Black legged Kittiwake
Bird activity off shore near the Wolves has dropped off a bit from last week. Puffins are still in the area, although in fewer numbers, and same goes for the manx and sooty shearwaters. Today, July 7th, I had another Great shearwater, and I think that more will show up soon as their are reports that they are making their way to this side of the bay. Also seen were one razorbill and two common murre families consisting of one or two parents with a chick. There have also been quite a few common loons in the area, sometimes in large groups like this one below that Danielle took...
|Common loons, photo courtesy of Danielle Dion|
Breeding activity on Whitehorse island continues. The herring gull chicks are growing fast and more appear everyday. Still no sign of kittiwake chicks, or eggs for that matter although quite a few birds are sitting on nests. Away from the nesting area their are quite a few juvenile and adult kittiwakes roosting on the far ends of the island.
|Herring gull chick|
|Black legged kittiwake|
The razorbill was in it's usual spot above what appears to be a burrow on the north eastern side of the island. I find it amazing that any of these smaller birds can have breeding success with so many herring and black backed gulls around.
|Razorbill with black backed gull|
In the water around the island was a Razorbill with a significant wound on the back of it's head. I imagine that the wound ended up or will end up to be fatal, as the bird was very docile and could barely get out of the way of the boat. I am not sure what could have caused this injury, any ideas?
Also present om Whitehorse island was a great cormorant my first of the season, although I havn't been looking to hard for this species. I will remember to keep an eye out for them from now on.
Bird activity in Head Harbour Passage has picked up. Hundreds of gulls can be seen spread out over the area, mostly herring and black backed gulls with large flocks of bonaparte's and kittiwakes. This is an important staging ground for migrant gull species with activity peaking in late August and Early September when thousands of gulls show up to feed in the tidal currents that bring a steady supply of fish and krill the surface. I am sure that the area holds some rarities among the more common species, Todd Watts and I managed to find little gull their last year.
Also of interest was this common murre that I spotted on the trip this afternoon. This appeared to be an adult bird showing winter plumage while all the other birds in the area are in full breeding plumage. Does anyone have any experience with plumage changes in common murres and can chime in on this?
That's it for now