Friday, October 5, 2007

Sea Lions and Harbor Seals and Whales, Oh My.

Among the many pleasures I didn't mention about our trip down the Oregon coast was the Grey Whales we watched near Coos Bay. The picture was taken by the COG and is of some combination of California Sea Lions, grey Harbor Seals, and Steller's Sea Lions on the rocks. They were pretty remarkable in themselves - barking loudly, draped on every available rock, and making the water the water churn with their swimming and diving.

However, it was the whales that were most amazing, and there are, alas, no pictures of them. There was one young one quite close in, who kept spouting and breaching the surface every few minutes. I got great views of his back, his tail etc. Slightly farther out there were many more whales and, with binoculars, you got a good view of the same sorts of behaviour. The grey whale is a baleen whale, so poses no threat to seals, although someone there told us there had been a killer whale within the week in Coos Bay. The grey whale migrates, but the young ones - probably what we were watching - often stay in this area all year.

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