Fulmar & Shark

Brian Fitch

A motley gray Northern Fulmar flew quite close to the Sutro Baths terrace this morning, the only bird species of note among an exciting set of other oceanic animals.

Bottlenosed Dolphins started the show, at least six of them swam past heading into the Gate around 7:15.  What appeared to be the same group returned around 9, and spent some time fishing between me and North Rock.  A single distant spout was likely my first Gray Whale of the year, a number of Harbor Porpoise were scattered about, and only one sea lion passed by. 

The highlight was my first ever shark species seen from land in the city.  I was scope scanning a feeding frenzy of gulls and cormorants when I caught a brief but perfect profile view of a shark lunging out of the water at a diagonal.  I could see the angular open jaws, the flat head, and the relatively high triangular dorsal fin, but nothing behind that.  It appeared to be completely steel gray as far as I could tell at distance, and judging from a nearby Harbor Porpoise and the birds, it was between 10-12 feet in length.  I've been looking on-line at different species known to dwell in our waters, but there are several that could match up, and I doubt that I'll be able to ID it exactly.

Brian Fitch

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