A Lull

By Joe Behnke. Filed in Bird surveys  |   

In May there is a general lull in seabird activity, if you do not count the tens of thousands of rhinoceros auklets moving back into the Salish Sea and the thousands of pelagic cormorants and glaucous-winged gulls roosting on and fishing off of breeding rocks in the archipelago; most of the ducks, mergansers, grebes, shorebirds, loons and bufflheads have headed north and California and Heermann’s gulls have not yet arrived. From the cliffs of Iceberg Point, Saturday, rhinoceros auklets could be seen here and there a mile out, but hundreds formed lines in the waters off of Richardson. Three Pacific loons dove near the point with their white summer caps and several pelagic cormorants did the same.  A couple of male harlequin ducks foraged along the kelp and black oystercatchers skipped along islets gorging on inverts exposed by the negative tide.  In Outer Bay, pigeon guillemots dove to the flat, sandy bottom for their food. Also near the point, were a couple of marbled murrelets, in their summer brown to blend in against tree bark.  A constant flow of glaucous-winged gulls sailed along the bluff edge on thermals.

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