Tuesday, 2 September 2014

An evening near San Simeon, California, Part 2


There were some White-crowned Sparrows hopping around on the ground too, so it was a chance to renew my acquaintance with them.  They do blend in well with the soil and vegetation of the area.



Juveniles don't have the white head strips but are recognisable as the same species I think.  According to my field guide, only some species have this yellow bill, while others have a a pinkish or reddish one.

A lot of the time the seals just doze, relaxed on the sand.   This scene shows the variation in size from an adult with his big nose, the females and the pup lying beside his mother.


Sometimes the gulls provided some action.   I think these are young Western Gulls.


It was strange to look at the Pacific Ocean beyond the gulls and think we'd be flying over it in the next couple of days to go home!


The gulls were not the only ones to be making a noise - Elephant Seal colonies can be noisy places!


Their noses really are incredible!


Maybe this is where the expression "To throw dust in his eyes came from"!  This female was enjoying a quiet sand bath which caught the attention of this bull and he lumbered up.   He didn't seem to meet with approval and she commenced throwing the sand again!



She seemed to be protesting loudly, but it made no difference, and if you look at the difference in their sizes, I guess that's not too surprising!


The other side of the story!


Young Elephant Seals are known as weaners, and are very cute!


Back to our pair - this lends itself to varying interpretations!


Males don't have it easy either!  There is always their harem to defend, and even while they are battling with one challenger, there's often another waiting in the wings to sneak in while the beachmaster is busy!



But before you feel too sorry for the bull who is coping with one thing at a time, pity the poor female who is still trying to have a sand bath, and feed her youngster while the bull has his way with her!



I hope you've enjoyed the evening with the Elephant Seals and Gulls as I did at the time.