Mar/06/13 06:51 PM
Finally, she was able to get an id photo of this elusive pup who seems to be coming ashore at night, leaving early morning. We’ve known a pup was using this hideaway because we have often seen tracks leading back down to the water’s edge. Sometimes, we’ll get a quick glimpse of the pup just as daylight starts to creep over the horizon and he flops across the sand into the Sound. We wondered if it could be Spencer (whom we have not seen since mid-February), but id photos have shown this is indeed a new pup.
This is one stealthy little seal who is getting some much-needed rest in the quiet of night. Nicknamed Sneaky Pete, we hope the pup continues to find safe haven on our shore during times when the beach is void of people and off-leash dogs. If you come across Sneaky Pete (or any other pup or marine mammal), please call our hotline at 206-905-7325 (SEAL) and we will immediately dispatch a responder.
Feb/24/13 02:04 PM
Cinnamon returned to Elliott Bay around 5pm in the evening. She was back on shore early this morning, but returned to the water about 7am - perhaps off to a breakfast buffet of 3-spined stickleback and squid.
We suspect Spencer, who spent 4 days resting along the length of Alki Avenue recently under the watchful eye of Seal Sitters volunteers, has been coming ashore at night to rest. Our early morning first responder has seen a pup return to the water between 6 and 6:30 several mornings and found seal tracks in the sand another morning at the same location. The responder has not been able to get an id photo, so we can’t confirm the pup is indeed Spencer.
Ruby, the rehabilitated pup, hasn’t been seen for about a week, but that doesn’t mean the pup with the bright red flipper tag isn’t still in our area. The last time we sighted her dozing at Jack Block, she had packed on some blubber which made us all very happy.
Feb/19/13 07:17 PM
Below the thankfully deserted promenade, our responder located the second pup a few steps up from the water. Despite very windy conditions, she was able to establish a tape perimeter on the sidewalk above the exotic, dark-coated pup so that no one could enter the steps leading to the beach, scaring him away. The pup had apparently hauled out on the steps at high tide last night.
Volunteers watched over the pup throughout the day as he settled into a deep slumber. Nicknamed JoJo by young sisters Samantha and Katelyn (hopefully, future Seal Sitters) from Sammamish who were visiting the beach with their dad, the pup finally returned to the Sound around 2pm.
A third unidentified pup rested on the offshore platform for most of the day.
Feb/17/13 06:46 PM
Among the people that gathered as he wriggled ashore was a woman who offered our responder a hand toting cones and stakes. We can’t thank her enough for her help. Once again, off leash dogs were an issue at Alki and we gave Spencer a generous boundary on the beach.
Volunteers watched over the pup in shifts and talked to many curious and delighted people, letting them peer through the spotting scope for an even closer look and distributing informational pamphlets. Bald eagles were abundant and acrobatic overhead, entertaining volunteers as the pup zonked out for a snooze. A river otter swam leisurely by. On the sidewalk, leashed dogs of every size and shape received pats and rubs while owners stopped to learn about Spencer.
The seal pup was still sleeping on the sand long after darkness fell, but had moved down nearer the water’s edge. He was gone when we checked at 10pm last night.
Spencer is most definitely looking too thin. We hope this extended rest and hospitality shown by West Seattle residents and visitors will give him a boost in energy to forage for food. We did not see him on shore all day today. However, there was a small, white pup on the offshore platform surrounded by cormorants. Perhaps it was Spencer sleeping at that infinitely safer location.
Ruby, the rehabilitated pup from south of Tacoma, is still using the Jack Block Park area. She was sighted napping on the protected beach the other morning. Ruby has put on weight since we first spotted her last month. Read about Ruby here.
Feb/16/13 05:21 AM
A crowd of people had gathered on the sea wall, watching the pup from above. The imminent concern for safety of the pup was the open beach where there were people and off leash dogs. We want to thank the nice couple and daughter Lilah, recently relocated from Bainbridge, for moving a bit further back so we could get a tape established on the beach. The area above on the sea wall was taped off so that the seal could rest relatively undisturbed.
The pup was positively identified through markings comparison as Spencer who had spent the two previous days resting on the sandy stretch of Alki just north of the bathhouse. Spencer was still sleeping after dark.
It is helpful for our hotline operators and responders that location information be as precise as possible to save time and get pups protected sooner than later. If there is a street address please note that. Also, many people get confused as to whether an address is on Harbor Avenue or Alki. Please note if you can look across the water to the city skyline (Harbor Ave) or Olympic Mountains (Alki Ave). That saves our responder time and frustration trying to quickly locate an animal before being scared back into the water. Seal Sitters so appreciates the help of the public!
Feb/14/13 07:14 PM
Scheduler JoDean checked our “doodle” calendar to see what volunteers had entered time for the early shift and began making calls. Our responder sent out an APB “Seal on the beach now - can you help” from her iPhone. Diehard volunteer Lynn S arrived on the scene. Scheduled to fly out to Santa Fe on a skiing trip, she said her husband offered to book a later flight if she wanted to watch over the seal pup first. Thankfully, she still made her 10:30 am departure. Second up was Arden who, despite a newly-broken ankle, showed up with her scooter, determined to help protect Spencer. We eventually convinced Arden to go home and rest. Next, Raiana arrived with a full-blown cold, prepared to stand in the rain and talk to passersby. Despite efforts to send her back home, she insisted she was sticking around for this sweet little pup.
And so it went throughout the day into the evening with more dedicated volunteers spreading the blubber love. Super-couple David and Eilene waited until Spencer returned to the Sound about 6:15pm, then spent the early part of their valentine’s evening moving in the perimeter so that the fire pits could be used by the public tonight. Our responder will be down at sunrise tomorrow to check the beach and move the tape back if Spencer has returned.
Thanks to all of our seal-lovin’ vols who helped today and come out year-round, rain or shine, to keep marine mammals safe. You are a true Valentine’s gift!
Feb/14/13 07:01 AM
Because the pup was so skittish, instead of pounding stakes into the sand, she attached tape to pieces of driftwood and laid the “Protected Marine Mammal” tape along the sand, creating a virtual barrier around the pup. Before she could finish the perimeter, a woman entered the beach with an off leash dog, headed straight for the seal. The woman quickly tried to gain control of her excited dog, but it was probably a full five minutes before she could get the animal leashed. Thankfully, the activity didn’t scare the seal pup back into the Sound.
After the pup settled down and felt safe, volunteers strengthened the barrier with sandwich boards, stakes and cones. Volunteers talked with the public who peered through a scope for a closer view of the pup, nicknamed Spencer by a child. Spencer relaxed and recharged until about 7:00 pm last evening when he returned to the Sound at high tide - a good, long rest. Thanks to volunteer scheduler JoDean and all the volunteers who kept Spencer safe!