March 04, 2006

Don't let your dog eat bait.

Sonja and I took Luna out for a little adventure today. Our mission was to spot one of the Crested Auklets I've been talking about. We figured today was a perfect opportunity considering how calm the bay is. So we grabbed the spotting scope and the camera and drove around by the shore looking for this tiny little bird. Ended up that we didn't have to try very hard to find one. And here it is, in all of its blurry and indistinct glory...

If you look really closely, you can just barely make out a little orange on the bill, and a tiny little bump just where the bill meets the head. If this was the breeding season, you'd also see a single white "whisker" across its cheek and the crest would be a bit more dramatic. But nonetheless, there it is. Only took us about ten minutes before we spotted it, so we decided to drive around a bit more and see what else was out and about.

We drove south town to Lowell Point to see if there was anything else interesting swimming around. Well, there was. While Sonja and Luna took a little walk along the beach this sea lion came by, swimming to within about 30 feet of shore. It kept popping its head way out of the water to check out Luna and Sonja. Luna was pretty intrigued by it, but every time we've seen one she hasn't been very interested in swimming off after it. This one was so close that Sonja decided to hold onto her, just in case. Although I have no idea what a 1,500 pound, 8-foot long sea lion would do to a little 40 pound dog that decided to swim after it, I think we would much rather just not find out.

It was a very pleasant afternoon...except when Luna decided to swim after, and eat, a big chunk of floating bait that some fisher-people left strewn all over the place. Probably the reason the sea lion was hanging out so close to shore.

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