Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Russian Waters

Today I woke up in Russian waters. We aren't supposed to collect data in Russia, so I did a little personal surveying. The day started off with a bang when a Laysan Albatross came out of the fog. I figured if I would see any Albatross in this region, they would be Short-tailed, but I was wrong again. By the end of the day, I amassed a total of ~15 Laysan Albatross, with 2 being in American waters.

While the Albatross easily stole the show today, a few other good birds were seen. I saw 2 Cassin's Auklets in Russian waters, a bird I had not yet seen this trip. Also, 2 Least Auklets very close to the boat, in Russian waters as well (yea, I have a Russian list now!).

Back in the American waters, perhaps the most out of place bird was a Fork-tailed Storm Petrel. I've given up trusting the Sibley range maps (at least for AK waters), but the bird does appear to be quite far west (basically on the AK/Russia line).

If I was getting paid by the Fulmar, I would have really hit the jackpot today. They were everywhere, often with 8-10 in view at once. Raising binoculars to the horizon yielded scores more. We may be sticking around out here (w. of St. Matthew on the AK/Russia line) for another day, lets hope the Short-tailed Albatross put in an appearance!

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