Sunday, September 5, 2010
Birds and Whales
Late today while we were running the beach looking for shorebirds and scanning offshore, we noticed a group of birds feeding over a Gray Whale. There were three Short-tailed Shearwaters, eight Sabine's gulls, and many Red Phalaropes. Earlier in our beach run we had seen a large group of gulls, mostly Black-legged Kittiwakes and Glaucous Gulls, in a feeding frenzy over a tight school of small fish. There were also four Parasitic Jaegers in the group. This morning it was so foggy we couldn't conduct our usual seawatch. We took a spin around Troutman Lake and there were more than a hundred Crested Auklets with a few Least Auklets on the lake where they had dropped in instead into the Bering Sea because of the fog. Later this afternoon the auklets had disappeared, hopefully making it successfully to the open water. A few young Crested Auklets also ended up crashing into the boneyards where members of our group picked them up and transported them to the seashore.