[Tweeters] Amazing sight from Kalaloch

Kelly Cassidy lostriver at completebbs.com
Tue Aug 24 17:30:30 PDT 2010

Regrettably, I've only seen Sooty Shearwaters once off the coast. The ones
I saw were in a relatively small flock, but still a spectacular sight to see
them "shear" into the water.

Sooty Shearwaters have the longest migration path known, about 40,000
miles/year. They make a giant figure 8 in the Pacific after they leave
their breeding grounds in New Zealand. For maps and more details, google
Sooty Shearwater migration. Here's one of many good links:


Kelly Cassidy


From: tweeters-bounces at mailman2.u.washington.edu
[mailto:tweeters-bounces at mailman2.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Brenda
Sent: Tuesday, August 24, 2010 8:28 AM
To: tweeters at u.washington.edu
Subject: [Tweeters] Amazing sight from Kalaloch

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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