West Seattle Blog... » Wildlife http://westseattleblog.com West Seattle news, 24/7 Sun, 04 Oct 2015 04:28:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 West Seattle coyotes: Just spotted, in the street http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/west-seattle-coyotes-just-spotted-in-the-street/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/west-seattle-coyotes-just-spotted-in-the-street/#comments Thu, 01 Oct 2015 06:15:39 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=324589 Just in via text (206-293-6302, 24/7), our first coyote report of the fall:

Just spotted a large coyote in the street on SW Thistle, near the alley between 24th & 25th Ave. I slowed down thinking it was a stray dog, then watched it go into the walkways in between the apt buildings there. Just want to spread the word since it’s in a highly populated area.

As also noted in our exchange with the texter, that’s across the street from the stretch of Longfellow Creek that runs east of the Chief Sealth International High School/Denny International Middle School campus. But coyotes can turn up anywhere, whether a greenbelt is nearby or not – just browse our eight-plus-year archive of sighting reports for ample evidence of that. When you see one, do your best to scare it away – more for its good than yours – as explained here.

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West Seattle whale watching: Sightings reported in Alki area http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/west-seattle-whale-watching-sightings-reported-in-alki-area/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/west-seattle-whale-watching-sightings-reported-in-alki-area/#comments Mon, 28 Sep 2015 17:51:23 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=324324

(Photo taken from Alki today, by Trileigh Tucker)

10:51 AM: Multiple reports of whales in the Alki Point vicinity. First, the Orca Network cited a WSF report of orcas; Jeff from Killer Whale Tales says it might instead be the humpbacks that have been in the area. Off to look!

11:24 AM: Breezy morning so lots of whitecaps off both Constellation Park and Alki – hard to see whale spouts unless you’re really close (or have a great eye/telescope). Jeff says the humpbacks have been breaching in the ferry lanes north of Alki Point. (West Seattle-based The Whale Trail offers a species-by-species guide if you’re not sure you’d know the difference between a humpback and an orca.)

12:41 PM: West Seattle photographer Trileigh Tucker saw one from Alki – and has the photo to prove it. Added above – thanks!

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West Seattle whale watching: Sighting near Fauntleroy ferry dock; northbound at sunset http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/west-seattle-whale-watching-sighting-near-fauntleroy-ferry-dock/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/west-seattle-whale-watching-sighting-near-fauntleroy-ferry-dock/#comments Sun, 27 Sep 2015 00:08:13 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=324167 5:08 PM: Via Orca Network on Twitter and Facebook, “Washington State Ferries reports a large whale, probably a humpback, off the Fauntleroy dock in West Seattle.” Please let us know if you see it (and which way it seems to be heading)!

6:50 PM: Sheri reports, via Twitter, that she just saw it dive off Lincoln Park, and that it’s heading north.

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West Seattle scene: Seal pup ‘Cariad’ rests at Lincoln Park http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/west-seattle-scene-seal-pup-cariad-rests-at-lincoln-park/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/west-seattle-scene-seal-pup-cariad-rests-at-lincoln-park/#comments Thu, 17 Sep 2015 02:02:14 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=323123

(WSB photo, taken from behind the protection-zone tape)

Walking on the Lincoln Park shore this afternoon, on our way to meet an interview subject, we happened onto an unexpected sight – this harbor-seal pup on the beach. Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network‘s first responder Lynn Shimamoto was already there and marking off an area to keep it safe from people and other animals. On our way back from our (unrelated) interview, we stopped to talk with Seal Sitters’ Robin Lindsey, who said it’s continued to be a slow season for pup sightings otherwise, as noted on their Blubberblog website (where you’ll likely see a post later about today’s visit, which came four days after a brief sighting nearby). Most likely, Robin said, today’s pup was already weaned, as most pups are born in July or August and now past the time they stay with their moms. One telltale sign: Like this one, the weaned pups aren’t very plump, as they are learning how to hunt for themselves. This means it’s even more important they get space to rest, because if they’re spooked, they’ll burn more of what little stored fat they have as they scoot back into the water to find safety. If you see a seal or other marine mammal on a local store, call Seal Sitters’ hotline at 206-905-SEAL.

P.S. For tracking purposes, pups protected by Seal Sitters often are given names. Lynn told us passersby from Wales suggested “Cariad,” which means “sweetheart” in Welsh.

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You can help! Volunteer for salmon survey in West Seattle’s Longfellow Creek http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/you-can-help-volunteer-for-salmon-survey-in-west-seattles-longfellow-creek/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/you-can-help-volunteer-for-salmon-survey-in-west-seattles-longfellow-creek/#comments Wed, 16 Sep 2015 17:57:57 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=323072

(WSB photo from November 2014)

Last November, we reported on Puget Soundkeeper Alliance‘s project to track what happens to salmon in Longfellow Creek – which has much more of a toxic-runoff problem than West Seattle’s other urban salmon creek in Fauntleroy. This year, we have advance word that they’re looking for volunteer help, with an orientation event coming up in two weeks, so this is your chance to get involved:

Join Soundkeeper as we investigate the health of our local salmon runs at Longfellow Creek this fall! Volunteers will assess the effects of urban runoff on wildlife by conducting a pre-spawn mortality survey of Coho salmon. Volunteers needed for weekly surveys from October to early December.

Volunteer Orientation in West Seattle:
Thursday, October 1, 2015
6 pm-7:30 pm
Chaco Canyon Café
3770 SW Alaska St.

RSVP to michelle@pugetsoundkeeper.org

As Soundkeeper noted in this update last year, federal scientists have discovered a pre-spawn death rate of up to 80 percent in urban creeks – compared to one percent in rural creeks. The results of this work, including what you can do as a volunteer, will help support more cleanups, education, and enforcement to help clear the waters and save salmon.

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More hope for Puget Sound’s Southern Resident Killer Whales: Fifth baby orca in less than a year! http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/more-hope-for-puget-sounds-southern-resident-killer-whales-fifth-baby-orca-in-less-than-a-year/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/more-hope-for-puget-sounds-southern-resident-killer-whales-fifth-baby-orca-in-less-than-a-year/#comments Tue, 08 Sep 2015 05:12:10 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=322104

For the fifth time in less than a year, Puget Sound’s Southern Resident Killer Whales have welcomed a baby. The Instagram-shared photo above and news release below are from the Center for Whale Research:

Today there was another new baby in the L pod! L91 was first seen near Sooke, BC this morning with a very newborn calf, confirmed a few hours later by Mark Malleson off Victoria, BC and CWR staffers, Dave Ellifrit and Melissa Pinnow, and by colleagues Drs. John Durban, Holly Fearnbach, and Lance Barrett-Lennard.

These latter colleagues happened to be in the area conducting a sequel to CWR aerial measurements of all of the SRKW’s (Southern Resident Killer Whales), this time with a very sophisticated hexacopter (Unmanned Aerial System – UAS, or drone). The measurements were accomplished on the US side of the border as Dave and Melissa took numerous identification photographs from the research vessel “Orca” at a respectful distance. The new calf is designated L122, and is the fifth new baby to come into the population since December, 2014. The mother and baby and other L pod whales spent the afternoon and evening in Haro Strait ‘fishing’, and by day’s end were joined by J and K pod members.

In the forty-year history of ORCA SURVEY, a long-term photo-identification study of this whale population, the greatest number of calves born in a year was 9 in 1977, and there were none born that survived in 2013 or 2014. We hope this year’s ‘baby boom’ represents a turnaround in what has been a negative population trend in recent years.

The four babies born in the previous nine months:
*J52 in March
*L121 in late February
*J51 in mid-February
*J50 last December

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West Seattle whale watching: Sighting in Elliott Bay http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/west-seattle-whale-watching-sighting-in-elliott-bay/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/west-seattle-whale-watching-sighting-in-elliott-bay/#comments Fri, 04 Sep 2015 15:46:10 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=321838 If you have eyes on Elliott Bay, watch for spouts. Ian reports via Twitter that he’s seen multiple spouts by an unknown type of whale that’s “made a huge circle of the bay.” (P.S. Our most recent sighting report was last Sunday, humpbacks near Alki Point.)

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West Seattle scenes: Gone fishing, from the pier to the beach http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/west-seattle-scenes-gone-fishing-from-the-pier-to-the-beach/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/09/west-seattle-scenes-gone-fishing-from-the-pier-to-the-beach/#comments Tue, 01 Sep 2015 18:06:45 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=321526 Two photos shared by your neighbors:

That’s from Don Brubeck, who writes, “Lots of people fishing from the bridge on Spokane St. Not me – I had to keep going, riding to work.” (Don is president of West Seattle Bike Connections, which meets tonight, as noted in our daily calendar highlights.) Next, from TS:

He writes, “Just a nice coho caught off Lincoln Park on Sunday afternoon. Fun to share.” According to the state Fish and Wildlife month-by-month advice, that’s what’s peaking on inland waters this time of year.

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Know what to do if you see a seal pup? ‘Share the Shore’ banners now up at Alki, as reminders http://westseattleblog.com/2015/08/know-what-to-do-if-you-see-a-seal-pup-share-the-shore-banners-now-up-at-alki-as-reminders/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/08/know-what-to-do-if-you-see-a-seal-pup-share-the-shore-banners-now-up-at-alki-as-reminders/#comments Mon, 31 Aug 2015 21:43:53 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=321430

(Photo by David Hutchinson: Seattle Parks’ James Lohman installing a banner)

Along the heart of Alki Beach, near the Bathhouse, “Share the Shore” banners are up as a reminder – it’s peak pupping season and if you see a baby seal, keep clear and notify Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network, 206-905-SEAL – Here’s how Robin Lindsey explains it:

The banners are hung annually during September and October to remind people that there is a good chance they might come across a harbor seal pup resting on shore. These Fall months are usually Seal Sitters MMSN’s busiest time and is considered the height of pupping season in West Seattle and surrounding areas. Some pups are now being weaned all across South and Central Puget Sound and have begun to strike out on their own, leaving the safety of the rookeries. They often end up on urban beaches.

So, it is a good time to remind folks that if you see a pup on the beach: please stay far back, keep people and dogs away, and call your local stranding network. Allowing a pup to rest undisturbed could truly save his/her life. Because seal pups are so vulnerable as they struggle to survive, it is especially important that dog owners respect the law this time of year. Dogs are NOT allowed on Parks beaches leashed or unleashed at any time. It is a fact that each year in Puget Sound, dogs injure and/or kill harbor seal pups.

For marine mammals on West Seattle shoreline, please call Seal Sitters MMSN @ 206-905-SEAL (7325); in downtown Seattle and areas north, please call Sno-King MMSN @ 206-695-2277; for beaches south of Brace Point to Redondo Beach, please call MaST Center Stranding Team @ 206-724-2687.

When in doubt for what network to call, you can always give the Seal Sitters’ hotline a call and we will refer you to the right network. Additionally, here is a link to a map with contact numbers for NOAA’s Marine Mammal Stranding Networks in the Puget Sound region. There are links to maps for the entire states of Washington and Oregon here, as well.

We ask that boaters and kayakers be alert to the marine life around them. Seals of all ages will use often use offshore platforms, docks, buoys and marinas to rest. Harassment can have dire consequences. If you are out on the water and see yellow tape and cones on the beach, it means an animal is resting there. Please give seals (and sea lions) a wide berth so as not to disrupt their rest. Please respect NOAA guidelines and stay 100 yards away whenever possible.

It has been oddly quiet as far as marine mammal response the past two months, but we anticipate a big spike in responses soon. Seal Sitters is so thankful for the West Seattle community’s support in protecting wildlife!

Seal Sitters have been caring for local shores and sea life for eight years now – here’s our first story on them from September 2007, baby-seal video (via mega-zoom) and all.

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West Seattle whale watching: Alki Point sighting this morning http://westseattleblog.com/2015/08/west-seattle-whale-watching-alki-point-sighting-this-morning/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/08/west-seattle-whale-watching-alki-point-sighting-this-morning/#comments Sun, 30 Aug 2015 20:58:28 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=321339

Thanks to Guy and Joy Smith for the photo and this report:

At 9 o’clock this am, we saw 2 marine mammals traveling south off Alki Point. They were exhaling big clouds of steam and we knew they were too large to be either Harbor or Dall’s Porpoises. We grabbed our handy guide, handed out by the Whale Trail organization at the Bath House this summer, and it indicates they were probably Minke whales. They are in the 20 to 30 foot range and that’s about what we guessed. Wikipedia says their dives can be up to 20 minutes. If we had known to wait that long we might have gotten another picture.

Obviously Guy and Joy saw more than just this photo, so they were gauging by more than what’s seen in the photo, but the fin also looks like it could have been a humpback. Anyone else see these whales?

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West Seattle whales: Orcas reported, heading southbound http://westseattleblog.com/2015/08/west-seattle-whales-orcas-reported-heading-southbound/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/08/west-seattle-whales-orcas-reported-heading-southbound/#comments Sat, 22 Aug 2015 21:41:54 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=320609 Three reports of orcas off our shores – most recently, just before 2:30 pm, off Beach Drive in the Me-Kwa-Mooks vicinity, headed southbound. As always, we hope you’ll let us know (comments or text/voice 206-293-6302) if you see them!

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West Seattle whale watching: Orcas reported to be heading this way http://westseattleblog.com/2015/08/west-seattle-whale-watching-orcas-reported-to-be-heading-this-way/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/08/west-seattle-whale-watching-orcas-reported-to-be-heading-this-way/#comments Tue, 18 Aug 2015 19:07:13 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=320269 ORIGINAL REPORT, 12:07 PM: Just texted by Jeff Hogan of Killer Whale Tales: Orcas reported to be in Elliott Bay, headed toward Alki. On our way to look; please let us know if you see them!

1:26 PM UPDATE: We looked from Constellation Park, around Duwamish Head and beyond, no sightings, and we’ve heard nothing further; checked the Orca Network as well, and assuming this is the group of “transient” killer whales their readers spotted, they have no further sightings either, with speculation the whales might have gone into Kitsap waters. Could turn up later!

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West Seattle coyotes: Early-morning sighting near Schmitz Park http://westseattleblog.com/2015/08/west-seattle-coyotes-early-morning-sighting-near-schmitz-park/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/08/west-seattle-coyotes-early-morning-sighting-near-schmitz-park/#comments Tue, 11 Aug 2015 12:30:29 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=319615 Our latest sighting report is from Kristen, who saw one right about this time Monday:

I checked the blog and saw a posting from a few weeks ago that coyotes were heard in Schmitz Park. I heard them (Sunday) night as well. When I opened the door to go to the car at 5:30 am (Monday) morning, I saw one run down SW Forney Street and into the park. I walked my (large) dogs soon after and had no issues. I did want to report as there are neighbors in our area with small dogs and cats.

Remember – best thing to do if you see a coyote is to scare it away – it’s optimal for all involved if they remain wary of humans – as explained here.

SIDE NOTE: Seattle is of course not the only big city with coyotes. Looking around the Web for current coyote news from elsewhere, we found two stories of note – one about New York, one about L.A.

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You can help! Seal Sitters volunteer-training session ahead – as is the peak of pupping season http://westseattleblog.com/2015/08/you-can-help-seal-sitters-volunteer-training-session-ahead-as-is-the-peak-of-pupping-season/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/08/you-can-help-seal-sitters-volunteer-training-session-ahead-as-is-the-peak-of-pupping-season/#comments Sat, 01 Aug 2015 19:10:07 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=318599

(Photo by Robin Lindsey)
If you’ve thought about volunteering with Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network – here’s your chance – a training session two weeks from today:

When: Saturday, August 15, 2015
Time: 10 am – 12:30 pm
Training starts promptly at 10 am (please arrive early: doors open for registration and paperwork at 9:30)

Help protect wildlife! Volunteer with Seal Sitters Marine Mammal Stranding Network. On Saturday morning, August 15th, we will be holding a special training for those wanting to protect marine mammals along the shoreline of West Seattle and the Duwamish River. Unlike most marine mammal stranding networks, we encourage children to participate in Seal Sitters – supervised at all times, of course, by a parent or guardian. We are so proud of our amazing and dedicated volunteers who are on duty rain or shine – we hope you will join us!

A multi-media presentation will illustrate Seal Sitters MMSN’s educational work in the community and the unique challenges of protecting seals and other marine mammals in an urban environment. Included in the training is an overview of NOAA’s Western Region Marine Mammal Stranding Network and biology and behavior of seals and other common pinnipeds.

FOR MORE DETAILS ABOUT LOCATION AND TO RSVP, visit Seal Sitters’ event page.
*RSVP is required to assure seating.

Seal Sitters MMSN averages 200 responses each year to reports of marine mammals (large or small species, dead or alive) on the beach. 90% of those responses are to vulnerable harbor seal pups during our busiest time of year – late summer and fall. Pupping season is now underway in South Puget Sound and Seal Sitters has responded to 4 newborn pups since the end of May. We are happy to say that one of those pups, Little Dipper (abandoned and rescued from Lincoln Park) is doing well in rehab at PAWS Wildlife Center. Visit www.blubberblog.org to learn more about Little Dipper and Seal Sitters’ recent activities.

Please join us on August 15th and help ensure that seal pups and other marine mammals can rest safely on our beaches. Due to time constraints of volunteers during the height of pupping season in West Seattle (usually August – October), this will be our final training for this season until later in the Fall. We hope you can attend!

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West Seattle coyotes: Sunrise Heights sighting http://westseattleblog.com/2015/07/west-seattle-coyotes-sunrise-heights-sighting/ http://westseattleblog.com/2015/07/west-seattle-coyotes-sunrise-heights-sighting/#comments Sat, 25 Jul 2015 23:50:48 +0000 WSB http://westseattleblog.com/?p=317976

Our tipster in Sunrise Heights took this photo from a distance – which is good, as getting too close to a coyote isn’t good for them or you, not because of danger, but because you don’t want them to get acclimated to close human contact – so it’s a bit blurry, but they wanted you to know about the sighting earlier this afternoon, near 29th and Othello (map). To make sure you know what to do if you see a coyote, check out the coexistence advice from the state Department of Fish and Wildlife. Meantime, browse our coyote-report coverage over the years, newest to oldest, on these archive pages.

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