Thursday, August 11, 2011

Anacapa Island Birds - Channel Islands National Park

Anacapa Island, Channel Islands National Park; 6/19/2011.
On June 19, 2011, Val and booked a Wildlife Viewing Cruise to Anacapa Island, the closest island of the Channel Islands to mainland California. Hanging around the marina in Ventura, where we departed were Brown Pelicans, Terns, Western Gulls, Great Blue Herons, Mallard Ducks, Double-crested Cormorants, House sparrows, Barn Swallows, Mourning and Rock Doves, American Crows, and Brewer's Blackbirds. In the channel between California and Anacapa we encountered a pod of dolphins, followed by flocks of two species of shearwaters: Sooty and Pink-footed. On the island were mostly Seals and Sea Lions, and being the middle of June, the migrant birds were gone and the water birds we saw were all permanent residents: Brown Pelicans, Western Gulls, Pigeon Guillemots, and three kinds of Cormorants - Double-crested, Brandt's, and Pelagic.
A sign welcoming boaters to the island; 6/19/2011.
Anacapa Island is a wildlife sanctuary so there are many parts of the island that people were not allowed, and boaters were supposed to keep several yards away from the coastline that were being used as nesting grounds. Western Gulls (Below) and Brown Pelicans (Below) especially were noted nesters.

A Western Gull, Anacapa Island, Channel Islands Nat. Park; 6/19/2011.

More Western Gulls

A cruising Brown Pelican.

A juvenile Brown Pelican testing its fishing skills.

A Pigeon Guillemot hanging around the dock of Anacapa Island.
As our boat docked to let off passengers who were going to day trip on the island, there were a couple of Pigeon Guillemots (Above) hanging around the bay.

A bull Sea Lion and his harem, Anacapa Island, Channel Islands Nat. Park; 6/19/2011.
Another Sea Lion sunning itself,  Anacapa Island, Channel Islands Nat. Park; 6/19/2011.
California Sea Lions (Above) were very numerous sunning themsleves (Although the day began very gray and cloudy) on the rocky northern shoreline. Seals were less common, but we caught sight of a huge pair of seals (Below), although I am not sure what type of seal they are, they were the most interesting wildlife I saw on the cruise.

A pair of large seals resting on the rocky shore of Anacapa Island.
Overall I was hoping to see a greater variety of wildlife, but what we saw was interesting and worthwhile.
Sunset of the Day

The sun glinting off the shale rock on the lake Superior shore near the Porcupine Widerness of Upper Michigan; 5/24/2008.

1 comment:

Chesney said...

I am so jealous of all of your travels...this had to be so cool!