|western gulls follow the boat|
We went out between Santa Cruz and Anacapa Islands. Past Santa Rosa Island and turned south down to San Nicolas Island.
|San Nicolas Island |
We returned by way of Santa Barbara Island. This small island with its large rocky outcroppings is an important nesting site for sea birds. The last few years, changing climate and water currents have brought unexpected visitors to this rocky outpost.
|brown booby below with western gull above it|
Note: its large size in comparison to the western gull; the brown coloration on the head with a white body; large pointed beak; slim brown wings with a pointed shape. Boobies are plunge divers and their sleek shape helps them catch fish under the water's surface. Usually boobies only travel as far north as the coast of Baja, but the last few years they have become regular visitors, especially to the Channel Islands.
On this July 12th trip we saw:
- 3 South Polar skua
- Sooty, pink-footed, flesh-footed and black vented shearwaters
- Leach's, black, and ashy storm-petrels
- brown boobies
- California sea lions
- long-beaked common dolphin (~800; including juveniles)
- short-beaked common dolphin (~1000; including juveniles)
- Risso's dolphin (~11; including 2 juveniles)
- bottlenosed dolphin (~15)
- humpback whales (6)
- Minke whale (1)
- Brutus whale (1)
- fin whales (~3)
- blue whales (2-3)
|the sea was completely flat; the white caps are all common dolphins on the move|
We even saw a sunfish or mola mola. Protecting our California coastline is important. A diversity of animal species come here because there is food and safety. Our wild neighbors depend on this protected marine environment. Experience our coastal wildlife, it is amazing!
More about CA Channel Islands
Meet a Channel Island Fox
Spring Visit to Santa Cruz Island
Summer Visit to Santa Cruz Island
Gray Whales and Dolphins off Channel Islands
Brown booby in Australia
For more Earth Minutes with Wildlife