West Seattle low-tide sights: Catching a bit of lunch

June 5, 2012 at 6:42 pm | In West Seattle beaches, West Seattle news, Wildlife | 37 Comments

Today’s low-low tide brought some great noontime sights – we’ve received some excellent photos and took a few ourselves (plus we have a few awesome WSB’er-contributed holdovers from yesterday). We’ll be adding to these a little later in the evening but are starting with three from Gary Jones – wildlife catching, or seeking, lunch!

Today’s tide was the lowest, but tomorrow will still be fairly low, at -3.4 just before 1 pm.

More photos to come – and thanks again to everyone who has shared. ADDED 7:42 PM: The next two photos are by WSB’s Patrick Sand – we were out on the beach by Luna/Anchor Park:

The pilings beneath the park overlook – where the former Luna Park amusement park’s swimming pool used to be:

Laurie shared a photo of the Seattle Aquarium volunteer beach naturalists mustering by Constellation Park:

(They’ll be out at Constellation and Lincoln Parks again tomorrow, 11 am-2:30 pm.) And from Jim Clark, taken on Monday – a mystery creature (do YOU know what it is?):

As noted in comments, Jim has a gallery here. And more of others’ low-tide photos are in the WSB Flickr group pool (tidepool?) – see them here. (


  1. Weasel?

    Comment by timh2o — 7:03 pm June 5, 2012 #

  2. Cool! I must have been walking right in front of Gary with my WSU coat on! :)

    Comment by Rob — 7:05 pm June 5, 2012 #

  3. You should create a “like” button. Now I’m truly regretting not making it down to low tide today.

    Comment by Keri — 7:10 pm June 5, 2012 #

  4. It’s a river otter! They are the otters who live in Puget Sound – TR

    Comment by WSB — 7:14 pm June 5, 2012 #

  5. Where the heck was the Otter taken?

    Comment by clark5080 — 7:33 pm June 5, 2012 #

  6. I was thinking weasel as well. Didn’t realize that river otters had long, slender necks!



    Comment by miws — 7:41 pm June 5, 2012 #

  7. I am so glad you posted these pictures. I pointed out the otter and wanted to ask for a copy of the picture, now I have one. Great photo.

    Comment by star 55 — 7:54 pm June 5, 2012 #

  8. Gary just identified the area as “Alki Beach” – I know he often shoots by Alki Point – and we did recently have the story of the otter video-recorded there rolling in the sand …

    Comment by WSB — 7:58 pm June 5, 2012 #

  9. He was out on the Alki Beach west part where the homes start past the grass. About 4 units in toward the lighthouse. He ran out to the water and played around for a bit. Dove down a few times then ran back with his food. He found a good dinner table spot on the first step of a homes beach access stair, but a crow swiped at him and he moved closer to the road between the homes. Cool looking guy!

    Comment by Rob — 8:06 pm June 5, 2012 #

  10. Winner Winner chicken dinner!

    Comment by Woodsman- Steve — 8:07 pm June 5, 2012 #

  11. thats what i saw running down the sidewalk yesterday! it was so fast i thought it was a ferret… i didnt even think there were otters around here!

    Comment by nadj — 8:09 pm June 5, 2012 #

  12. So cool! Thanks!

    Comment by 35this35mph — 8:12 pm June 5, 2012 #

  13. That’s a cool pix back towards downtown over the Luna Park pilings.

    Comment by JayDee — 8:26 pm June 5, 2012 #

  14. Mystery creature is a chiton.


    Comment by Kate — 8:32 pm June 5, 2012 #

  15. thank you for the ID, Kate.

    Comment by WSB — 8:35 pm June 5, 2012 #

  16. 11-230 not 1230 tomorrow…for beach naturalists…and I know it’s Burien now but we are at seahurst and about 10 other beaches as well..

    Comment by CD — 8:59 pm June 5, 2012 #

  17. My Gallery is located here

    With more to be added from today’s Low Tide Action


    Comment by clark5080 — 9:04 pm June 5, 2012 #

  18. Thanks, CD, that’s why we link to the program site – I know there are other beaches staffed but we only cover WS :) however, if people follow the link, they’ll see the whole list, more info, times, all that. Will update the time. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 9:16 pm June 5, 2012 #

  19. I’m so used to Facebook… I’m looking for a “like” button!

    Comment by Rhonda Porter — 9:22 pm June 5, 2012 #

  20. I thought the chiton was a nice plate of freshly BBQ’d smoked salmon, just like the way it looks when it comes off of the smoking/grilling stakes at Tillacum Village on Blake Island! Yum! That river otter is a cutie.., good thing it’s been identified also; otherwise woulda been a wee bit shocked if I saw that ‘cat’ running across the yard! Closest river is the Duwamish.

    Comment by KD — 9:25 pm June 5, 2012 #

  21. So cool! I’ve lived on Alki all my life, and have NEVER seen an otter on the beach! Thanks for sharing the photo!

    Comment by Alkigirl — 9:54 pm June 5, 2012 #

  22. Maybe it’s me, but that first pic looks like a baby dinosaur.

    Comment by Chrisd — 9:55 pm June 5, 2012 #

  23. No prob! You are busy people! I appreciate all the info and links!

    Comment by CD — 10:08 pm June 5, 2012 #

  24. I was at Constellation Park today with the beach naturalists, and yes that is indeed a fine specimen of a Lined Chiton. We have several species of chiton in the area, that one is a favorite… so beautiful.

    Comment by John — 10:23 pm June 5, 2012 #

  25. “He was out on the Alki Beach west part where the homes start past the grass. About 4 units in toward the lighthouse.”

    Wow! That river otter crossed the street in front of me yesterday when I was out for a run about 4:30. I was stunned and it was moving fast. Down the walkway between two houses and into the water.

    Frankly, I did not know what it was until I got home and searched the web a bit. What a surprise and treat.

    Comment by Gayle — 10:45 pm June 5, 2012 #

  26. neat thanks for posting these great pics!

    Comment by lissyjane — 11:01 pm June 5, 2012 #

  27. If I am remembering correctly from fifth grade nature studies, chitons are modern-day kin to prehistoric trilobites and cousins of a sort to potato bugs. This one is especially lovely!

    Comment by Scooterista — 11:25 pm June 5, 2012 #

  28. No, a chiton is a mollusk, kin to a snail or limpet, not a crustacean or arthropod (trilobite). It is beautiful.

    Comment by Dennis Cheasebro — 12:37 am June 6, 2012 #

  29. Cool photos, Gary!

    Comment by Danny McMillin — 5:15 am June 6, 2012 #

  30. The mystery creature is a chiton. They’re mollusks that cling to the bottoms of rocks that are pretty tightly hooked on in the tide pools. The critter at the top is an otter, but I did see a stoat, aka lesser weasel on the beach at Seahurst park a couple of weeks ago.

    Comment by Barba — 6:09 am June 6, 2012 #

  31. Love the river otter! Saw one once a couple months back crossing at a crosswalk! Pure coincidence but boy, was it funny!

    Comment by CEA — 9:53 am June 6, 2012 #

  32. Puget Sound’s healthy population of river otters provides otters for reestablishing populations in other parts of the U.S.


    Comment by lt fd — 10:14 am June 6, 2012 #

  33. I was at the low tide on tuesday at Seahurst Beach. When I was parking a woman was walking the lot warning of a car prowler with a basket disapearing into the woods. There was a car alarm going off. She left, as I was getting my children out of the car and stowing any items, I saw a man with an empty basket come out of the woods and leave.
    He was a white male, tall, slender, glasses. driving a Nissan Maxima, lic plate #: ADV 29–.
    I don’t know if this is the suspect, it just seemed to fit the description I was given.

    Comment by Ann Marie — 10:23 am June 6, 2012 #

  34. if you squinch your eyes a little, that river otter looks like a dinosaur. :)

    Comment by ET — 10:54 am June 6, 2012 #

  35. ET – you’re right. Like the Sinclair gas icon dinosaur, in fact… for anyone who lived somewhere with Sinclair stations (I did, most recently, mid-’80s, Grand Junction, CO) … TR

    Comment by WSB — 11:04 am June 6, 2012 #

  36. Okay, so I sorta lied in my earlier post. My first thought was that it looked like a mini-sauer, then I thought weasel!



    Comment by miws — 11:22 am June 6, 2012 #

  37. I ran into probably that same Otter around 5 pm. Tide was high, he came up and ate a fish right under me at the bulkhead, in front of Bamboo.

    Comment by Craig — 11:46 am June 6, 2012 #

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