Tag Archives: sea lion

Lookin’ for Love

We saw a few sea lions outside the caves when we stopped just south of Heceta Head Lighthouse last weekend.

sea lions swimming - sea lion caves
Synchronized Swimming

It was a beautiful day for sunning.

Sunning Sea Lions - sea lion caves
Sunning Sea Lions

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.

Branded Sea Lion - 151Y - Sea Lion Caves
Branded Sea Lion – 151Y

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.

Google map: http://goo.gl/maps/uXGpB

Thanks Bryan (and Shawn)!

Stellar Sea Lions and more

We’ve had a week of rain but today we’ve got clear skies!

Tillicum looking south to Yachats
Tillicum looking south to Yachats this morning

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.

Heceta Head Lighthouse overlook
Heceta Head Lighthouse Overlook

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.

Sea Lions at Heceta Lighthouse Overlook
Sea Lions at Heceta Lighthouse Overlook

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.

Stellars with one California (black)
Stellars with one California (black)

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!

Sea Lion males fighting for their harems
Sea Lion males fighting for their harems

The males (bulls) are starting to compete for their harems.  (Sorry about the focus, it was taken in low light a few nights ago.)

Sea Lion Siesta
hot – rocks – feel – so – goooooooooood…..aaaahhhhhhh

This one was taken today around noon.  I am SO jealous!

Sea Lion tangled with fishing tackle
Sea Lion tangled with fishing tackle

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.

Sea Lions have skin that extends beyond their arm
Sea Lions have skin that extends beyond their arm

Differences between sea lions and seals:

Sea Lions have front flippers.  Seals don’t have front flippers; they have short arms and claws.

Sea Lions have ear flaps.  Seals have ear holes.