Friday, December 25, 2009

Big Christmas Day Fight

Even though it's Christmas, there doesn't seem to be much peace at Elephant Seal Land on the central coast of California. Quite the contrary...the males of all ages seem to be stepping up the tempo and frequency of their bouts.
Take a look at this completely unedited video of a violent and relentless clash between two titans.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

High Tides and Mounting Testosterone

With unusually high tides plaguing the favorite beaches of the elephant seals as they return to the central coast, tempers seem to be flaring as the males fight for dominance and their own piece of the beach.
Groups of females can be seen hanging out waiting to give birth, while still remaining tan-colored juveniles stare in amazement at the varying goings-on.

For more photos, click here.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

First Elephant Seal Pup Born This Season

What an exciting event....the first pup of the 09-10 birthing season was born yesterday at the Piedras Blancas colony !
In the photo above, you can see that even a newborn has no problem scratching its itchy back !

Friday, December 11, 2009

Ain't Love Grand

This pair of elephant seals looked so content and peaceful on the beach today waiting for yet another rainstorm to come ashore.
There are quite a few big male elephant seals now on the various beaches along with many tan-coated juveniles and some pregnant females. Amongst the mostly sleeping elephant seals, you could see many snowy egrets, and if you looked up, you could often see flocks of pelicans gliding south along the bluff.
To see more photos, click here.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sleeping Giant

It's an exciting time at the beaches along the central coast of California as more and more elephant seals return in anticipation of the upcoming birthing and breeding season. Day by day more and more males of all ages are both seen and heard on the beaches and in the shallows as they come to join the early arrived handful of adult females, who are conceivably pregnant. Along with these more mature elephant seals, one can still see plenty of juveniles, often with their fur turning tan in preparation for next year's molting season.
Recently, HUGE adult male elephant seals with their large trunks have started to lay claim to their section of a beach. Not only have they taken up residency at the main colony by the Piedras Blancas lighthouse but also at several of the other beaches north and south of there. Most of them seem to spend their days sleeping after their long trek south after feeding and bulking up for the past few months. No doubt,they're also conserving their strength to be able to fight the inevitable battles of the upcoming months ashore.

Current weather at Piedras Blancas: