Bird Watching Cruise Report – July 13, 2013

Common Murre

One of the most interesting sightings of this cruise was this Common Murre spotted near Colville Island, just south of Lopez Island.  Unlike most Common Murres that we encounter, this one was adorned with a lengthy antenna – if it hadn’t been swimming and moving about, one could easily mistake it for a remote-controlled toy!  Clearly this bird is involved in somebody’s study and is wired up for tracking.  We’d love to hear more about this bird or who might be studying it – let us know, if you know!   We are still only seeing a very few Common Murres on our trips so far – most have been attending their nests in breeding colonies far from our route.  Post-breeding, they will become much more numerous in the deeper channels around the San Juan Islands.  As always, we do see hundreds of their cousins – Rhinocerous Auklets and Pigeon Guillemots, as well as several Marbled Murrelets on most trips.

Bird List for July 13, 2013. 38 Species.

Common Loon: 2

Pelagic Cormorant: 100+

Double-crested Cormorant: 75

Harlequin Duck: 22

Surf Scoter: 30

Greater Scaup: 1 female

Surfbird: 4

Western Sandpiper: 80

Black Oystercatcher: 35

Caspian Tern: 145

Glaucous-winged Gull: omnipresent

California Gull: 160

Heermann’s Gull: 85

Parasitic Jaeger: 1 adult

Marbled Murrelet: 12

Rhinocerous Auklet: 100’s

Pigeon Guillemot: 100’s

Common Murre: 1, w/ antenna

Great Blue Heron: 200+

Green Heron; 1

Turkey Vulture: 2

Bald Eagle: 21

Osprey: 2 active nests

Red-tailed Hawk: 3

Rock Pigeon: 17

Mourning Dove: 2

Belted Kingfisher: 4

Barn Swallow: 40

Cliff Swallow: 50 near colony

Violet-green Swallow: 60

Crow Spp. 30

American Robin: 3

Orange-crowned Warbler: 1

Spotted Towhee: 1

White-crowned Sparrow: 3

Song Sparrow: 2

House Sparrow: 25

Starling: 100’s