We had company today and Mrs. Lebec asked me to show them the photos I took December 10, 2021 of a SeaLion. As I was looking through them I didn’t remember writing a blog about them. I decided to write that blog today.
The Salmon had been running for two weeks the first run in a long time, many years as a matter of fact. The SeaLions follow the fish from the San Francisco bay following them all over the Delta. At times they are in pairs but on this day he was alone. I was in the perfect position to take pictures of him.
It didn’t take too long for the SeaGulls to realize there may just be a free meal in store for them. The SeaLion was having no part of it, he shares his bounty with no one especially free loaders.
I have more photos than words; they will speak for themselves mostly.
He would take his fish underwater to keep the Gull at bay; until he surfaced again then he would face several. The Gull would not chance approaching the Bull Seal for fear of being bitten. I have often wondered if SeaLions prey on the creatures of the slough.
I have not witnessed any aggression towards them from the SeaLions but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. In this photo the Gull waits, I’m not saying it is displaying outright aggression to get a bite of Salmon. It is merely waiting for an opportunity.
The fish he caught were all in the 2-3 foot range, good size Salmon. The SeaLions head was by comparison the size of a regulation Basketball. He was a big boy a full 9 feet in length and big around the middle. The Gulls did not give up.
He ate four while I was watching him that’s a lot of fish in my book; perhaps as much as 30 pounds. It’s astounding how many they are able to consume in a short period of time. He ate four while I was photographing him. All of the characters in this blog are (and were) beautiful animals the Salmon shined in the late morning Sun.
It is right down the old hatch, they are swallowed whole I’m not sure the Gull ever got a taste. Did the SeaLion know the bird was there? I’m sure he did and he seemed to be a bit defensive but not overly. There is a reward for the bird if the fish is bitten in half which the Seals do frequently.
Peace during lunch at long last as he nabbed another Salmon quickly adding it to his stomach which at this point had to be stuffed. This photo clearly shows the size of the fish in comparison to the SeaLions huge head. As I stated above the head is as big as a Basketball and the fish is at least twice that size.
This photo I have not posted prior to being on this blog, this is the third Salmon this guy wolfed down. How many can they eat? I don’t know except it’s at least four.
There are a lot of photos in this blog, I admit I got a bit carried away and I had to use this picture to end the blog. It reminds me of Jack Johnson’s song “People taking pictures of people taking pictures”, although this guy is not taking pictures he took a long look in my direction letting it print one in his memory.
That December day was very enjoyable, it was one of those days every image I took was a keeper. The Sun was white and bright I considered darkening it just a taste but decided against it because the blue of the water was a perfect match to the actual conditions.
Jacques Lebec Natural Self Reliance