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Thread subject: First Message of the day??
Name Date Message
Tiger 08/16/04 01:57 pm No one got anything to say today??

All started your migration?

Pam 08/16/04 05:57 pm Just got back from holiday - glad to see the nest still occupied ! It does seem veeeerrry quiet today !
Marie 08/16/04 06:38 pm Glad someone posted SOMETHING today...it is sooooooo quiet. I just don't feel comfortable doing all the TALKING....LOL.
Nice that you asked the question Tiger!
I could talk about Puffins and Sea Otters....smile but really is anyone interested.?
cathy 08/16/04 06:49 pm Some of our main posters are on vacation, but they gave us instructions not to let up on the observations so they would know what was happening when they return. Of course I am interested in Ospreys, Eagles, Sea Otters, Puffins, Orcas, herons - all those at the top of the food chain as I am.
Marie 08/16/04 07:14 pm LOL......food chain.......now I could imagine all sorts of PICTURES for your mind with a comment like that, cathy.I will try to write a short synopsis of my day in Washington yesterday while three of us led a party of 41 birder's to Cape flattery from Victoria.
cathy 08/16/04 07:45 pm Although I am at the top of the food chain and could go "hunting" for those shrink-wrapped animal parts at the local grocery store, I choose to dine lower down - the veggies and grains. Of course there is always the chocolate food group - a wily prey.
Marie 08/16/04 10:54 pm I see I am in good company...another Chocoholic here...mmm good!
Marie 08/17/04 01:22 am Forty one of Victoria's birders filed through the COHO terminal at 5.45am Sunday, ready to board the ferry. We were bleary eyed but an eager bunch of bird spotters at the bow of the vessel as it pulled away from the dock. The early morning sun painted the sky crimson over a peaceful Victoria. We have a very pretty inner harbour here, so it was nice to look back at the sleepy down town core flushed with early morning light. The ferry motored slowly out past the breakwater. Before us lay the crossing. A body of water( Strait of Juan de Fuca) that divides us from Washington. It was neither choppy nor busy with bird life this morning. We added only 10 species to our bird list for the day. I had hoped to have seen a Brown Pelican..a rare visitor for this area, but there wasn't any to be seen. 90 mins later we filed through American Customs. The officer waved us through with a smile and a retort of ,"What more, of you Huffin-Puffins"as more of us walked past . A coach took us along the Washington coast for a while and then passed Creasant Lake. We stopped at a Clallam Bay to watch several species of PEEPS along the water's edge. Two pairs of eagles were sitting in tall fir trees, one each end of the bay. A Caspain Tern was a nice surprise as it passed us by. We headed off to Neah Bay where we visited the Museum depicting ancient 4,000 yr old Indian settlements found in this area. Most interesting... From this stop we drove to the tip of the penninsular, Cape Flattery. It was here we hoped to find the fabled TUFTED PUFFINS. There was a 20 mins walk through the forest to reach the cliff face. As we headed down to the lookout we met others returning from their hike. They had gone to see the sea lions out on a big rock. Most of them hadn't noticed Puffins nor were they particularly interested in these birds!!! There were however hundreds of birds nesting on several big Sea Stack type rock formations.We spent a long time peering off in the distance for Puffins from the lookout platform. One could hardly miss the nesting birds out on the rocks especially when two young eaglets flew over their colony creating a major disturbance. A few seals were curiously watching us from the water below. In amongst the kelp we finally saw one lone Sea Otter stretched out nicely on his back licking his paws. The churning water was 100ft below us. One needed a pair of binocular or a scope to see the Sea Otter. He never changed his position, during our 90 mins stop over.Typical of the west coast scene the 'marine distubance' FOG, swirled around us and then dissipated only to return several times enveloping our picturesque venue in cool mist. Each time the scenery before us came into view we checked for the OTTER. He was always there cleaning himself oblivious to curious onlookers high above. There were several species of bird on the rocks below us including several families of Black Oystercatchers and Black Turnstones. Out in the water were many Pigeon Guillemots amusing us with their high pitch comminication calls. Out on the big rock lounged the MASTER, a huge sealion with all his favorites females. Birds below and birds above came and went across the water.
We had travelled all this way for guaranteed sightings of Tufted Puffins. Our bus load of Canadians were expecting us to make good on our promise. Last year we had seen 12 of these colourful sea birds but no Sea Otter!!! This outing we had an OTTER but no PUFFIN so far. Was this little creature to be our only gift for a days adventure into the STATES. Up till this point none of us had sighted a PUFFIN. It wasn't looking good for us three leaders...some of our group wandered off to the right to another lookout. It wasn't long before we heard an excited call from one of our members. We could see flying in low over the water from one of the distant breeding rocks, a red-billed, golden locked fast flyer. It plopped down infront of the scouting party. 100 ft below the rocky overhang drifted the Tufted Puffin. It gave us ample opportunity for observing. This bird was to be the ONLY Tuffted Puffin we saw up close. A couple of others were seen way off on the breeding colony rocks. Satisfied we left while the Sea Otter remained sleeping on its back wrapped around with a kelp blanket. The rest of the day we wandered sandy beaches with swirling mists gathering up members of the group only to have them reappear as ghostly forms half way down the beach.Small groups of snadpipers flew from one small shallow pool to another. At times the sea would be clear and the sun would shine brilliantly. Then the long grey arm of the 'marine disturbance' would reach across and come flooding over the warm sand. It created a beautiful MOOD.
Our final tally for bird sightings for the day was 52 species. After a bite to eat at Port Angeles, we headed for the last ferry. Our Field Trip to Cape Falttery had been a success and the three LEADERS had saved face.
Pam 08/17/04 07:33 am Hey Marie, that was lovely. I could see it all so clearly from your narrative. We were there last year and got as far as the museum but not Cape Flattery. When we drove out the road had collapsed (it is right next to the sea as you know) and on our way back they had laid a new road - we couldn't believe it ! Crescent Lake Lodge is one of our favourite places to relax in an adirondack chair with a nice cup of coffee overlooking a pristine lake surrounded with mountains - wish I was there now. Weren't you lucky to see the otter and also what you went for, the crested puffin. Please, please, write Marie's wildlife journal so we can all have a copy.
Pam 08/17/04 07:37 am Sorry Marie, TUFTED puffin ! I'm thinking of grebes !
Marie 08/17/04 09:18 am Thanks Pam..It is great to know you knew of this place and had actually visited some of the places I wrote about. ..yes that stretch of road that was washed out is down to only one lane so STOP signs at both ends of that bend. It was a great trip and the weather was fascinating.
Thank heavens you are back safely from Cornwall. Did you hear or see the PICS on TV about that flash flood in Cornwall? I can't imagine how scary that must be. Climbing up onto the roof of your house and waiting for a helicoptor to rescue you. You spent a week down there recently didn't you? My, the weather is changing globally. So far we have been so lucky. Just days and days of heat and sunshine! Very nice in Victoria.
Pam 08/17/04 12:39 pm We were lucky Marie - had nice weather !

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Tom Throwe
Last modified: Fri Dec 31 23:49:43 EST 2004