West Seattle wildlife: Fauntleroy otter finds flounders

(Photos by Rebecca Orton)
Before the next round of serious news rushes in, anybody up for a wildlife break? Rebecca Orton shared photos of a river otter (yes, the ones in Puget Sound are “river otters,” not “sea otters”) catching and enjoying its dinner:

Sunday evening, Mr. Otter was visiting our backyard and lounging under and on the deck. I rarely get to see the otters in the day time so I quickly ran for my camera and zoom lens.

Leaving his lounge area, he made his way to the water, so I followed him down to the beach where he quickly found himself a flounder. He devoured it at the water’s edge, heartily crunching through fish bones he had his flounder finished in 4 minutes flat. Then off he went for another one. His fishing skills proved expert as he came up in no time with another juicy flounder. This one, he apparently intended to gorge on in the back yard and began making his way up toward the house. Though I hadn’t moved a muscle, he finally caught sight or wind of me and stopped dead in his tracks, did a quick double take, then turned tail and ran to the water swimming away with his dinner. We both had a treat, dinner for him and wildlife-watching for me!

This reminds us of a note received recently reminding people to drive carefully near the water – including Fauntleroy, as well as Beach Drive and Harbor and Alki Avenues – otters like these spend time inland, and have to cross busy streets to get there.

21 Replies to "West Seattle wildlife: Fauntleroy otter finds flounders"

  • Carrie P June 30, 2011 (11:31 am)

    That is so cool! Great photos and wonderful description of your encounter! :)

  • Mandy June 30, 2011 (11:39 am)

    This is great! Thank you for sharing :)

  • enviromaven June 30, 2011 (12:05 pm)

    Fabulous! Thanks so much for the wonderful photos, story, and post.

  • Thistle June 30, 2011 (12:14 pm)

    This really made my day! My first encounter with river otters was through frequent visits to the High Desert Museum in Bend OR. (Burt and Ernie were my favorite pair). Their quick and graceful moves through the water fascinated me as a kid a still do to this day :-)

  • mookie June 30, 2011 (12:18 pm)

    Fan mail from some flounder? What a lovely wildlife break!

  • SomeGuy June 30, 2011 (12:31 pm)

    Agree, great shots and nice recap. “LIKE”

  • BB June 30, 2011 (12:37 pm)

    There are two of them and they have been spotted in the alley and backyards of the 8600 block of Fauntleroy Way, numerous times by about a dozen people in the last six weeks. My daughter saw one coming from under my car and head into the neighbors backyard last week. We have been wondering if they have been crossing Fauntleroy or using the creek by the Ferry dock to come up and explore our neighborhood.

  • A June 30, 2011 (1:15 pm)

    look at that running picture! So cute.

  • lina June 30, 2011 (1:56 pm)

    cool! i have seen them under the fauntleroy ferry dock

  • westseattledood June 30, 2011 (2:18 pm)

    Thanks for sharing that!

    Wouldn’t it be cool to see Wildlife/Otter Crossing signs posted on all those arterials they travel across?

  • Chuck and Sally\'s Van Man June 30, 2011 (2:32 pm)

    It may have been this fellow I spied in Lincoln Park on Monday eve. He was swimming only a few yards off shore just as you enter Lincoln Park along the water path from the North. There weren’t many walkers out, and he swam and fished for 10 minutes before turning tail to deeper water and Spud’s at Alki, I believe.

    I didn’t want to spook him so did not make a fuss, but easily 3 or 4 others walked by without noticing–keep your eyes peeled folks!

  • KJ June 30, 2011 (2:54 pm)

    That’s so awesome! Love the pictures!

  • RJ June 30, 2011 (3:23 pm)

    Fantastic story and photographs! Reminds me of a caspar babypants diddy.

  • Alex June 30, 2011 (4:34 pm)

    Yep, flounder is about the only fish I’ve ever caught in the sound. There are tons of them, but no salmon anymore…

  • JulieS June 30, 2011 (7:38 pm)

    Awesome pictures. It’s been years since I’ve seen one. Thanks for sharing!

  • Noelle June 30, 2011 (9:05 pm)

    AWESOME Nature Moment!!! Wonderful photo!!! Thank you for sharing it!!!

  • Valerie June 30, 2011 (9:53 pm)

    What a day-brightener! Thank you!

  • anony1 June 30, 2011 (10:21 pm)

    Awesome story! This story reminds me to politely ask if folks would please keep their dogs on leash while you are visiting the public beaches. At Cove Park (the beach/park next to the ferry dock) this past weekend, a woman had her two dogs off leash and one attacked one of the white geese that frequents Cove Park and Lincoln Park. Reading on the comments here that folks have seen the otters also at these locations, made me want to kindly ask folks to please keep dogs on a leash at these areas. Thanks!

  • Jill June 30, 2011 (10:26 pm)

    rawr, nom nom nom. Love the snarly expression. : )

    eta: I’m impressed you knew those were flounders. Oh the stuff I learn on WSB!

  • more June 30, 2011 (11:49 pm)

    Very nice!!!

  • seattlegirl July 1, 2011 (7:22 am)

    This has been the best year for Wildlife at LP. I have seen so many creatures that I haven’t ever seen in the last seven years we have lived in this direction. So blessed (even w/rain) to live in a city that is truly sound to mtn.

Sorry, comment time is over.