Posted in Crows at the Beach

the Zoo at the Beach

Nature and walking…. ahhhh it is so good for you. Get some exercise, therapy for your over active technology brain and open yourself to the worldwide zoo.

So… I went to the beach.  My beach to be exact where there is no one but me and the critters.

Top of my zoo list… can you guess?  CROWS

My Follower was back hovering as I wandered down the beach. He really just wants a peanut but I pretend he likes me. The truth is he is smarter than most and has me bamboozled.  Hah!! Crow Stalker is stalked.

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My Follower – he never forgets me
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Crows love the beach

Then there are the seagulls. They are just always there. I often talk smack about them but there are gull lovers out there and of course their mothers loved them at some time. I say that with a little humor cause if you have ever heard a baby gull cry for food, you will know the parents do practice tough love on their children. Feed them to a point and then do the shunning routine.

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Gull trots along in surf

So.. here I am walking along the beach relishing in the waves and birds. The trail had lots of beauty to share in the madrona forest but the beach was the place to be.

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Fall beauty on the trail
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Madrona bark all copper and cream

I approached the built up area called a marine residence. Since this is a private beach for the community the owner family doesn’t seem to care that we all use their built up platform, tables and swing to enjoy the view and nature that abounds down here.

That was when I heard feet on a wooden floor. To my delight that pair of otters I encountered last week was up in the marine residence too. They had heard me crunching on the gravel beach approaching from the north. Off they went into the surf and watched me for a while before doing a little fishing.

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River Otter pair scamper across beach
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Otters float off into sound as they watch me.
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Otter pair swim off to fish

My trip to the beach is never done until I walk down to the south end. There one can see a landslide in progress. In progress is an odd way of describing something that has been going on for 20 years or more. Today I discovered that a new chunk of trees and sand had slid down. The beach driftwood and bank was changed quite a bit by this newest slide. Yikes to live up at the top must be a nail bitter. They are betting that in their lifetime the bank will hold.

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Landslide grew – all this tree debris is new
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At the top there are houses there.

Time to go home and I turned around to the north. That was when I saw the kingfisher doing his hover over the sound. He flew down to what I call the nursery tree (the crows use it to teach their babies about the beach and life).

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Kingfisher perches on tree watching for a snack

Not only was there wildlife on the beach but also a veiew of the marine traffic. Today it was a barge over flowing with recycling or is it garbage? Not the usual cleaner looking container ships that I see. Check it out.

Tug pulling barge full of recycling
Tug pulling overflowing barge.
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What is this barge full of?

Then as I turned north I saw them. The otters were coming back up on the beach to eat their fish. This pair must be staking out some new territory. Are they going to build a den around the marine residence? Remember their host family over on Seola Drive have tried to bar them out. They must have finally said OUT!!  You STINK too MUCH!!

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Otter eats fish on beach

The pair kept going in and out of the water. They liked the spot where one ate the fish and in this video check that place out before heading into the driftwood.

I am going to leave you with one more zoo activity…. walking on logs. These two river otters proceed to use the driftwood to scamper up towards the marine residence.  Talk about clever.

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Posted in Crows at the Beach

River Otters Beach Time

Wandering the beach looking for storm debris I found it was swept clean. Driftwood was pushed up against the bluff and the beach was clean as newly settled snow. A few crows and gulls floated around and the wind was whipping the surf up.

Headed back to the stairs I stopped to feed a few crows peanuts. That was when I noticed what I thought was a seal next to a rock at the surf line.

 

Otters on Ocean View Beach
Otters on Ocean View Beach

I was so wrong. It was a pair of River Otters.  Puget Sound (a salt water body of water) does not have Sea Otters but rather is inhabited by River Otters. You can tell them apart quickly. River otters have a longer tail, they swim belly down and are longer than sea otters. Sea otters swim on their belly just like you think of otters and are chunkier with a flatter tail.

The one that I thought was the rock was grooming and just enjoying a little beach time.

Otter grooming on beach
Otter grooming on beach
River Otter of Puget Sound
River Otter of Puget Sound

His buddy was chowing down on a flounder or what looked like a flat fish.

River Otter chews on fish
River Otter chews on fish
River Otter feeds on beach
River Otter feeds on beach

This pair has lived near here for quite a while. Earlier this year I caught them in the surf. Ocean view Otter Fun – March 2016

This summer I encountered a couple of folks at a low tide who told me about how they had their den under a house on Seola Drive. They would go up the storm drain pipe into the roadside ditch.  From there they entered under the house.

Coincidently that day I met a couple up close to Marine View Drive who said it was their house. They said that they had tried to bar them out but the rascals broke back in.  The big problem was how much they stunk and the mess they made. Who would have thought that a pair of fish-eating mammals would be such a nuisance.

Today I took some video of the pair eating, grooming and playing in the surf.

These cute creatures are about 25 pounds and you would not want to tangle with them. These next two pictures show you that they have TEETH! All the better to rip their prey up and fill their belly.

River Otter - I got teeth
River Otter – I got teeth
Yum - that fish is GOOD!
Yum – that fish is GOOD!

While I was filming them I coughed. The grooming otter gave me this look.

Otter looks right at me
Otter looks right at me

Next they decided to go for a swim and look for more good eats. The one with the fish gave the other otter what was left and took off. Then they played together in the surf.

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Then the beach was empty. Well not exactly. A gull and crow moved in to see if anything tasty was left behind. And so the cycle of the beach continued on.

Crow hopes for otter leftovers
Crow hopes for otter leftovers
Did they leave any scraps?
Did they leave any scraps?
Otters gone but gull and crow seek scraps
Otters gone but gull and crow hope for goodies
Posted in Crows at the Beach

Ocean View Otter Fun

Ocean View beach had a bit of excitement in the last few weeks. I headed out earlier this morning knowing that a big wind storm is blowing into Seattle. The weather  is not disappointing as I sit here typing this blog up, it is screaming outside with limbs, roofing, and garbage cans thrashing about. There are power outages all around us. Last night when we heard that we could get 60 mph gusts we got the battery lanterns and radio out. We are ready to rock if tonight we end up in the dark.

Walking down the staircase to the beach I got a flash of brilliant spring green. In this picture the neon color you see is from wild spurge.

Green Glow Ocean View Trail
Ocean View Trail glows green

Once I got on the beach, it was pretty obvious a high tide and wind storm had moved the driftwood around for better or worse.

One of my neighbor’s built up “marine residence” picnic area was covered in driftwood of varying size. This is a good example of how powerful mother nature can be. Here are a few pictures so you can see what I mean.

Ocean View Driftwood damage
Ocean View Driftwood damage
Driftwood from storm
Driftwood kicked up at Ocean View Beach

Just to the south of this area is a small built up wall on the bank that a lot of us have piled beach debris behind. The tide and waves did a number on this as well.

Puget Sound Storm eroded Ocean View Beach
Puget Sound Storm eroded Ocean View Beach

Upon my return up the beach I was surprised with a rare site of two otters romping. They were messing with something up on the bank. I dropped my bag and umbrella. Then dragged out my good camera to get zoomed pictures. The camera was in a zip-lock back to protect it from the pouring rain so it took a moment.

Then they saw me and scampered back into the water. My attempts to photograph them in that dash was unsuccessful but a couple of still photos and a video of them swimming turned out not too bad. They were certainly not coming back to the beach the way they watched me.

Life does have its moments of serendipity. These two fat otters were a treat from being in the right place at the right time.

Lastly, I have to show you that My Crow Follower is still shadowing me. I wrote a few blogs about him back in 2014. One of them had him covered in poop. I aptly named him Mr. Shithead that day. Here are the links to those two posts and some pictures from today.  My Crow Follower – 2014 and Mr Shithead

My Crow Follower
My Crow Follower
Crow of Ocean View Beach
My Crow Follower doing his begging act.