Lazy afternoon for an urban seal
Jun/30/12 09:13 PM
On her regular rounds checking beaches and popular haulout
spots, Seal Sitters’ first responder spied a very healthy female harbor seal stretching and relaxing on an abandoned dock in Elliott Bay. The beautifully marked seal was enjoying a warm (for Seattle) afternoon with weak sun and serenading birds. The park was relatively quiet for a Saturday, most likely due to sporadic showers, and was a welcome sanctuary from busier beaches. You can see in the video clip how small the front flippers are on a harbor seal - much smaller than those of a sea lion. Harbor seals use their rear flippers for propulsion in the water and the front ones for rudders, while sea lions are just the opposite.
Earlier, along Alki Beach, a smaller seal was seen following a paddle boarder very close to the beach. After the boarder landed, the curious weaner
spy-hopped offshore for a bit and it appeared he might haul out - even with people nearby. However, he apparently had second thoughts and vanished with a silvery flash beneath the gray sheen of Puget Sound.