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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Crossing Admiralty Inlet

As we headed back to Friday Harbor after a great trip to Sequim last weekend, the winds continue to blow as we took the Port Townsend --> Keystone Ferry across Admiralty Inlet. I thought that might hamper the bird sightings a bit, but I was surprised by how species many I saw during the 30 minute crossing. Here's my count:

Surf scoter - 1
Common goldeneye - 2
Red-breasted merganser - 3
Pacific loon - 1
Common loon - 1
Red-necked grebe - 1
Double-crested cormorant - 3
Pelagic cormorant - 2
Mew gull - 2
Western x Glaucous-winged hybrid - 2
Glaucous-winged gull - 3
Gull sp. - 5
Common murre - 1
Pigeon guillemot - 20
Marbled murrelet - 2
Rhinoceros auklet - 65

The highlights were definitely the pair of marbled murrelets (135), a year bird, a well as the number of rhinoceros auklets. While we see auklets in inland waters all year, most of then tend to head offshore to feed for the winter. All the ones I saw in Admiralty Inlet, the first ones back for the summer, were decked out in their breeding plumage.

I've had a couple of neat bird sightings since returning home. The other night, no fewer than 30 double-crested cormorants gathered together outside the marina, then took flight and swirled through the sky before settling to roost in the trees just down the shoreline from us. Then, this morning, I heard a European starling mimicking a Swainson's thrush....maybe I'm not the only one who is ready for summer?


A.Rozinov said...

I wish To be there!

Dave Wenning said...

Starlings as Thrushes, interesting! I have Steller's Jays pretending to be hawks.