on the pacific coast, with inevitable conflicts between them and vessel owners, beach goers, anglers etc. Those harbor seals started using the Children's pool area in just the last decade or so...they are controversial pitting "environmentalists" against real estate owners, court decisions, with complaints of poor water quality and the stench associated with seal/sea lion haul outs/rookeries. Several other places on the coast too, Piedras Blancas, Big Sur, Ano Nuevo, SF bay, Machkerricher park , etc. For out of staters visiting the coast, these haul outs make great photo opportunities to see marine mammals, and the elephant seals are impressive. Your unidentified dolphins with so much white, are they Dall's porpoise? I think the false killer whale might be a pilot whale...but not certain. Looks like you had a fun trip and saw a lot of mammals.
I was aware of the controversy surrounding these seals. It is really cool to see them. When we were there, there was someone stopping people from going down to the beach. My dad asked them why he couldn't and they said it was the seals' beach, they were there first. Then he told them that man created the pool and the calm conditions that attract the seals, so the seals were stealing it from us. The guy said he still couldn't go down there. He asked what legal position he held and he said he was a volunteer from some environmental organization. My dad said, "What will happen if I go down there?" "Nothing." So, apparently the guy had no authority to tell him he couldn't go down there. The funny thing is, he didn't go down there. He didn't really want to. He just wanted to see what the guy would say!

Josh

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