Sunday, January 8, 2012

elephant seal ~ 01/08/12 ~ Hopkins

It looks like a sandy sausage, eh? I almost didn't post this, because I have much better pictures of elephant seals down at Piedras Blancas near San Simeon. However, I wanted to note the unusually large size of these beached elephant seals near home. In the past week or so, I've heard their distinctive grunts at night, even over the roar of the winter waves. While we've had some elephant seals at Hopkin's West Beach (I like to affectionately call it seal beach) in the years past 9 years, these are the largest males I've ever seen here. I'm fairly sure we have harbor seals all year round on this beach (those rock-looking slugs in the lower-left of the last photo above), but the appearance of a couple elephant seals seems to be seasonal and new.

Here are a couple decent local elephant seal links with original information:


Cindy said...

You can hear these behemoths from your house? Not only is that amazing but it also indicates how acutely aware you are of your natural surroundings to HEAR them. Guess you don't have the TV on all the time. :>

Katie (Nature ID) said...

Ha! Thanks, Cindy. It's not a magic trick - sound carries over water. In the relatively calm summer months, I can also hear sea otters cracking shells with rocks tools. Sometimes, I think I should watch more tv to keep up with the times.