Common murre (BRIDLED PHENOTYPE)
First of year PEREGRINE FALCON
First of year SEMIPALMATED PLOVER
Arctic terns with juvenile
Great blue heron
Black legged kittiwake
The day started out with an adult PEREGRINE FALCON perched atop the power tower on Macmaster Island. This was my first peregrine of the year, I usually see them quite often later in the season.
We then made our way east of Whitehorse island where we were treated to a spectacle of feeding shearwaters and alcids. Lots of MANX shearwater as well as the less numerous sooty shearwater, no great shearwaters today. Puffins, razorbills and murres were diving below the flocks of gulls, not to mention the large adult fin whale that lunged so close to the boat I could have jumped right into his mouth! It was quite a privilege to witness such a display.
There was a notable increase in the number of arctic terns in these feeding groups. Terns only join when the herring is small enough for them; about 3 inches, which is sometimes called "brit". They are very noisy, constantly vocalizing while diving down to pluck the small fish from the waves. I looked for common terns but all the terns seemed to be arctic terns. I even spotted a juvenile perched atop floating piece of wood.
|Juvenile arctic tern|
|Herring gull feeding over a ball of small herring, also known as "brit"|
|Common murre, "bridled" morph|
On the evening trip I had a quick flyby of what I am quite sure was 10-15 semipalmated sandpipers, I managed to pick out one SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, which is my first of season.
Thanks to Beverley and Mark Schneider for coming with us on this mornings trip, it's always nice to have some experienced naturalists out there who enjoy the birds as much as I do!