There’s a lot of traffic in California in the winter.
Photo of sandhill cranes at the Woodbridge Ecological Reserve by Flickr user lorises.
Sandhill cranes are wading around in the Central Valley. They migrate here from Canada and Alaska or from the Northwest and the Great Lakes, depending on the subspecies. I’m going to try and go see them before they head back to their summer breeding grounds. Also, Lodi hosts an annual Sandhill crane festival! Missed it this year, but mark your calendars.
This one’s by me. Look, off in the distance, a fluke!
Gray whales are heading South along the coast right now, working on their record-holding migration (the longest? one of the longest? of any mammal). You can often see them from the shore. Around here, Point Reyes and Big Sur are good spots. Look, Monterey County has a handy map. Gray whales almost went extinct; I get all emotional about it.
Monarch butterflies are up from Mexico. They’re in Santa Cruz, the East Bay, San Diego, Ventura, Pacific Grove, and Pismo Beach until March when they start heading South again. I’ve never seen them, and plan to this month. Also, check out the Life segment about monarch butterflies.
The elephant seals are large and in charge in places like Ano Nuevo State Park and down around San Simeon. I took this picture near the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse in October, when there were mostly just females napping and juvenile males practice fighting. By now the beach is covered in huge, bellowing males.