Two and possibly three harbor seals came within about thirty yards of the northwest corner of the park at around 10 o’clock this Sunday morning. One of them was chocolate brown, a second was grey. The third, if it was a separate animal, surfaced too briefly to be photographed. These color variations are normal for the species, according to the Wikipedia and Smithsonian websites, which contain much additional information about the animals. The websites also say that it’s common for these animals to come into bays near coasts, and even to swim up rivers in pursuit of prey. However, I had not seen a seal near the park since November 2012, and never saw more than one before in this location. These seals, especially the brown one, seemed to be looking directly at the small crowd of humans who gathered onshore to watch them. Probably they were drawn by seafood in the water; a small contingent of Double-Crested Cormorants and a pair of Brown Pelicans also hunted in this area and were having successes. At one point two seals surfaced within a few feet of a cormorant. The bird didn’t seem to worry. A cluster of half a dozen Coots ventured a few yards from the rocky bank into the area where the seals periodically surfaced, but then thought better of it and headed back to shore in a hurry.
- Finches in Fennel in January
- Feeding the Crows