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Elephant Seals Return to State Parks on California Coast

Elephant Seals Return to State Parks on California Coast

Old Jan 26, 17, 9:56 am
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Elephant Seals Return to State Parks on California Coast

Elephant Seals Return to State Parks on California Coast

<snip>

So is this a small-time show on the beach? No, consider this. At San Simeon State Beach they are expecting about 18,000 elephant seals to crowd the four mile stretch of beach. Año Nuevo will likewise get thousands of seals. And it will not be a quiet visit to the beach by these giants of the ocean deep. It will be loud chorus of bellowing and grunting seals locked in battle that is deadly serious. It will be a chaotic scene of thousands of bulls pairing off and all fighting at once, most of the day, with only the lesser males giving ground to the monsters of the beach.

When should you go see this spectacle of nature? See below:
• November: Sub adult males haul out on the beach. Mature males begin arriving at the end of the month.
• December: Bulls continue to return. Females arrive. The first birth is usually mid-month.
• January: Females continue to arrive. Peak of births is usually the last half of the month.
• February: Births continue. The peak of the mating is around Valentine’s Day. More females begin leaving.
• March: Last adults leave. Weaned pups teach themselves how to swim.

Locations

TWA884 is offline  
Old Jan 26, 17, 11:36 am
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I've gotten some pretty good wildlife photos of elephant seals from the boardwalk along the rookery at Piedras Blancas, where you can get quite close without intruding too much. A word to the wise though. There is very little along the coast that smells quite as bad as large pinipeds in large numbers and close proximity. Perhaps a washed-up whale carcass. Still, be prepared.
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Old Feb 2, 17, 4:04 pm
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Piedras Blancas is a great location to observe Elephant Seals, and they're close by to available parking areas.

Off topic, but the map shows Isla Guadalupe (~160 miles west from Ensenada), and Great White Sharks gather here in September and October to feed on the Elephant Seals. I spent three days here on a Canadian liveaboard dive boat, Nautilus Explorer: cold but clear water, brilliantly designed caged, no broadcast chumming, Zodiac views of Elephant Seal colonies and a great three days of diving with the sharks.

How does this relate to California? The trip starts from San Diego and ends there (charter bus to and from Ensenada),
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Old Feb 2, 17, 4:48 pm
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Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
How does this relate to California?
There's California in Baja California.
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