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Pinnipeds, whales, and seabirds

Posted: Wed May 08, 2019 9:28 am
by oldsalt
While on a diving trip at Race Rocks, a few years ago, we saw all five pinnipeds located in our waters: harbor seal, California sea lion, Steller's sea lion, northern fur seal, and elephant seal. I repeated that experience while out with Westport Seabirds last weekend.
We first encountered this tagged northern fur seal. NOAA reported it tagged five years ago at San Miguel Island. Having a California seal instead of a Bering Sea seal is unusual. To my untrained eye it looks just like the Galapagos fur seal and the South American fur seal I saw on my trip south in February.
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norther fur seal

This unimpressive blob is an elephant seal floating head up. Handsome fellow.
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elephant seal

I didn't photograph harbor seals or the Steller's, but I did take a shot of these California sea lions lazing around the harbor at Westport.
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California sea lions

We also saw two humpback whales and migrating gray whales. Captain Phil Anderson successfully located hundreds of seabirds for us, some were real rarities. I will leave you with the common blackfooted albatross, a personal favorite. With its seven foot wingspan, it never fails to inspire me as it soars over the waves.
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albatross

-Curt :rawlings:

Re: Pinnipeds, whales, and seabirds

Posted: Wed May 08, 2019 5:37 pm
by Gdog
Wow. That's cool. Didn't realize we had all of those here!

Re: Pinnipeds, whales, and seabirds

Posted: Thu May 09, 2019 8:58 am
by Scubak
Wow!!!
WEstport Seabirds? Is it a charter company?
Curious.
Kirsten

Re: Pinnipeds, whales, and seabirds

Posted: Thu May 09, 2019 10:10 am
by ScubaJess
Fantastic report :)

Re: Pinnipeds, whales, and seabirds

Posted: Thu May 09, 2019 10:45 am
by oldsalt
Scubak wrote:Wow!!!
WEstport Seabirds? Is it a charter company?
Curious.
Kirsten

Kirsten: Yes. The owners, Phil and Chris Anderson, do regular surveys of pelagic seabirds and cetaceans and take people out with them. Phil is not only a long time charter boat captain, but he is the former director of Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife. He employs top notch guides on each trip. Check out their website.
-Curt