We are finally getting weaners on the Farallones. This is the weaner of Drip, a 14 year old cow born here on Shell Beach. This first wave of weaners look very fat, even though most weaned 2 days quicker than normal. Those early arriving cows get in such long bouts of uninterrupted nursing their pups are ready to wean faster than the pups born to later-arriving cows who have to fight for space on the crowded beaches.
Here is the weaner of Schnitzel lying next to an immature elephant seal that was probably born last year. You can see that the weaner is much larger, I count at least 4 chins on her.
Weaner Schnitzel is the first completely successful breeding attempt for its young mother.
Although the first wave of weaners has arrived, there are still 85 pups out there with their mothers. We are about 10 pups above the average for this date so it looks like the SEFI elephant seal population is continuing to increase, as it has for the past decade.
As for the males, Don Francisco has taken over the Sand Flat and is the undisputed alpha of SEFI. He is a bit less exclusive than Nero was, allowing Brendan, Salvatore, and DMX to lay among the peripheral cows of his harem. Bedlam Boy is harem master of the Terrace, and Rusty is on Mirounga Beach, but he quickly vacates whenever Don comes down for a cooling swim. Puffy is in Garbage Gulch with 3 cows.
West End Island Bulls are Baraka and BobBond.