River Otters

River otter (Lontra canadensis) eating a fish.

We particularly enjoy watching the otters while camped on the shores of Puget Sound. We saw them several times while camped on Bainbridge Island and we see them regularly here in Port Townsend. They appear to be very successful catching fish. We often see them near shore as they swim in the water in pursuit of fish. Once they are satisfied, they exit the water and sometimes roll in the sand afterward. They are adorable. Sometimes they exit the water to eat the fish and that’s when Regis saw the bald eagle steal the fish from an otter. We have seen them in the marina and running around outside the restaurants. I heard someone say they often go under the restaurants. They are very difficult to photograph. If the sun is out, the wet otters reflect the sun. A polarizing filter would help, but we don’t have filters for all our lenses. Other times, they are too distant to get a good shot. I think the picture Regis got above is one of the better images.

Yesterday, Dart turned 10. Because of his digestive issues the best treat he got was a little bit of spam with medication stuffed inside to aid in his digestive problems and a few bits of bacon. Regis took the stuffing out of his new bed and put it in in old bed and it worked out well. Dart is clearly happier with his old bed back.

We were fortunate yesterday that the sun came out in time to enjoy a picnic on the 4th. Jason, Dan, and Coco arrived in Port Townsend on Friday and are staying in a nearby hotel. They joined us at our campsite overlooking Puget Sound for lunch and Dan’s parents came up from the Kitsap Peninsula to join us. We picked up some take out food from one of the restaurants in the marina and had a lovely afternoon outside in beautiful weather. Jason and Dan performed a few songs for us with Jason on the guitar and Dan singing. It was a beautiful performance. After they sang “Hallelujah”, one of our camping neighbors stopped by to tell them how lovely it was.

Following are pictures of wildlife at Point Hudson.

Black oystercatchers (Haematopus palliatus). The birds primarily feed on invertebrates but don’t eat oysters. They search for food in the intertidal zone.
There is a pair of belted kingfishers (Megaceryle alcyon) hanging out in the marina. This one is sitting on sailboat spar.
House finch (Haemorhous mexicanus).
Chestnut-backed chickadee (Poecile rufescens).
Barn swallow (Hirunda rustica) gathering nesting material. There are some barn swallows actively building nests under the porch roof of a nearby building.
River otter swimming through the marina. Sea otters are rarely seen in the area. The most common otter in the area is the river otter. Sea otters often float in the water on their backs while river otters are more often seen swimming like the one here.

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