1130 hours; ~52 degrees F.; misting rain.
Observed a single large adult coyote about 30 yards from me moving cautiously along a road perpendicular to my route of travel. The coyote had spotted me before I saw it. It paused for a moment, ears in their alert vertical position, muzzle in the air testing my scent, then it trotted slowly away.
1000 hours: Misting & cloudy; ~50 degrees F.
Two scrub jays observed attacking a red-tailed hawk that was resting at the top of a tall Monterey Pine tree. One of the scrub jays actually made physical contact with the hawk, almost knocking it off its perch. Territorial dispute?
0930 hours, ~50 degrees F. Misting rain. Observed 15-25 violet-green swallows displaying erratic behavior in the top of a tall pine tree. The swallows excitedly flew in and out and above the pine tree for a while. After searching for sometime, I observed a red-tailed hawk ~ 50 years away in another tall pine. What is this behavior called?
1000 hours: While walking north on the South Shore Trail north of where you turn into the Piney Woods parking area, in the small cove just south of Sea Lion Point, I spotted an adult sea potter hauled out of a rock, laying within less than five (5) feet of an adult harbour seal. Because sea otters tend not to haul out during the daytime in this area, I was a bit concerned, so I watched it for awhile, finally concluding that it was OK, just chilling out. There appeared to be no conflict at all between the much larger harbor seal and the adult sea otter.
1620 hours: Hiking towards Coal Chute Point heading east on the trail at the base of Whaler's Cove, from the paved road that runs in front of Whaler's Cabin, the wildflowers were really putting on a show. There were sun cups, lupine, wild lilac, checker bloom, plantain, morning glories, sweet allyism, cud weed, poppies, seaside daisies, and many more.
1000 hours: Hiking into Big Sur Land Trust's Mitteldorf Preserve, the flower show was phenomenal. Lots and lots of forget-m-nots on the main dirt road into the Lodge, then, once past the caretakers' cottage and barn, we encountered fields full of sky Lupine and poppies. What a treat!
1100 hours: An adult gray whale mom, with its calf in tow, actually swam into Headland Cove. For a mammal of that size, it seemed a bit cozy. Apparently spooked by something (Orcas=?) Mom and calf stayed for awhile, then slowly eased out of the Cove, heading north staying pretty close to shore.
1530 hours. Just north of Weston Beach, about 100 yards off-shore, spotted two adult gray whales with two young calves. Initially I thought something was wrong, because the calves were churning up the water, but it turned out that the calves simply seemed to be be playing as they headed north.
1700 hours at tip of Coal Chute Point. I spotted where the last 6-10" or of a number of Monterey Pine tree branches had been chewed off, and were laying on the ground. Their pine cones had, for the most part, been chewed thoroughly. What sort of bird and/or squirrel or something would have done this?
Spotted 100-150 Brandt's Cormorants nesting on a rock outcropping adjacent to Blue Fish Cove around 1715 hours. Quite a sight.
Spotted a very young black-tailed deer fawn, following it's mom across the road clumsily near Spanish Bay. The fawn was the smallest I've ever seen, probably only days old.
Watched as at least 15 very young Harbor Seals (ranging in age from just hours old to around two weeks old) fed (or begged for food) on their mother's milk. Saw at least one youngster that had apparently been abandoned, begging any Harbor Seal mom that would listen for milk, unfortunately to no avail.
Watched as a Great Blue Heron fed it's three chicks in their nest in the very top of an old pine tree on Coal Chute Point around 0900 hours: What a sight! "Feed me, Feed me!!!"
A beautiful Snowy Egret landed on kelp in Whaler's Cove @ Point Lobos State Reserve around 1700 hours, and began eagerly fishing. A beautiful sight indeed.