17 Mile Drive – Monterrey Bay, Calilfornia

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Lone Pine

Discover Nature’s treasures as you explore one of the most scenic drives anywhere in the world. 17 Mile Drive, which runs through Del Monte Forest, is seventeen miles of sea and sky, immaculate golf courses, and dream homes set graciously behind elegant gates…

Here you will experience the magic of this legendary scenic tour that’s home to The Lone Cypress, Seal and Bird Rocks, Fanshell Beach, Point Joe, and the colliding currents of The Restless Sea, as well  as the natural habitat of the black cormorants, brown pelicans, California sea otters, harbor seals, and idle sea lions.

Additionally, along the way, you’ll encounter the emerald fairways of such famous golf courses as The Links at Spanish Bay, Spyglass Hill and the world-renowned Pebble Beach Golf Links. For a gourmet picnic lunch along 17-Mile Drive, visit Pebble Beach Market adjacent to The Lodge at Pebble Beach.  Enter Del Monte Forest at any one of five gates for $9.50.

The above 3 paragraphs were taken from some website about the 17 mile drive. The mansions are amazing and fun to look at, but I took no photos of them. The golf courses were beautiful, but I took no photos. I’m a bird/nature photographer, so here is my day with visiting friends from the Marshall Islands – Dick and Cheryl.

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Dick and Cheryl are true lovers of the sea. Moving from Ohio to a 3.5 x .5 mile island between Hawaii and Australia. The wife and I spent 5 years with them back in the 80’s and early 90’s, but they have been there for about 30 years. I wish I had been into birding at that time. There were many pelagic opportunities. Believe it or not, Canada Geese, stopped by for a rest each year. They are truly everywhere. But, I guess I’m bird walking. Back to California.

 

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 All along the 17 mile drive that hugs the water you find rocks with birds – mostly cormorants. It looks like debris in the water, but it is actually kelp. It made it difficult to pick out sea otters, but we would occasionally find one. Rocks were not the only places to find sea birds. Fly-bys were frequent.

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The photo above can be enlarged. Click on it. You may have to click on the photo a second time to get the enlarged version. I’m still getting used to this new WordPress theme.

At one of the rest/viewing area there were quick a few ground squirrels. At least that’s what I call them. I’ve included 3 photos. The first one is a portrait. Now here is a photo that any mom would melt over.

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 However, in reality, I think this big girl is a momma or soon to be. Now this is just wrong. Squirrel obesity should be against the law. Oh, I forgot. This is California. It probably is!

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The gull in the background is a Heermann’s gull. I took a few photos of these gulls. I should have included them in this little field trip, but if you scroll down to photos 931 you’ll see the Heermann’s Gulls I photographed during this trip. Here is one more of the ground squirrel. There were several, so I’m not sure it’s the same one as shown here.

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I’ve been looking for a good opportunity to photograph an American Oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus), and got a little excited when I saw a couple out on some rocks. The lens I was using didn’t have the reach I needed, so I climbed down the cliff and rock hopped as close as I could. These two photos are heavily cropped, but I was pleased that they came out as well as they did.

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And finally, here is a Brown Pelican fly by.

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