Seal Island – Kayaking Trip

CuriousSealion

Curious Sealion

 

Seal Island

Seal Island

 

A couple of days ago I went kayaking with my husband to Seal Island.  I was keen to go in order to see all of the wildlife and hoping that the sealions or dolphins might come and see us.  However, I was also aprehensive as it’s further than I’ve ever been previously.  So, what did we see?  Well, firstly, the sealions.

 

Sealion and pups

Sealion and pups

 

This mum had her pups with her on the beach.  The most sealions I counted at once was 14.  They were mostly just lying on the beach, but a few ventured into the water.  I was so pleased when eventually one decided to come and play for a while.

 

Sealion who came to see me

Sealion who came to see me

 

Here’s one in the water with me.

 

 

 

 

 

Sealion

Click on ‘Sealion’ for video

 

Pelicans on beach

Pelicans on beach

 

 

There’s a huge pelican colony there.  These pelicans didn’t seem to be bothered by the sealions on the beach.

 

 

 

Ospreys and Chicks

Ospreys and Chicks

 

 

We paddled over to another island where I’d seen an osprey previously.  The pair had nested and had (I think) 2 chicks, though it was hard to see.

 

 

Me Filming Ospreys

Me Filming Ospreys

I was nervous of getting my good camera wet so I took my old automatic with me.  It was temperamental to say the least and it’s zoom and focus kept playing up, but I did get some photos and video clips in the end.  We sat and watched as the male brought in a fish (about 7 inches long) and then the parents both fed on it and helped feeding the chicks.

 

It was a fabulous trip.  There were 2 downsides. Firstly, we didn’t see a single dolphin even though there’s a pod that lives there and they often go and play around the kayaks.  Secondly, achey shoulders the next couple of days.  However, it was well worth it and I’m sure we’ll do the trip again.

 

The Australian Sea Lion – No, It’s Not a Bird

The Australian Sea Lion becomes the first non-bird wildlife to make it onto my bird-flavoured blog, largely because we recently had a visit from this one.

Sea Lion - not a bird

Australian Sea Lion

My husband and eldest son went out in the kayaks when it chose to join them.  They didn’t get a photo of it when it was right next to their paddles as they were concentrating on not being tipped out if it knocked into them.  It was just curious though, and was happy to swim round them for a couple of minutes.  Then they watched it as it went off hunting.  To their surprise, it brought back its next catch (a small octopus), apparently just to show it off to them.

When they returned it was my turn to go out and, luckily, the sea lion was still there, so I was able to see it too.  In fact, it stayed on this stretch of coast for 2 days.

Sea Lion at Seal Island

Sea Lion at Seal Island

The first time I saw one was on a trip to Seal Island from Penguin Island, south of Perth.  There’s a breeding colony there. We watched one jump out of the water and over the bow of a passing kayak.  They’re quite playful animals and can be quite like playful dogs at times.  Last time I visited Seal Island I watched one playing with a stick and chasing seagulls.

 

Sea Lions and Australian Birds

Sea Lions and Birds on Seal Island

 

 

You can see just how many birds they have to share the island with.  There’s a breeding colony of pelicans there, pied cormorants, little penguins, ospreys, terns and seagulls.

 

 

Sadly, there are estimated to be just 11,000 – 15,000 Australian sea lions left in the wild, and they are only found off the South West coast of Australia.  Hopefully their numbers may increase with the protection they now receive and also the protection of the fish stock in the region.

 

Australian Sea Lions at Seal Island

Australian Sea Lions at Seal Island