We saw a few sea lions outside the caves when we stopped just south of Heceta Head Lighthouse last weekend.
It was a beautiful day for sunning.
Looks like this big Sea Lion has travelled from California to British Columbia, and back over the last 9 years, lookin’ for his own territory.
According to Bryan Wright with the state of Oregon: This is a male from the cohort we branded on 7/12/2004 at St. George Reef, CA. He’s been seen at least a couple times most years – early on at Sea Lion Caves but more recently in Washington (Carroll Island, Bodelteh Island) and British Columbia (Wouwer Island). Interesting that he’s back down here – maybe he’s on his way to a rookery to try holding a territory.
We’ve had a week of rain but today we’ve got clear skies!
I took a bag with me to collect either agates or tsunami debris. Guess what it is today. 🙂 See the white spots on the sand? That’s styrofoam. That and plastic bottles are mostly what we’re seeing from the tsunami.
Time to head south to visit all our campgrounds. There are grey whales being spotted this week. We didn’t see any today. But I talked Don into stopping at the Heceta Head Overlook to see if I could get some better pix of the sea lions. The lighthouse is still covered while it is being refurbished.
Most of the sea lions at Sea Lion Caves are Stellar Sea Lions. But sometimes we get some California Sea Lions up here looking for cheaper real estate.
Now, just because a sea lion is black, doesn’t mean it is a CA sea lion. The Stellars are black when they are wet just out of the water. But the black one in the middle has been dry for a while and hasn’t gotten lighter. They can be a medium brown but are, in general, darker than the Stellars. These brown sea lions are definitely Stellars but we think the black one is a California Sea Lion. And, do you see the small brown one on the right? Looks like a baby to me!
The males (bulls) are starting to compete for their harems. (Sorry about the focus, it was taken in low light a few nights ago.)
This one was taken today around noon. I am SO jealous!
Don was watching this little one, off by himself, as he was moving around and saw something flash in the sunlight. He, being my “content advisor”, told me to take some close-ups so we can see what it is. We zoomed in to see it is fishing gear. Poor little guy. We reported it but they told us it’s fairly common. They said they are almost impossible to catch. The gear will eventually rust off. I guess the other sea lions avoid them because the gear scares them. He is obviously uncomfortable by the way he is moving around but he wasn’t crying out.
Differences between sea lions and seals:
Sea Lions have front flippers. Seals don’t have front flippers; they have short arms and claws.