After a couple days of strong SW winds we were able to do tours again. We have had a change in the weather. Finally some rain. This is good as there are still forest fires burning to the north. Highlights were Aleutian Terns and a Red Phalarope. Red Phalaropes are rare on Kachemak Bay. The last ones that I’ve seen was a small flock in 2008. It pretty much ignored the boat and we were able to get very close to it.
We also saw some Brant.
Then there was the ever changing light at Gull Island.
We were able to do the bird trip today that I had originally scheduled for Sunday. The wind decided it would blow hard from the north for three days. We rarely have wind from the north. Usually it is northeast, southeast or southwest. We also had smoke from a forest fire to the north near Tustamina Lake. So far the fire has stayed away from people or houses.
Here is a Marbled Murrelet.
Lots of Common Murres.
And a Steller Sea Lion.
Just about perfect weather for a bird trip. We did especially well with shorebirds but also had good looks at Aleutians Terns.
A Horned Puffin at Gull Island was a couple weeks earlier than normal. Here is a list of birds seen on the trip:
After the bird trip a quick trip to Bear Cove. Some building materials.
It is not just the birds that migrate during the spring. People are moving in to their summer homes in Bear Cove, Halibut Cove, Peterson Bay, Sadie Cove, Tutka Bay and other places in the bay. Here is a typical load.
Lots of plants!
I did another bird trip this morning and the only thing of note were two Wandering Tattlers on 60′ Rock and three more on the rocks at the entrance to the boat harbor. I’ll do another list for tomorrow’s trip.
When my father taught 5th grade at Paul Banks Elementary he would take his class over to Glacier Spit and camp for a couple nights. That was 40 years ago. It is nice to see that is still happening although some just go for the day. With the help of another boat we took 29 over this morning and picked them up this afternoon. A good portion of the beach came on board as well.
Then there was the putting on of life jackets. Alaska state law requires children 12 or less to wear a life jacket on board a boat.
Finally it is time to head back. Half of them fell asleep and the other half had more energy than they should have after a six mile hike.
These were sitting on the jetty on the way into the boat harbor. Two Surfbirds and a Rock Sandpiper.
I decided to go on the west side of the spit today since there was no wind in the morning. As it turned out that situation didn’t last long. The wind began to blow and fog moved in about a third of the way into the trip.
It was ok though. 60′ Rock had some nice sea otters with pups
We proceeded around the island and managed nice looks at Harlequin Ducks, Pigeon Guillemots and a pair of Black Oyster Catchers.
There are many different ways to take photos these days.
Gull Island was very active. The Murres were circling around and landing on the Island, only to be chased off by eagles. On the way back into the harbor 600 to 700 shorebirds were on the jetty. They were mostly Surfbirds with a few Black Turnstones and a couple of Rock Sandpipers. Other than the wind and fog not a bad day to be on the water. Here is the list for the day:
Black Oyster Catcher
Another nice day on the water. Again we headed East of the spit. Passed the cormorant buoy.
Then eventually on to Gull Island
where we saw some of these.
And way too many of these.
Record high temperatures for the day were set as we almost reached 70 degrees. 68 was the official high. Here is the list for today:
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