Just got back to Vancouver from a brief jaunt over to Sooke for some seabirding. On Friday I met up with Ian Cruickshank and we headed out to Sherringham Point to scope the waves. Pretty dead out there compared to a year ago when several species of shearwaters and jaegers were visible at almost any time of day. After three hours of watching we had seen only the usual suspects (Rhino Auklet, loads of murres, etc) plus a new year tick: several HEERMANN'S GULLS.
The next day I boarded a whale-watching boat with 12 other salty-souls and we headed out to the mouth of the Juan de Fuca (aka Salish Sea). As expected, we needed to go way out to Swiftsure Banks to get our first taste of tubenoses but alas the wind picked up and we were forced back into the strait. All in all it was a fun trip with the highlights being: 7+ RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRDS all migrating south over the strait, over 20 CASSIN'S AUKLETS (last year we missed them), a single TUFTED PUFFIN, a couple NORTHERN FULMARS (year bird-- pale bird pictured below) good numbers of PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATERS, and surprisingly only 5 or 6 SOOTY SHEARWATERS.
Time for a couple more days of shorebirding (if only we had some rain!), then I'm off on a longer boat trip out of Hardy-- hoping for some good stuff!
Over and out,