Sunday, May 7, 2017

HARBOR SEAL PUPS LONG TERM STAY AT ALKI BEACH

A female Harbor Seal pup...born in summer of 2016 and named Taffy by Seal Sitters staked out a spot on Alki beach for more than a month. The seal's health was not considered to be good and a capture was accomplished on the 5th try.  It turned out to be a good decision as Taffy is currently undergoing treatment at PAWS for various medical problems including an infestation of lung worm and multiple sores in the mouth.  On May 5th another pup named Sea Foam arrived at Duwamish Head beach and returned again on the 6th.  Sea Foam moved from one location to another twice of avoid the incoming tide.  This pup also does not appear to be in the best of health.  One problem facing Harbor Seals in our area in the high level of contamination in the fish they eat.  The health department recommends that humans eat no more that two meals a month of fish that are resident in Elliott Bay...Seattle's local marine waters.
These seals, sea lions, river otters, porpoises and various sea birds as well as some Orca whales that prey on the marine mammals have no choice....and end up with high levels on toxins in their systems.  When you consider that a harbor seal may be eating many meals a day of contaminated bottom fish it's no wonder we have pups coming ashore in poor health.
Some people question why various volunteer organizations like Seal Sitters spend all the time and energy assisting a few animals when the population is considered healthy...."let nature take its course".....problem is the nature that may be taking its course is one that has been heavily damaged by human careless disregard for the health of the environment...unhealthy marine life is often our responsibility...you can't always point a finger at Mother Nature....but perhaps point a finger at the person in the mirror. 

Taffy

Taffy

Sea Foam

Sea Foam

Sea Foam



Tuesday, May 2, 2017

SPRING ACTION AT ALKI BEACH

It has been a busy Spring so far in Puget Sound.  Many visits by Transient Orca Whales, CA Sea Lions passing through on migration south to breeding grounds in CA and Baja. Shorebirds moving north with Loons and Grebes. A first ever recorded Herring spawning in West Seattle and a Harbor Seal pup that staked out a spot on busy Alki Beach Park for more than a month.  Juvenile Bald Eagles trying to figure out just how to get a meal...and not being very good at it.  Gray Whales and Humpback Whales roaming the Sound....and rain, rain, rain, rain....oh..did I mention rain.   Seattle has on day without rain since February 1st.
And yes...it rained today...and still is.









Herring eggs

Herring eggs


Dunlin




Black Turnstones

Surfbirds
Common Loon with flounder






Harbor Seal "Taffy"


Horned Grebe


Western Red-backed Salamanders


Long-toed Salamander

Northern Alligator Lizard 



Sanderling

Buffelhead Duck



Mt. Baker from West Seattle

Saturday, January 21, 2017

HARBOR SEAL PUPS ON WEST SEATTLE BEACHES

During the last week Seal Sitters has monitored 2 Harbor Seal pups.  One "Hope" at Alki and the second " Wild Thing" at Lincoln Park.  Both seals had injuries that were determined by the veterinarian to be serious enough to require attention.  Both pups were captured and transported to PAWS for treatment and hopefully rehabilitation.  The first pup "Hope" had multiple injuries that appeared to be puncture wounds and some were abscessed. Hope remains at PAWS and appears
 to be recovering..so we wait with guarded optimism.  Wild Thing was captured and transported to PAWS on 1-21-17 with an infected chest injury.  Wild Thing was very active during capture and hopefully will also be on the road to recovery.  Thanks to all the Seal Sitters volunteers for the many hours spent watching over the pups as well as informing the public as to the natural history of these seals and Seal Sitters mission.
Please remember that these pups need to rest about 50% of the time and need quiet on the resting beaches.  No not approach any marine mammal on the beach...remain 100 yards away if possible and please keep noise levels down.  All dogs should be leashed and are not allowed on Seattle Parks beaches leashed or not.  Seal pups have been killed by dogs on local beaches in the past.  If you see a marine mammal on local Seattle beaches please contact Seal Sitters at 206-905- SEAL.  Seal Sitters responds to reports of all types of marine mammals on the beach, Seals, Sea Lions, Porpoises, Dolphins and Whales.

Images of Wild Thing and Hope

Wild Thing

Wild Thing (chest injury)

Wild Thing

Wild Thing

Wild Thing intervention

Wild Thing Intervention

Wild Thing intervention

Wild Thing Intervention

Wild Thing intervention


Wild Thing intervention

Hope intervention

Hope intervention

Hope intervention


Hope
Hope