Saturday, November 7, 2009

Mission Creek Water Show!

On what may turn out to be the last idyllic day of an Indian summer, sea lions, pelicans and other diving and wading birds provided an unusual water show in Mission Creek yesterday.

From early morning a large sea lion was spotted swimming and leaping in the water. His antics drew houseboat residents out onto their verandahs, and as the day progressed, creek walkers lined the bank to watch and take photos.

For some who regularly walk the creek, it was their first sighting of sea lions there, whilst others said they had often seen them. But to see such a large sea lion playing in the water was more unusual.

A second, smaller sea lion bobbed up and down, and pelicans, more in number than usual, swooped in aerial displays and dive-bombed for fish.

They were joined by ducks - this pair below chasing each other - wading birds like the Great Egret, and Western gulls.

Temperatures were recorded at being in the high 70s in the city, but were more likely just tipping 80 degrees at the creek.

The sea lion population lives at Pier 39 at Fisherman's Wharf. There has recently been a huge influx with numbers swelling to a record 1,585. The Marine Mammal Center who help care for the animals are investigating the cause. Early thoughts are that it is due to food supplies.