Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Eyes Over Puget Sound: Brown pelicans and gray water

By Jessica Payne, communications manager, Environmental Assessment program

Eyes Over Puget Sound combines high-resolution photo observations with satellite images, ferry data from travel between Seattle and Victoria BC, and measurements from our moored instruments.

This month, we flew through the same warm air temperatures that have persisted since fall. It was interesting to see how warm water temperatures and offshore winds are displaying on our landscape.

Click here to see the January report.

Brown pelicans: a story of recovery

Once a month we travel to Grays Harbor and Willapa Bay for our Coast marine flight. During these flights we usually see brown pelicans. It's always entertaining to watch these large, beautiful pelicans fly and dive for food. 

This month, we decided to highlight these amazing creatures. You can find some interesting facts about this charismatic coastal bird in the personal field impressions section of our report

View from the air

Grasslands create a nice contrast at
the Willipa Bay estuary.

We saw many large jelly fish patches still present in southern inlets of Puget Sound. 

Coastal waters were colored in shades of gray to brown by sediment and natural organic matter in the water. We also saw Phytoplankton blooms along the coastal surf. 

We were treated to beautiful artful views of meandering sloughs and gullies on exposed mud flats during low tide in Willapa Bay. 

This created a nice contrast next to the geometry of shellfish beds in the area. 

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