In late September 2009, I walked toward a small copse of trees north of the Obstruction Point road, in Olympic National Park. I heard a shrill call. At first I didn’t know what made the call, so I walked in the direction I thought the call came from. Finally, I saw several Olympic Marmots, Marmota olympus, standing up and looking north. (Image 1) I recorded a call that day (and another a few days later).
Marmot call 1:
Marmot call 2:
Image 3 shows another view, from behind the calling marmots, and Mt. Baker in the distant background.
Image 4 is a portion of the description of the Olympic Marmot, including a description of the call, from Catalogue of Mammals from the Olympic Mountains Washington With Descriptions of New Species, by D.G. Elliot, FRSE, 1899.
Wondering what the marmots were calling about, I walked around a bit, and finally looked downslope to see a coyote far down toward the valley. It seemed to be just resting at first, and then looked up at me (Image 5). After a bit, it wandered casually farther down (Image 6). (Images 5 and 6 were shot with a handheld Nikon Coolpix S10 at maximum zoom, and only a small portion of the image is shown here, so the quality is poor. Here’s a fuller view)