Watching Zebras, Elephant Seals and Pelicans on
California Coastal Area near Hearst Castle
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讀萬卷書    行萬里路

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藍天艷陽下一大片的草原,秋草黃,強壯 斑馬的雄姿,體態矯健,體型優美,不同凡
俗,好威風。

While driving on the beautiful California coastal Highway 1 near Hearst Castle, we saw many zebras and other
cattle roaming free and grazing on the vast grassland of the 82,000-acre Hearst Ranch, which surrounds the
famous Hearst Castle just north of Cambria on California's Central Coast
.
There are more than 100 zebras roaming free in this vast grassland.
1号公路有得天獨厚的地理環境,一邊是一望無邊的大片草地, 另外一邊是碧波萬頃的太
平洋,風景美不勝收。

However, these zebras are often very far (more than 100 yards) away from Highway 1 or from Hearst Castle
Road. Visitors need to pay attention and look hard to spot them. Bring a binocular or a compact super-zoom
camera to zoom in may be helpful to see them well.
海象灘:放眼望去整片沙灘上趴滿了海象,很是壯觀。

We then drove a few miles northwest on coastal Highway 1 to the large roadside parking lot of Elephant Seal
Vista Point to watch very large number of elephant seals (
海象) sun-bathing on the beach. Elephant Seal Vista
Point is marked on the Google Map. So, if you enter Elephant Seal Vista Point, San Simeon as the destination,
the Google Map based GPS navigator on a smartphone will guide your driving to this large roadside parking lot
with plenty parking space.

Map:
Click here for interactive Google Map showing the location of Elephant Seal Vista Point
從觀景台望去,可謂是壯觀之極。數百只海象橫七豎八的躺在沙灘上,曬太陽姿勢千奇
百怪,悠哉悠哉的曬著太陽,懶洋洋地睡覺的海象們。

Zoom in for closer look of many elephant seals crowding on the beach. In October, the Elephant Seals on the
beach here are all juvenile and yearlings of 5 years or younger. They come ashore to molt their fur coats.
They lounge on the beach and are important physical exercise for them. The fall haul out provides experience
with fasting, strengthen the muscle sets used on land, importantly, promotes bone growth because of the
stress on the skeleton due to gravity, a stress missing at sea.

On land they are very social during molt and haul out, often clumping together. Every once and a while two
elephant seals would have an argument, rear up on their flippers, bare their open mouths at each other and
bellow loudly.

The huge adult Elephant seals, weighing 5,000 lbs and 16 ft long, will show up here in winter season from
December to March which is their breeding season as shown on my website
here from my previous visit in
February 2016.
The 6 miles of beach just off California Highway 1 in this area is the winter breeding rookery of elephant seals.
The viewing areas are open every day of the year, are wheelchair accessible, and free. No reservations
required.  It is one of the best wild animal viewing sites in the country and it is free! Occasionally some elephant
seals flick a flipper to scoop up sand to throw onto their backs.  
碧海藍天,在燦爛的陽光下,波光粼粼,碧波蕩漾的海面上,漂浮著著很多白色的海
鷗,海闊天空驚濤拍岸的太平洋,海風徐來,享受陽光燦爛的海岸美景, 一號公路之所
以吸引人,是因為景色迷人,且在不斷變化,不是單一枯燥的海景,一段路是海景、沙
灘、另一段路是森林、岩石,同一條路,不同的風景,也有很多海象, 海獅, 海豹,
和 眾多海鳥。讓你在路上發現旅行的美好,讓我們來看看一號公路上一定不能錯過的那
些美景吧。

Nice blue color of Pacific Ocean on the southwest side of coastal Highway 1 as a contrast to the golden
brown color of grassland of Hearst Ranch in October dry season on the northeast side of Highway 1. Many
seagulls are floating on the ocean surface.
兩隻海象在水中追逐嬉戲。

Some elephant seals are playing or fighting or swimming in the water near the beach.
用長鏡頭拉近看看遠處鳥島上,密密麻麻的全都是海鳥。

Two bird islands off shore very far away. When I zoomed in with my compact super-zoom camera, I saw
many pelicans and other sea birds on those two off shore bird islands.
海邊成群的鵜鶘 (或 溏鵝)正在覓食,自由自在的呼朋引伴圍獵覓食,好熱鬧的,溏鵝
喙長,喉囊發達,適於捕魚,常以活魚為食,無時無刻在忙著追捕圍攻抓魚,此起彼
伏,形成海邊一幅野趣天成變幻無窮的流動風景線。如果成群的鵜鶘發現魚群,它們便
會排成直線或半圓形進行包抄,把魚群趕向海岸水淺的地方,這時張開大嘴,鳧水前
進,連魚帶水都成了它的囊中之物,再閉上嘴巴,收縮喉囊把水擠出來,鮮美的魚兒便
吞入腹中,美餐一頓。

There are also several pelicans near the shore busily catching and eating fish on the shallow water near the
beach where many elephant seals are sun-bathing.
風和日麗,涼爽宜人,在風光如畫的海濱公路的海象灘,招引四方遊人爭相觀賞,絡繹不
絕,擠滿了賞海象人潮。

Many visitors are enjoying watching the elephant seals.
溏鵝 神態安詳,一派悠閒,很陿意的樣子。

This is the normal view of a pelican when it is not feeding.
下嘴分左右二支,其間有一巨大而能擴縮的喉囊,要捕魚時 下嘴左右二支分開,把喉囊
鼓大, 這麼大的喉囊,無論多麼靈活的獵物也絕難逃脫,它捕食時只需要張開大嘴和大
喉囊,將魚同水一起喝入喉囊中,然後閉嘴收縮喉囊,將水擠出,留下魚蝦。

But when a pelican wants to catch fish in the water, the 2 long pieces of its lower jaw separate and bend into
bow shape to distend its large and elastic throat pouch so that the pelican can use the big throat pouch to
scoop up the fish in the water as shown in these two pictures. Most of the time, the large distended throat
pouch is in the water such that we do not see them. But occasionally in special situations, we get to see such
big throat pouch above water briefly just before the pelican push the big pouch into the water.
要吞魚時 把頭和喉囊抬起。

Then the pelican throws back its head, tilt the beak and the throat pouch up.
Then the captured fish slide down the throat easily and the pelican swallows the fish whole.
After the fish and some water are scooped up in the big throat pouch, the pelican closes its beak, the lower
jaw returns to its original unbowed position, so that small fish and water are trapped inside the pouch. Then the
pelican tips its head forward to drain out the water. The tiny teeth on the beak are for draining water from its
throat pouch. To drain the water, a pelican lifts its head very slowly with the mandibles slightly parted. Excess
water flows out the sides between the teeth of the beak.
如果魚群出現了,驚鴻一瞥,伸長了脖子、長大嘴巴和喉囊的瞬間,大而具有彈性的喉
囊可以自由伸縮,罕有的生態奇觀。

Another example of the distended big throat pouch above water for us to see briefly just before pelican push
the big pouch, the beak and the head into the water to scoop up the fish.
The pelican starts to close its beak.
一整群溏鵝們忽然騰空而起, 勢欲凌空去,我站在海邊觀景台欣賞這一幕幕精彩的飛舞
流動野趣風景,連場精彩好戲,一場緊接一場,感悟生靈與天地, 這是賞鳥者夢寐以求
的地方。

I took several movie clips of these pelicans busily catching fish, combining the movie clips and uploading the
combined movie to the following YouTube website:

https://
www.youtube.com/watch?v=smj4k9MLpok&feature=youtu.be

All these actions of pelican catching fish happen very fast in a flash and are not easy for photographers to take
such action photos using the still picture mode of the camera. So, I use movie processing software to extract  
several special action photos of interest from the recorded movie with my comments in the following.
Beside zebras, there were also many black colored cattle plus some other animals roaming free in the
82,000-acre Hearst Ranch as shown in these two photos that I took. But they were so far way such that I
cannot tell what kind of animal they are. The possible candidates are Sambar Deer, Barbary Sheep, Rocky
Mountain elk, tahr goats, llamas, and white fallow deer which are still roaming free in the huge Hearst Ranch.  
Visitors are on railed walkway along a small cliff/ledge and are safely above those huge and wild elephant
seals.
看準了,非常快速直擊獵物,伸長脖子進攻,頭,長喙和喉囊一起伸向前方,速度很
快,張開大嘴,鳧水前進,連魚帶水都成了它的囊中之物,再閉上嘴巴,收縮喉囊把水
擠出來,鮮美的魚兒便吞入腹中,美餐一頓。

When the fish is ahead of them, pelican shoot forward its beak, head and the big throat pouch to catch the fish
as shown in these two action photos.
在水中倒立抓魚。

When the fish in right below the pelican, the pelican shoot its beak, head and throat pouch straight down with
its tail pointing up to the sky (upending) just like a jumbo size dabbling duck.
擁有近3米的翼展,它的翅膀強壯有力,能夠把龐大的身軀輕易送上天空,善於游水和飛
翔,在低空巡弋飛行觀察水面下魚群的動靜,漫遊在水中的魚兒 逃不過它們的眼睛。

Sometimes, the pelican takes off and flies in  the air to get better view of the fish in the water.
發現目標, 鎖定目標, 入水抓魚,   從空中下來攻擊,急速俯衝人水的瞬間, 神速如疾風。

Then the pelican attacks from the air by plunge diving down into the water to catch the fish as shown in these
three action photos.
We enjoyed very much this October tour of California Central Coast with lots of interesting actions of pelicans,
elephant seals and zebras.

We also toured the majestic Hearst Castle high on the mountain top in this trip。The report on Hearst Castle
Tour may be presented in the future.
遠望山丘上,赫赫有名,俯瞰著綿延的海岸線,遠眺太平洋的赫氏城堡,迷人的山莊 和
宫殿,有西班牙、墨西哥建築風格,有歐洲、地中海風情,富麗豪華而不俗。

Nestled in the hills above the village of San Simeon, the majestic Hearst Castle as viewed from California
coastal Highway 1 (Cabrillo Highway) in San Simeon, California. Known formally as "La Cuesta Encantada" -
Spanish for The Enchanted Hill. We came to tour Hearst Castle, Elephant Seal Vista Point and many pelicans
in action in California Central Coastal Area in San Simeon on Sunday, October 13, 2019. Hearst Castle is
located at: 750 Hearst Castle Rd, San Simeon, CA 93452.

Map:
Click here for interactive Google Map showing locations of Hearst Castle and Hearst Castle Visitor
Center
大部分的鵜鶘通過群體協作,一邊游泳一邊捉魚。它們會排列成一條直線或是U型,不停
地用雙翅拍打著水面,從而迫使魚游入淺水區。當魚群聚集在淺水區時,鵜鶘便用大喉囊
將它們舀起來。
鵜鶘是一種喜愛群居集的鳥類,喜歡成群結隊地活動。
溏鵝空中看魚,俯衝抓魚,捕食畫面,衝入水面的狠勁。
像架戰鬥機,全速俯衝入水,巨大的翅膀伸展後面,以迅雷不及掩耳之勢抓魚, 快、
狠、準之捕獵技巧最為迷人!讓我們大飽眼福。
前方有「動靜」,快、狠、準,伸長脖子, 追捕前面的魚群,這場扣人心弦的捕獵行
動,技術高明,精彩絕倫。
有好“玩”者,在水中嬉戲打鬧,你追我趕
An elephant seal swimming near the beach.
生活中放慢腳步,會發現身邊有那麼多浪漫的動物世界!