[Tweeters] Amazing sight from Kalaloch

Rolan Nelson rnbuffle at yahoo.com
Tue Aug 24 08:46:48 PDT 2010

Oops!   Sooty SHEARWATERS.  (sorry about that, everyone)

Rolan Nelson
Fircrest, WA
rnbuffle at yahoo.com

--- On Tue, 8/24/10, Brenda Burnett <beaknbird at hotmail.com> wrote:

From: Brenda Burnett <beaknbird at hotmail.com>
Subject: [Tweeters] Amazing sight from Kalaloch
To: tweeters at u.washington.edu
Date: Tuesday, August 24, 2010, 8:28 AM

Hubbins and I spent 3 days at Kalaloch this last weekend, and for much of it we saw an amazing sight: about 1/4-mile (?) out from the tideline, hour after hour, a "river" of seabirds flowed north.  It seemed like millions of birds, "all the birds in the world" said Hubbins.  On Saturday evening we noticed them at dusk.  On Sunday morning we walked for a couple of hours, and the "river" flowed the whole time.  Still going at mid-day.  Later in the day, it seemed to have stopped. 

With just binocs, it was hard to see what they were.  Most did not fly like ducks--they had smallish bodies and long slender wings and were very fast.  All were dark-colored.  I'm completely ignorant of things like shearwaters and petrels, but I wonder if that's what they were.  We wondered why they were going north.

On Monday a.m. we went up to Ruby Beach, and the tide was high.  Here we got a better idea of what was going on.  Again, THOUSANDS of birds up to 1/4 mile out (and further), easier to see because of the sun.  They were clearly after fish--the birds were flowing north, then they would turn and go south, many settling into huge rafts on the water, lots of splashing going on.  A huge feedlot, I guess.  Truly amazing.

This got both of us interested in learning more about pelagic species and I will be asking soon for more info/recommendations on seabird trips!

Brenda Burnett
beaknbird at hotmail dot com

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