Category

Photo of the Day

Pelican Eye

California, Pelicans, Photo of the Day, Wildlife

This California brown pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) is resting and warming itself in the sun after a morning foraging at sea. Its head is pointed behind itself and nestled between its wings.

See our Guide to Photographing Pelicans in La Jolla.

Brown pelican closeup showing characteristic winter mating plumage, including yellow head, dark brown nape of neck and red gular throat pouch, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus, La Jolla, California

Brown pelican closeup showing characteristic winter mating plumage, including yellow head, dark brown nape of neck and red gular throat pouch.
Image ID: 20154
Species: Brown Pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus
Location: La Jolla, California, USA

Photo of La Jolla Cove at Sunrise

California, La Jolla, Photo of the Day, San Diego, Seascapes

Check out the deep pink skies, it was a super sunrise the morning I shot this. Probably due to smog or something. This is famous La Jolla Cove, one of the jewels of San Diego and home to good diving and snorkling, bird and whale watching, and rough-water swimming. It takes a really big swell to get the wave at La Jolla Cove to break, but when it does it is impressive. This day it was super flat. So dreamy.

La Jolla Cove meets the dawn with pink skies and a flat ocean

La Jolla Cove meets the dawn with pink skies and a flat ocean.
Image ID: 20251
Location: La Jolla, California, USA

Pelican Bluff at Sunrise

California, La Jolla, Photo of the Day

This is the bluff on which the bird photographers take their photos of the California brown pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis) in their breeding plumage. Note the distinct absence of photographers — this is unusual and due to the early hour (well before sunrise). I like to get to the bluff very early and watch the birds arrive. More pelicans and cormorants than are seen in this image will arrive soon, to warm themselves on the rocks when the sun hits, and photographers will likely follow. As I recall, on the morning this was taken I was the only person there for quite a while.

Check out our Guide to Photographing Pelicans in La Jolla.

Bluff and trees overlooking the ocean near La Jolla Cove, sunrise

Bluff and trees overlooking the ocean near La Jolla Cove, sunrise.
Image ID: 20249
Location: La Jolla, California, USA

Photo of La Jolla Cave at Sunrise

California, La Jolla, Photo of the Day

The biggest of the caves in La Jolla is seen here at sunrise. The other caves are around to the right. Atop this sandstone bluff are found many seabirds, particularly in winter when California brown pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis) and cormorants can be seen here in their breeding plumage. Few birds appear in this image since this was taken in the cold hours before sunrise, but when the sun hits the bluff many more birds will arrive to warm themselves and preen throughout the morning.

A large natural sea cave lies below a sandstone bluff in La Jolla at sunrise with a pink sky, Black's Beach in the distant

A large natural sea cave lies below a sandstone bluff in La Jolla at sunrise with a pink sky, Black’s Beach in the distant.
Image ID: 20250
Location: La Jolla, California, USA

Photo of the La Jolla Cliffs at Sunrise

California, La Jolla, Photo of the Day, San Diego, Seascapes

The La Jolla Cliffs early in the morning, under a pink sunrise. Marine Room restaurant is on the far left, and the famous caves are seen at the base of the cliffs. Check out the thousands of cormorants resting on the cliffs. They will eventually fly out to forage on the ocean, returning later in the morning.

La Jolla Cliffs overlook the ocean with thousands of cormorants, pelicans and gulls resting and preening on the sandstone cliffs.  Sunrise with pink skies

La Jolla Cliffs overlook the ocean with thousands of cormorants, pelicans and gulls resting and preening on the sandstone cliffs. Sunrise with pink skies.
Image ID: 20254
Location: La Jolla, California, USA

La Jolla Cliffs overlook the ocean with thousands of cormorants, pelicans and gulls resting and preening on the sandstone cliffs

La Jolla Cliffs overlook the ocean with thousands of cormorants, pelicans and gulls resting and preening on the sandstone cliffs.
Image ID: 20256
Location: La Jolla, California, USA

Pelican Portraits

California, Pelicans, Photo of the Day, Wildlife

More photographs of the California race of brown pelicans (Pelecanus occidentalis) from a recent morning in La Jolla, between storms. These show the bright red and olive colors that the large gular throat pouch takes on, as well as the dark brown hind neck and yellow head feathers, that are characteristic of breeding adults during winter months.

Check out our Guide to Photographing Pelicans in La Jolla.

Brown pelican portrait, displaying winter breeding plumage with distinctive dark brown nape, yellow head feathers and red gular throat pouch, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus, La Jolla, California

Brown pelican portrait, displaying winter breeding plumage with distinctive dark brown nape, yellow head feathers and red gular throat pouch.
Image ID: 20232
Species: Brown Pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus
Location: La Jolla, California, USA

Brown pelican portrait, displaying winter breeding plumage with distinctive dark brown nape, yellow head feathers and red gular throat pouch, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus, La Jolla, California

Brown pelican portrait, displaying winter breeding plumage with distinctive dark brown nape, yellow head feathers and red gular throat pouch.
Image ID: 20231
Species: Brown Pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus
Location: La Jolla, California, USA

Brown pelican in flight, spreading its wings wide to slow before landing on cliffs overlooking the ocean.  The wingspan of the brown pelican is over 7 feet wide. The California race of the brown pelican holds endangered species status, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus, La Jolla

Brown pelican in flight, spreading its wings wide to slow before landing on cliffs overlooking the ocean. The wingspan of the brown pelican is over 7 feet wide. The California race of the brown pelican holds endangered species status.
Image ID: 20229
Species: Brown Pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus
Location: La Jolla, California, USA

Brown pelican in flight, spreading its wings wide to slow before landing on cliffs overlooking the ocean.  The wingspan of the brown pelican is over 7 feet wide. The California race of the brown pelican holds endangered species status, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus, La Jolla

Brown pelican in flight, spreading its wings wide to slow before landing on cliffs overlooking the ocean. The wingspan of the brown pelican is over 7 feet wide. The California race of the brown pelican holds endangered species status.
Image ID: 20230
Species: Brown Pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus
Location: La Jolla, California, USA

Photo of La Jolla Sea Lions

California, La Jolla, Photo of the Day, Sea Lion, Wildlife

There is a big spawning aggregation of market squid assembled on the sand flats at about 60′ off of La Jolla Shores beach right now. As a consequence, many California sea lions (Zalophus californianus) are now in the area, feeding on the squid and hauling out on rocks to rest when not foraging. Here are a couple seen recently in La Jolla:

Sea lion portrait, hauled out on rocks beside the ocean, Zalophus californianus, La Jolla, California

Sea lion portrait, hauled out on rocks beside the ocean.
Image ID: 20207
Species: California sea lion, Zalophus californianus
Location: La Jolla, California, USA

California sea lion, adult male, Zalophus californianus, La Jolla

California sea lion, adult male.
Image ID: 20211
Species: California sea lion, Zalophus californianus
Location: La Jolla, California, USA

Slot Hobbit

Photo of the Day

I recently got the news that I was one of the fortunate to receive a permit to visit the Wave, part of the North Coyote Butte area in Arizona, in April. It’s a place I have long heard about, and the photos that others have shot there make it look curious, strange and pretty cool. Now I get to check it out in person in a few months. I’ll probably spend a day fooling around near Page so that I can return to the Antelope Canyon slot canyons, a very interesting place which I saw about a year ago for the first time. The slots will likely be crowded there this April, but on my previous visit there — on a very cold January day — I had large sections of the narrows to myself much of the morning. I felt like a hobbit creeping about through some bizarre location in Middle Earth.

Antelope Canyon, a deep narrow slot canyon formed by water and wind erosion, Navajo Tribal Lands, Page, Arizona

Antelope Canyon, a deep narrow slot canyon formed by water and wind erosion.
Image ID: 18001
Location: Navajo Tribal Lands, Page, Arizona, USA

A hiker admiring the striated walls and dramatic light within Antelope Canyon, a deep narrow slot canyon formed by water and wind erosion, Navajo Tribal Lands, Page, Arizona

A hiker admiring the striated walls and dramatic light within Antelope Canyon, a deep narrow slot canyon formed by water and wind erosion.
Image ID: 17995
Location: Navajo Tribal Lands, Page, Arizona, USA

Beautiful Morning in La Jolla

California, Pelicans, Photo of the Day, Wildlife

A morning dentist appointment in La Jolla meant a short visit beforehand to shoot pelicans before I submitted myself to my semi-annual tooth cleaning (no cavities). I met David Osborn, a wonderful photographer from England who is currently in California to shoot a variety of natural history subjects for a few weeks, and old diving pal Jim Campbell who came over from Coronado to shoot too. It was a perfect morning to be at the ocean’s edge in La Jolla: sunny, warm, clear and the ocean glassed off for miles.

Check out our Guide to Photographing Pelicans in La Jolla.

Brown pelican head throw, winter plumage, showing bright red gular pouch and dark brown hindneck plumage of breeding adults.  During a bill throw, the pelican arches its neck back, lifting its large bill upward and stretching its throat pouch, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus, La Jolla, California

Brown pelican head throw, winter plumage, showing bright red gular pouch and dark brown hindneck plumage of breeding adults. During a bill throw, the pelican arches its neck back, lifting its large bill upward and stretching its throat pouch.
Image ID: 20188
Species: Brown Pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus
Location: La Jolla, California, USA

Brown pelicans sparring with beaks, winter plumage, showing bright red gular pouch and dark brown hindneck plumage of breeding adults, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus, La Jolla, California

Brown pelicans sparring with beaks, winter plumage, showing bright red gular pouch and dark brown hindneck plumage of breeding adults.
Image ID: 20195
Species: Brown Pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus
Location: La Jolla, California, USA

California brown pelican portrait, on sandstone cliffs above the ocean, showing winter breeding plumage with dark brown nape, red throat and yellow head.  Lit with flash, early morning before sunrise, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus, La Jolla

California brown pelican portrait, on sandstone cliffs above the ocean, showing winter breeding plumage with dark brown nape, red throat and yellow head. Lit with flash, early morning before sunrise.
Image ID: 20191
Species: Brown Pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus
Location: La Jolla, California, USA

Brown pelican head throw, winter plumage, showing bright red gular pouch and dark brown hindneck plumage of breeding adults.  During a bill throw, the pelican arches its neck back, lifting its large bill upward and stretching its throat pouch, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus, La Jolla, California

Brown pelican head throw, winter plumage, showing bright red gular pouch and dark brown hindneck plumage of breeding adults. During a bill throw, the pelican arches its neck back, lifting its large bill upward and stretching its throat pouch.
Image ID: 20200
Species: Brown Pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis, Pelecanus occidentalis californicus
Location: La Jolla, California, USA