Thursday, 23 June 2011

All At Sea

Pigeon guillemot
Once again, I felt the need to get out of the house early evening and headed down to Victoria's Clover Point.
And, once again, it was fairly quiet on the bird front. The wind seemed to have switched more to the south west, and while it seemed pretty choppy out there it wasn't really so lively as to force anything in. In fact, there were fewer birds out there than on any recent visits. A few rhino auklets were seen but that was about it, other than a few glaucous-winged and California gulls.
After about 45 minutes of staring at waves I decided to move along the coast a bit and see if anything was seeking shelter off Oak Bay.

Rhinoceros auklet
Scanning from Turkey Head, just by the marina, there were good numbers of pigeon guillemot actively fishing.
The considerably calmer waters allowed for a few pics to taken, even though the birds were some way out.
Good luck to any Brit birders who fancy claiming one of these in UK waters... how you'd separate one from black guillemot at sea I really don't know. While long-billed and ancient murrelets, Pacific loons, tufted puffin and glaucous-winged gull (plus a first-summer drake white-winged scoter is also currently entertaining twitchers in Scotland) have all been recorded around the British coast in recent years, I don't see this one making it onto the list anytime soon!

A handful of rhinoceros auklet were also present and, again, the flat sea meant that I was able to get some slightly better shots (pair pictured). A flotilla of harlequin ducks too, were seen.
Clamorous black oystercatchers made their presence felt, as they careened about the place in noisy packs.
Lounging around on exposed rocky islets offshore, were several blubbery seals.

No comments:

Post a Comment