Randall Finley Photo Keywords: point reyes

Coast Hugging Gray Whale Seen from the Cliffs of Big Sur

Pic: 4/30/16: Gray whale on the northern migration in clear water. 

Welcome to my wildlife photography blog!  This is a reincarnation of Wildlifist, my prior blog.   

Please send your photos, stories, questions and tips to WILDLIFIST@GMAIL.COM, I'd love to post others work.   

Back to the Gray Whales.

When: March, April, May.   This is the northward migration from Mexico to Alaska.  Mothers and calves stick close to shore to avoid orca among other reasons. 

(grey whales are also migrating December to February, heading south to Mexico  from Alaska to have babies, but they tend to be further out from shore on the southbound leg). 

Where: Big Sur's winding Highway 1 between Nepenthe restaurant and Julia Pfeiffer Burns state park.  There are multiple pull outs from the highway - just park your car and look down.  Give it a little while.  I saw 3 mother/calf pairs in about an hour the first day, maybe 6 pairs over 3 hours the next, but its highly variable.   They are RIGHT off shore, maybe 25 yards out. I also saw dolphins, and there are condors patrolling the cliff sides and hills along this same stretch.  If you see something that looks like a huge turkey vulture, and especially if it has a number on its wing, youve seen a California Condor.    

Note: Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park is 2.5 mi  north of Nepenthe, and has a similar name to Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.  The latter (JPBSP) is 8 miles SOUTH of Nepenthe.   The best place to look for the whales is starting at Nepenthe heading SOUTH to JPBSP.  

Where else: The ULTIMATE Grey whale watching experience is Magdalena Bay in Baja California, Mexico.  People go out on zodiacs or little boats called punta to see the baby gray whales. Mother give birth in the shallow, shark free bay,and wait for their babies to get large enough to migrate north.     When I went, the mother nudged the baby towards our boat - I think she saw us as free child care / a big floaty toy.   The baby stuck his head in our zodiac three times to get touched, he was clearly enjoying it.  

A parrot of Telegraph Hill, San Francisco.

A flock of  green and red Cherry-Headed and Mitred Conures  makes it way around San Francisco each day.  The flocks founders, who were imported from South America, were pets who were released years ago and surprisingly thrived in the cement jungle of SF.  Now they can be seen in Telegraph Hill area, around the waterfront, at Fort Mason, Justin Herman Plaza  and elsewhere as they make their rounds.  They are loud and raucous, wrestling and bawling at each other, very fun to watch.   

When: Year Round 

Where: Pockets of trees around urban San Francisco, See above.

Where Else: Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, and Florida.  

Further info: 

See the documentary movie!  


Read more at: http://www.markbittner.net/parrot_pages/faq.html

Red Fox Kits (Black Phase)

San Juan Island, WA.  

San Juan Island sits in the north of Washington state.  Both European rabbits and foxes were introduced onto the island.  Now there are thousands of rabbits, and a large population of red foxes that like to eat them.  All red foxes have a white tipped tail, but their coats come in black, red,  brown/blond and a few other variants.

Yellowstone Wolves

The Wapiti Wolf pack.  Puppies greet the adults, including the white alpha female, and the two large black former Mollies who exiled the former alpha male of Wapiti pack.  The puppies lick the muzzles of the adults in greeting, hoping for a regurgitation of meat. 8/16/16. 

The solo wolf photo is of a yearling as he crossed a field at Alum Creek to rejoin his pack mates.  

Yearling Wolf.  Wapiti Pack, Yellowstone National Park.
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