Monday, April 4, 2011

An Eight Hour Tour ...

I went on a boat trip.

To see birds. And anything else that might swim by.

It started out good enough, as we spotted a pair of peregrine falcons nesting on the bridge spanning the harbor inlet.

Half a Pair

Bye-bye land.

(If you look real closely, you can see my high school!)

The target birds were alcids: razorbills, murres, dovekies, puffins and the like. The penguins of the north.

Not an Alcid

And while we saw several hundred razorbills, most were at a distance.

Somebody claimed to see a common murre.

I didn't.

And I got no razorbill photos.


But we did see gulls!

Still not Alcids

Lots of gulls.

Eight different species. (One per hour!) Like the young glaucous of my previous post. 


The chumming helped.

We also saw plenty of scoter. Thousands of surf and black, and some white winged too. But like those in this image, they flew as the boat approached. Giving Crossley like views.

Find Them All!

And note the cool mirage ships in the distance.

Other mirages included a whale and some dolphin that others claimed to see.

Hidden behind that common murre no doubt.

The other bird we got good looks at are were northern gannet.

Angry Bird?

Gannets are the birds gulls wannabe.

Torpedos with wings, they dive bomb fish. Very cool to watch.

As you can see the sky was clear and blue. It was a sunny but cold day. I had been worried about rough seas and seasickness, but for the most part it was calm. And no one joined in the chumming.

Braving the Elements

It did get a bit rougher on the way in. Forcing us to abandon the bow, as the waves came crashing over.

While we didn't see the birds I wanted to see and I missed the mammals, it was a good day, spent with new friends and old, most of which I didn't expect to see. 

And we got to see gulls (pun!).

Still no Alcids

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