Daily Observations

Migrating Geese

Weather: It was partly cloudy in the morning, becoming mostly cloudy in the afternoon. Winds were calm in the morning.

Birds: While walking along the beach at Totem Park, I noticed a cormorant looking bird with white on its body. I was later able to determine that it was a Pelagic Cormorant. In breeding plumage they have a white patch on their bodies. This was the first time I had observed one in breeding plumage.

There were two pair of Red-breasted Mergansers. One female let me get fairly close while she was preening before swimming out to join the other three.

I noticed a large brown shorebird flying by that seemed to have a long bill. I think it was probably a Marbled Godwit. It appeared to land down on the beach near the park entrance, but by the time I got there I was not able to locate it.

There was a raven making a lot of interesting vocalizations in a branch overlooking the water. Some of the noises sounded like choking. It was not at all clear to me why it was doing that. I neglected to bring my recording equipment, so I was unable to get a recording of the sounds.

While walking back through the forest, I heard many singing Winter Wrens. They seemed to be calling out back and forth. They were probably establishing territorial boundaries, I suppose.

I was trying to find a bird I heard in the trees near the maintenance building on campus when I heard geese overhead. I went back out to the road to see if I could locate them. When I finally found them in the sky, I saw what I think is the largest flocks of migrating geese that I have ever seen flying north.

After seeing no flocks of shorebirds on my quick walk in the morning, I went for a second walk in the afternoon around low tide. Near the point off the river mouth I located a mixed flock of mostly Black Turnstones with a few Rock Sandpipers mixed in. I also saw at least one Black-legged Kitiwake in among the gulls at the river mouth.

Flora: Stream Violet leaves are out, but I did not see any evidence of coming flowers.

There was some pink showing in some of the flower buds near the estuary at Totem Park, but they were not open yet. I heard from someone else that there was one salmonberry flower open along the road at Herring Cove.

Twisted stalk shoots are coming up. I first noticed some a day or two ago, but there are more now.

Other Notes: There was a seal that popped its head up just off shore of the west park beach.

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