Joined: Feb. 2006
Freddie, yes, turkey vultures and very nice indeed ...
"ETA: Looking the Goldfinch up, it looks like '2' is a Green-backed Adult Male and '4' is an adult Female."
Good - you saved me the trouble of snarkily posting "each species comes in two sexes" in response to your saying you weren't sure they were the same species.
"I work for a company in the San Jose area, but live in the UK so I only get over there once or twice a year. I've been to Monterey several times while visiting and know the pier you are talking about above - maybe next time if the season is right i'll do the whale boat trip too!"
Morning is best as it tends to be calmer and the company I go out with stays out 4-5 hours. Their afternoon trips are an hour shorter (and correspondingly cheaper), and if gets warm and the land breeze picks up too much are canceled fairly often. Some of the competitors only go out for a couple of hours, which is probably good for those who get seasick but given the distance one needs to typically go to get out to and then find whales, not so good for the rest of us.