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Tag Archives: Playa del Rey

Bottlenose Dolphins in Santa Monica Bay

I was treated to a display of 15-20 Bottlenose Dolphins that were feeding very close to the shore off Dockweiler Beach in Playa del Rey this past weekend. I don’t often see Dolphins that close to shore and certainly not that many at one time. At times they were huddled up in groups of 5 just waiting for a nice set and riding it toward the shore!

Bottlenose Dolphin

According to an article published by Maddalena Bearzi and Charles A. Saylan of the Ocean Conservation Soceity, 81.4% of Dolphin sightings during their study of Santa Monica Bay were within 0.5km of the shoreline.

Bottlenose Dolphin

Cetacean occurrence, distribution and behavior were investigated in Santa Monica Bay and nearby areas, California (1997–2007). A total of 425 boat-based surveys documented three species inhabiting the study area year-round – the common bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus, the long-beaked common dolphin, Delphinus capensis, and the short-beaked common dolphin, D. delphis, and ten species occurring occasionally. Coastal bottlenose dolphins were mostly found traveling, diving and feeding in waters within 0.5km of shore in 81.4% of the sightings (n  =  221), but were also observed occasionally in offshore waters. All other species were seen > 0.5 km of shore, often feeding near escarpments and submarine canyons. Endangered species, such as blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus) and humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae), were also recorded in the study area. This paper provides new information as well as an update on data of the composition for the local cetacean community, and offers information that should be considered in the decision-making process associated with the newly established MPAs, and their use. The presence of a diverse cetacean fauna moving in and out the boundaries of these MPAs, also suggests the need for long-term and regular cetacean monitoring in the area.

Bottlenose Dolphin

Bottlenose Dolphin

Bottlenose Dolphin

Bottlenose Dolphin

 

Posted by on March 7, 2012 in Photography Adventures

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Rescued a Brandt’s Cormorant!

Did my good deed for the week! I encountered a Brandt’s Cormorant all tangled up in fishing line whilst photographing at Ballona Creek this past weekend. I text’d Peter Wallerstein with LA Marine Animal Rescue and he responded immediately at the scene 15 minutes later! I took a short little video of Peter netting the Cormorant:

Peter capturing the Brandt’s Cormorant


The happy Brandt’s Cormorant after Peter freed it from the fishing line wrapped all around its body and wings:

Brandt's Cormorant
Brandt’s Cormorant

I was rewarded later in the afternoon by getting up close and personal with a beautiful Brant. Probably one of the cleanest Brants I’ve encountered in Southern California.

Brant
Brant

 

Posted by on February 9, 2012 in Photography Adventures

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Crested Caracara in Ballona Wetlands

A bit behind on blog updates but a Crested Caracara made a brief appearance in the Ballona Wetlands on January 13th. It only stuck around for a day…actually more like half a day. I was able to get some photos of it before a Red-tailed dive bombed it. It circled around the area few times going higher and higher, riding the afternoon thermal updrafts only to never be seen again!



Crested Caracara
Crested Caracara

 

Posted by on February 3, 2012 in Photography Adventures

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Pacific Golden-Plover @ Ballona Cr.

It’s been a while since a decent species has shown up at Ballona Creek. Yesterday, Martin Meyers found a Pacific Golden-Plover along Ballona Creek. While not a significant bird to the state or county, for that matter, it was a bird that once wintered in the Ballona Wetlands in decent numbers. But due to urbanization and habitat loss there has only been 1 or 2 records in the past 20 years.

Pacific Golden-Plover
Pacific Golden-Plover

I’ve photographed Pacific Golden-Plovers in Hawaii before but this gave me a good opportunity to photograph one in relatively good lighting and really close to home! There were also many Dunlin in the area but I didn’t have much time to photograph anything but the Pacific Golden-Plover before the parking meter was going to expire. I’ll have to get back out there this weekend.

 

Posted by on November 18, 2010 in Photography Adventures

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Ballona Wetlands

Spent more time this morning photographing plants and such at Ballona Wetlands this morning. Was able to get permission through Dan Cooper to photograph in some of the restricted areas for the book that we’re working on. Encountered most of the usual suspects including a rather photogenic adult male Allen’s Hummingbird along with a Jerusalem Cricket posing on the dunes.

Ballona Wetlands
Ballona Wetlands – Marina del Rey in Distance

Ballona Wetlands
Ballona Wetlands – Playa del Rey in Distance

Ballona Wetlands - Lupine
Ballona Wetlands – Lupine

Ballona Wetlands - Native Groundcover
Ballona Wetlands – Native Groundcover

Ballona Wetlands - Jerusalem Cricket
Ballona Wetlands – Jerusalem Cricket

Allen's Hummingbird
Allen’s Hummingbird

Allen's Hummingbird
Allen’s Hummingbird

 

Posted by on April 9, 2009 in Photography Adventures

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