04/24/16 - River Otters

We first spotted these river otters while they were swimming in the Strait of San Juan de Fuca. We were a bit east of town, past the Rayonnier site, along the waterfront. One of them had a fish of some sort. They made their way to shore where they posed for a bit. Then they disappeared into the rocks below us.

Click on the pictures to see just how cute they are.


Otters at sea

Coming ashore

Getting closer

Posing on a rock

Definitely otters

Keywords: otters


05/10/15 - West of Morse Creek

We often walk that stretch of the Olympic Discovery Trail that runs west from Morse Creek. It's a twenty minute walk down to the Strait of San Juan de Fuca. We had a great walk recently. The first wild rose was out in bloom and we saw one of the river otters out on a rock.

First rose

A song sparrow

A river otter

Keywords: morse creek, otters


05/08/14 - Seen In Port Angeles Harbor

We often take the Olympic Discovery Trail west from the Morse Creek parking lot. It's about a mile from the parking lot down to the water. Perhaps another half mile west there are a few rocks out in the Strait favored by the local river otters. There was one out there today, enjoying his catch of the day. While we were watching we noticed an eagle flying low. It dived towards the otter who slid off the rock into the water. The eagle resumed his course west. As soon as the coast was clear, the otter returned to the rock with his fish in his mouth.

Also of note were the snails. We often see slugs along this trail. This is the Pacific Northwest, one of the great slug habitats of the continent, but we see snails much less rarely.


The view from the trail

One of the local river otters, dining al fresco

Either a snail or a shell collecting slug

Keywords: morse creek, otters, slugs, eagle


01/15/11 - Here Are Two River Otters on a Rock

It's probably Christmas burnout, or the darkness of the season, but things have been slow here. We did see two river otters on one of the rocks off the Olympic Discovery Trail west of Morse Creek. We were getting hungry. That fish looked awfully good.

Keywords: morse creek, otters


04/03/09 - Morse Creek

Just a brief note on the Morse Creek trail, which is what we call the section of the Olympic Discovery Trail that runs west of Morse Creek. On our last visit:
  1. We spotted scientists at work. We thought they were fishermen, but they had awfully science-y looking gear. We asked, and they explained that they were studying the water chemistry and the like.
  2. We spotted kelpies. We thought they were otters, since we often see otters along the trail. They weren't otters; they were just clumps of kelp, but they kept us guessing for a bit.
  3. We spotted pretty ducks in Morse Creek. We're guessing that ducklings are in the offing.

Scientists in the wild

Kelpies

Ducks

Keywords: morse creek, science, otters


10/11/08 - Some of the Otters

There were some river otters swimming off the Morse Creek Trail today. This isn't a very good picture. They kept diving for fish, so it was hard to get a good shot.

There were five otters off the Morse Creek Trail today.

Keywords: morse creek, animals, otters


01/16/08 - Signs Of The Season

We were down at Morse Creek, walking west along the Discover Trail towards Port Angeles. It is mid-January, so it is surely still winter, but we also found our first signs of spring. Check out the salmonberry flowers! This was just one bush in a sheltered area by a stream at the base of the bluff, but the flowers were out.

There was a river otter on one of the rocks. This isn't a very good photo. We are still learning what we can and can't do with our new camera. Our picture of a great blue heron came out better. We don't see as many of them as we used to back in the Boston area, but they like the mouth of the Lee's Creek, maybe because of the fresh water.


The first salmonberry flowers of the season

A great blue heron

The river otters were out

Keywords: flowers, morse creek, port angeles, spring, winter, salmon, otters


10/17/07 - Otter Island

The Morse Creek Trail is what passes for an urban trail out in Port Angeles. It runs along the water from downtown near the Red Lion, the Victoria ferry docks and The Landing, past the Hospital, and then along the base of the bluffs before turning inland a bit before Morse Creek east of town. We tend to drive east on 101 to Morse Creek and park in the little parking lot there. We head west, crossing the wooden railroad bridge which was restored by local volunteers, and then down to the water. Given that the town is hard by a National Park full of some of the greatest wilderness in the lower 48, walking the Morse Creek trail still manages to take one away from it all. There is a little beach where the trail meets the strait, then a crumbling dike which is washed by the waves on stormy days. A bit past here, the trail is paved, so it makes a great bicycle trail. The view is of Ediz Spit with the Coast Guard Station, alien Canada and the city of Victoria, the San Juan Islands, the Strait of San Juan de Fuca itself, and in the distance Mount Baker looming like a meringue. There is also a lot of kelp which we tend to mistake for sea birds, and there is a bunch of rocks (see the picture below) which is now and then inhabited by local river otters (see pictures to the right). The otters aren't on their rock all that often, but when they are, it is a special treat.

Keywords: morse creek, victoria, birds, mount baker, otters


07/23/06 - River Otters Off Morse Creek Trail

We often see river otters on the rocks or swimming around off the Olympic Discovery Trail that runs from downtown Port Angeles to Morse Creek. There's a little creek that runs down from the top of the bluff a bit west of the storm bypass, and we've seen the otters crossing the trail from that area down to the water. This time we had our camera with us, so we have proof.

Keywords: animals, morse creek, port angeles, otters