Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve

What a spectacular trip.  The Elkhorn Slough Reserve is a field laboratory for scientific research and estuarine education.  Its 1700 acres can be accessed via boat or hiking trails.  As you'll see from the photos below, there is an incredible variety of sea and bird life.  California sea lions and playful otters come right up to your boat. Egrets and Herons hunt just a few yards away.  Pelicans come right up to you, looking for handouts.  

This is home to a large colony of sea otters.  They float lazily around, enjoying the sun, but breaking to dive for clams, fish, or whatever else is on the menu.

What, another boat full of photographers?The Sea Lions are loud and energetic.  They are often lying on a pier, enjoying the sun and watching the boats warily.

The Reserve is home to a huge variety of birds.  You'll see Cormorants, Egrets, Pelicans, Herons, Gulls, and quite of few other birds native to the area.  Here is a birding guide to provide you the locations for best viewing. Here are a few of the birds I saw last week.

Cormorants...Like a scene from Hitchcock's "The Birds"

Great EgretGreat Blue HeronAmerican White Pelican

Here is how to visit the Slough.    I went via a photography meetup. There are numerous boats that offer tours for photographers and visitors, and places to rent kayaks.  Here is a link to the hiking trails.

Have fun and be safe.


Sea Lions


Sea Otters

Egrets and Herons