[Tweeters] The Auklets of West Point

Carol Riddell cariddell at mac.com
Sun Jul 10 16:37:21 PDT 2005

Hi Tweets,

Paddled from Smith Cove to West Point this morning and early afternoon. The
threatened rain never materialized so it was a perfect time out on the
water. There were at least 50 RHINOCEROS AUKLETS off West Point and
slightly to the north. So they are still hanging around, miles and miles
away from Protection Island. Some would let us get within 6 feet before
they would dive so their two white face lines and the bill horns were well
seen. We also watched two OSPREY fishing along the Magnolia shore and then
winging their way to Bainbridge when they would catch a fish. Nestlings
awaiting lunch on Bainbridge? Seems like a long way to go for fishing. I
wondered why they were not fishing along the Bainbridge shore.

We also saw two BELTED KINGFISHERS, some PIGEON GUILLEMOTS, a number of
steady stream of CASPIAN TERNS flying along the shoreline. The beach was
heavy with CROWS. I noted a few HOUSE SPARROWS and wondered about other
sparrows further up the bluffs but 10x25 binocs in a bobbing boat precluded
identification. As we paddled back to Smith Cove a Harbor Seal finally
joined us. We arrived back just at 2:19 p.m., the moment of the lower low
tide, a minus tide, today. Such perfect timing. That afforded us the extra
exercise of carrying the boats from the furthest possible point to the car,
crossing barnacle-encrusted rocks and lots of slimy sea weed. This is to
test agility, balance, and firm footing.

Good birding,
Carol Riddell

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