Saturday, October 22, 2011

Wildlife Viewing Near Monterey

When driving from San Francisco to Monterey and Carmel via the scenic coastal route, you pass by the Elkhorn Slough about 20 minutes before you get to the Monterey Peninsula.  I'd passed by this waterway for many years and saw the signs for wildlife viewing.  Recently, I ventured onto the slough with Elkhorn Slough Safari and was rewarded with views of a variety of marine life and waterfowl.

We took a two-hour pontoon boat ride that departed from Moss Landing. During our ride, we saw 35 varieties of waterfowl including these gray pelicans pictured above.

In addition, we saw over 40 sea otters, which represent nearly 2% of the entire sea otter population on the west coast.

Pictured above are some of the 100 plus harbor seals we saw laying on the banks of the slough.

The most plentiful of the marine mammals we saw were California Sea Lions.  Most of the over 400 animals were fighting for space on docks and along the banks of the slough.

As you can see from the photos, we had a bright, sunny day.  I highly recommend venturing out onto Elkhorn Slough the next time you are in the Monterey area.  This is a great activity for children, who are made most welcome by the Safari staff.  If you'd like to visit Elkhorn Slough and Monterey from San Francisco, contact Blue Heron Custom Tours and Travel at (866) 326) 4237 (toll free) or to arrange your tour.

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