Sunday, November 28, 2010

June 7th Pribiloff Puffins & Auklets

June 7th: A 7:15 departure for breakfast at Trident turned into 7:40. Paul and I skipped eating at the restaurant since we had brought enough food with us. We stopped to view the female Stellars Eiders which were life birds for us, but a dull brown in color.

Then we went to some cliffs to view the Least and Parakeet Auklets amongst both species of Murres. There was a small raft of Crested Auklets in the water and then we spotted a pair in the cliffs for better scope views.

Northern Fulmars were also nesting in the cliffs, while Horned and Tufted Puffins were not as numerous.

Paul saw a Short Tailed Shearwater which I hope to see later and we got a good look at one Red-legged Kittiwake.

Then a lunch stop was made back at Trident, which I skipped for a chance to eat my pear. After lunch we had a 2 hour break which is when I tried to use the one computer here to get on the internet, but after almost an hour of fighting with it, I gave up. The weather is bright and sunny again today, but the wind is very cold. I’m guessing the temp is about 35F. We are hoping our luggage is on the flight that is due to arrive at 3:45. If not we heard it is suppose to be on a cargo plane arriving at 10:00 PM. I now know what it’s like to brush my teeth with my finger. Luckily someone let me borrow some toothpaste.

We did a little birding from 3 to 4:00 but heard the plane arrive and YES our luggage was here! So after reorganizing a bit and getting on our waterproof boots we did a tad more birding before going to dinner at Trident. After dinner we slogged around thru some marshes but it was generally pretty quiet...just the usual suspects like Rock Sandpiper, Lapland Longspur, Gray Crowned Rosy Finches and new for this location, Winter Wren (which may be split) and Snow Buntings. We then did a short steep very scenic hike along a ravine with great views near the Northern Seal Rookery and when we returned to the car a big male was very near the van. Forrest’s group was there and gave us a tip on some Emperor Geese in great light so 5 of us jumped in another van and headed out for the Northeast part of the island where there was a lot of black sand dunes – the area kind of reminded me of Cape Cod, Truro area. We did get distant and scope views of the Geese, but they flew off before I could get any close photos.

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