Saturday, June 21, 2014

Harbor seals!!

I have been watching harbor seals, sea lions and river otters around Puget Sound for about 30 years. I see one here, two there. Sea lions I sometimes see in larger groups. One time from our boat we saw about ten harbor seals on the beach. Then they got in the water and surfaced all around us, with their funny quizzical faces. And I have seen groups that size or so on the Oregon Coast (Newport). But my Puget Sound viewing has usually been in ones and twos.

Seal 6 21 14

But look at this! One a beach in an undisclosed location… The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has webcams for several animals - mostly birds. The photo is a screen capture from Seal Cam. Sometimes this camera sees a lot more that this. I would guess this is at least 50.

They don’t disclose the location. But WDFW publishes a map of harbor seal haul outs. One of the huge ones (over 100 at a time) is Gertrude Island, which is off the north shore of McNeil Island. And it has a long skinny spit like this to the south.

Take a look, but many times none are there or high tide covers the area.

WDFW Seal Cam

Screen capture: June 21, 2014.

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