Sunday, November 28, 2010
June 6th: Travel to the Pribiloff Island of St. Paul
June 6th: today was primarily a travel day to St Paul in the Pribiloff Islands. Our flight departed at 12:20 PM but despite the fact we checked our luggage in by 10:00 AM, Pen Air decided to not ship any of the luggage because they wanted to ship a lot of cargo at our fuel stop in Dillingham. The plane was a propeller plane and needed to make this stop to refuel after an hour just in case it could not land on St. Paul immediately due to weather. But the weather was sunny and about 43. We were on the plane with Forrest Davis’ group and none of us got luggage. Luckily I brought enough warm clothes and hopefully our bags will be shipped tomorrow, but there is a chance they may not. If they had told us this in advance we would have packed a little differently as I think the main item missing will be our toothbrush and paste as well as waterproof boots and rain pants.
We landed at 3:40 and our first bird on the Island was a Gray Crowned Rosy Finch which are residents here, a life bird for us! Sean, our local guide, took both groups around a few spots on a shuttle bus. We had amazing views of Thick Billed Murres on the cliffs mixed in with a few Common Murres. Both Tufted and Horned Puffins were flying nearby and lots of Black Legged Kittiwakes were gathering nesting material. Rock Sandpipers are common here.
We then went to view the Northern Fur Seals, mostly males, who were establishing their territory. The numbers of these beautiful creatures are declining, but still plentiful here.
We had dinner prior to birding at about 5 PM at Trident Seafood. All the meals will be here. The Swordfish was delicious, soft and moist, unlike any other times I’ve had it.