Driving around Alki Beach in West Seattle, yesterday, I noticed a portion of the waterfront was cordoned off with orange safety tape, and a few folks were standing nearby with a long-lens camera and a spotting scope. I parked and walked down to meet Robin Lindsey of Seal Sitters, a volunteer-run affiliate of the Marine Mammal Stranding Network.
A young Harbor Seal had been spotted early that morning resting on the beach. Several months old, it was in that fragile stage where the mother no longer fed it, its baby fat had largely burned off, and it was not yet totally adept at catching its own food. At this age, Robin explained to me, the pups need lots of rest and it’s essential they not be disturbed by people or pets. Hence the safety barrier of a few hundred feet.
Here are a couple of photos shot from pretty far away. Most of the hour or so I was there, the pup was simply lying on the gravel with its eyes closed. As the tide rolled in, it made only the necessary adjustments to stay dry.