Monday, February 10, 2014

SEA BIRDS AND SEA LIONS: Walking the Coast Trail, La Jolla, CA

Cliff walk, La Jolla, California
If you are in San Diego and want a taste of nature, the half-mile cliff walk in La Jolla is the perfect place to go.  There you can view hundreds of birds roosting on the rocks and flying about above the cliffs, as well as playful sea lions frolicking in the water and basking on the rocks along the shore.  On a nice day (and these are what you expect when you go to Southern California!) you can see kayakers and paddle boarders enjoying the ocean as well.

Cormorants perched in tree along the path
I recently had the chance to take this short hike on a day trip to San Diego. From the parking area we descended stairs to the dirt path that winds its way along the top of the cliffs.  From the path there is a spectacular view across the bay toward downtown La Jolla and as you round the bend toward the viewing platform at the end of the trail you can look back and see the sea caves along the bottom of the cliffs.

Gulls and pelicans
A group of cormorants perched in a tree greeted us as we approached, and then as we got closer we could see and smell hundreds of the black birds clinging to the cliffs below.  Next to them was a group of pelicans and some gulls, who seemed to preferred the flatter rocks for perching.  As we watched the sea lions diving in the water we saw flashes of orange, which I assume were garibaldis, the large colorful fish common in southern California waters, which were swimming just below the surface. No doubt, the reason so many birds and sea lions live here is the abundance of available food.
California sea lions
It was a glorious day and we just enjoyed being in the outdoors, listening to the calls of the birds and barking of the sea lions as we soaked up the fall sunshine.  I am always surprised that even so close to a large urban area, the natural world just goes about its business as usual and gives us the opportunity to marvel at the wonders of nature.
Cormorants on the cliff

For more information about getting to the trail and where to park, go to this post at Natural Born Hikers. http://www.naturalbornhikers.com/trails/lajolla.html

1 comment:

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