[Tweeters] Cruise ship birding from Seattle July 26

Paul Cozens pcozens at comcast.net
Sat Aug 9 08:12:17 PDT 2008

Took an Alaska cruise from Seattle July 26. Stops were Juneau, Skagway,
Ketchikan, and Victoria. Departed Seattle at 4:00 pm. Puget Sound was not
unusually birdy on the way north. The second day (27th) the most abundant
species noted was Leach's Storm-petrel on the western side of Vancouver
Island, with birds being seen almost any time one would care to scan the sea
through binoculars. They were difficult to see without binoculars; being
small and dark and the ocean being large and dark. The fact that
observations were made from over 100' above the water didn't help. Other
notables were Northern Fulmar, Sooty Shearwaters, and a few shearwaters I
was inclined to identify as Short-tailed. Nothing unusual at any of the
Alaska stops: Mew, Bonaparte's, Western, Herring, and Glaucous-winged Gulls,
Marbled Murrelet, Common Murre, Bald Eagle, Common Raven, Northwestern Crow
(their call is really distinct.) The trip south between the Queen Charlottes
and Vancouver Island yielded Black-footed Albatross, Buller's and Sooty
Shearwaters, and a whirligig of 300+ distant phalaropes.

My target bird, Kittlitz's Murrelet, was not seen. Granted, we were only
skirting the southern edge of its range, but one always has hope.

Not the best way to spend your birding dollar, but we didn't have to cook.

Paul Cozens
pcozens at comcast.net
West Seattle
How much deeper would the oceans be if there were no sponges?

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