Today's photos are from the Santa Barbara Channel on December 14. It was an overcast day, but a really nice, calm day. The highlight of the day was seeing a California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) eat a pretty big lunch. There has been a little debate over what species this adult male sea lion is eating, but I am going to say it is a Pacific angel shark (Squatina californica). Angel sharks look a lot like rays, and when I first saw the shark I thought it was some sort of ray or skate. It wasn't until I looked at the photos on my computer that I determined that it was an angel shark. I am open to debate about the species, but remember I have a whole series of photos that show different features of the fish whereas I only posted the photos that I liked the best aesthetically.
|California sea lion with a mouthful of Pacific angel shark|
|California sea lion with a Pacific angel shark|
The last photo for the day is my favorite (always save the best for last, right?). These are surf scoters (Melanitta perspicillata) flying with the Channel Islands (Santa Cruz Island, I believe) in the background. Surf scoters look like the clowns of the sea. I have a few close up shots from last weekend that I will be posting soon where you can really see their clown-like features. In this shot, the female is leading the way for the males. I'll let you make your own opinions about that!
|Surf scoters taking flight|