Saturday, November 10, 2012

River Otters Frolicking!

Here it is November and I haven't finished my blog posts from August! I guess that is what the final year of graduate schools does to a person. I've been busy working on three chapters of my master's thesis as well as two other side projects. But here it is....

In August, Karyn and I traveled to Alaska (click here for all of my posts on this trip). On our final day of the trip we were in Seward and had to get in one more hike. As it had been doing for a few days, it was raining - fairly hard. On our list of things to do, we wanted to see salmon spawning. We decided to undertake the short hike toward Tonsina beach before our drive back to Anchorage. The full hike to Tonsina beach requires coordination with a tide schedule as a portion of the trail is underwater at high tide. We were only hiking the 1.5 miles stretch to the first stream crossing. It would turn out to be a spectacular trip.

River Otter!

Half way to the bridge we noticed movement beside the trail. River Otter. One...Two...Three...Four! One of our favorite mammals. They were very curious and had to come and check us out.

River Otter.

Their attention span was short. After a quick check on us, they went back to focusing on each other. Any time we would move, they would come back over to check us out. Most of the time they just frolicked around with each other, never holding still.

River Otters.
River Otters.

We couldn't manage to pull ourselves away. Here is a quick video that Karyn took.

After twenty minutes of watching we had to move on. We had arranged for a late checkout from our hotel and we were on a schedule...

We continued down the trail arriving at the spawning stream. There were quite a few fish around.

Spawners!

Of course, where there are fish, there are eagles... and lots of them...

Seven Bald Eagles!
Four more!
Bald Eagles.

There were more eagles on the beach. We counted more than 20 in total. I am sure there were many more around. It was a spectacular sight.

We hoped to get one more glimpse of the otters on the way back through, but it was not to be. Unfortunately that bought an end to our fantastic trip to Alaska. We definitely plan to return some day.

2 comments:

April said...

Great pics and cool video! River otters are so fun to watch. I've seen a couple here on the Clearwater, but nothing like that. What are they doing when they rub themselves on the moss? Nice eagle photos, too - especially liked the last one!

Scott (@NESASK) said...

What a treat it must have been to watch the otters. I like the way river otters are so curious. The video is great! There's not too much real estate left on that tree for that stack of eagles.