This afternoon I was walking at American Camp with a friend when we came across a bald eagle feeding on a harbor porpoise carcass. This is something I've never seen before! After our walk I went back with my camera in hand. There were four eagles nearby, but unfortunately none of them were feeding at the time. I took advantage of the feeding break to take a closer look at the adult porpoise.
I've written before about my mixed fascination at/aversion to having the chance to look at dead animals, in relation to the beached bird surveys I do. While it's not something I particularly enjoy, it is an opportunity to look at a wild animal closer than is possible when they are alive. This porpoise was the same type of experience for me. While the open innards of the porpoise were pretty gross, it was still amazing to see this animal up close. I was particularly fascinated with the tail, which is just a beautiful shape:
Here's a close-up of the face. In addition to being amazed at the tiny teeth in the mouth, I thought the striations in the gray coloration, particularly around the mouth, were pretty remarkable. (Click on the image to get a better look.)
Other than the eagles, the birdy highlight of the visit was the two pairs of black oystercatchers on the nearby rocks. There were some sea birds well offshore, including a flock of red-breasted mergansers and ten surf scoters, but most of them were too far away and too backlit to be identified.