Friday, December 16, 2011

Whiskered Auklet and Dutch Harbor

Today was a great day to stand watch from the bridge. I got to run a great survey from east of Unimak Pass west to Dutch Harbor, right along the Aleutians. As soon as I started surveying, birds were everywhere, particularly Northern Fulmar. They were swarming like bees over the water, quite a sight to see! A few Albatross put in an appearance, with 3-4 Laysan seen. Once again, Short-tailed eludes me.

As we were nearing the western end of Unimak Pass, I spied a very large flock of dark Auklets buzzing by.
They looked small to me, smaller and less portly than the Crested Auklets, leading me to believe they are Whiskered. Too bad they were so far away.

Between the western edge of Unimak Pass and Dutch, more small dark Auklets passed by, really trying my patience.

On the outskirts of Dutch Harbor, more and more dark Auklets showed themselves. One large flock in front of the boat was also right in the sun. Finally, after wondering if I would ever get a good look at a Whiskered Auklet, a group of 3 birds sitting on the water near the boat gave me the looks I needed to be certain. Unfortunately, Whiskered Auklet in the winter isn't that pretty of a sight, but I'll take it.

Pulling into Dutch Harbor yielded some great scenery.

We anchored in Sunset Bay and will pull into the Harbor tomorrow around 2pm. This will give me around 3 hours to bird around town. Targets- Emperor Goose and Rock Sandpiper. Word has it that Tufted Ducks winter behind the Grand Aleutian hotel. I'll see if they are in!

No comments:

Post a Comment