La Jolla sealife

Just north of San Diego, in La Jolla Cove and adjoining beaches, harbor seals and California sea lions make their home. Carefully warned by signage and rangers not to approach too close, visitors gather to watch their antics and photograph. I spent a glorious few hours wandering this shore and sharing their space.

These sea creatures are pinnipeds, marine mammals with fin or flipper feet. They look similar but there are a few differences that can identify them. Sea lions have external ear flaps; seals have ear holes. Sea lions have larger flippers. The easiest hint for me was that they are generally found on different spots along this coastline.

At the Cove, sea lions lounged on the rocks and the beach, piled up on each other. Such social animals! Occasional barks and confrontations, but no serious altercations. Many could be seen holding their heads high, soaking in the sun, basking in its rays.

Further down the beach, harbor seals congregate at Children’s Pool. Sometimes solitary creatures, they are found in groups in this area. That beach was closed for several months to respect the animals’ privacy and prevent human intrusion when there are young pups, although I could view them from a distance.

Above the beaches on the bluffs, cormorants nest. Pelicans also join the mix.

Sea caves can also be found, carved by the ocean’s tides.

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Published by rkrontheroad

Writer, photographer, traveler

38 thoughts on “La Jolla sealife

  1. I could spend all day watching sea lions. They’re so adorable looking, even though they can be aggressive. Your pictures captured their personalities. I don’t think I’ve seen a cormorant (or whatever bird it is)with a blue chin before but maybe I haven’t noticed. Maggie

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great shots, not just of the seals and sea lions but also those cormorants and the rock formations. I would be very happy taking photos around here. I always smile to see how sea lions sprawl, many on top of each other 🙂

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  3. Beautiful close-ups! I love the proximity of the small village of shops and restaurants to the protected sea life below. They somehow go hand-in-hand. International tourists seem drawn to La Jolla in particular, which gives it added cultural flair.

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  4. It’s a real privilege to get so close to all these creatures. And with such a dramatic backdrop to boot. Not sure if Ive ever gotten close to sea lions, but did see a colony of seals in the north of Scotland and it was really magical.

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