Today was my first day as a naturalist on board an Allen Marine Tour. I am working a couple of days a week for the remainder of the summer. As far as I know, I will primarily be working on the Captain’s Choice tour. This is a three hour tour for up to 16 people that includes about an hour on the beach somewhere out of town. When there are three tours, as there was today, it makes for a very long day, but it is fun to get out and see some places and things I do not otherwise have the chance to visit. Today we went south of town for each of the three tours. The first tour we visited the beach near Frosty Reef, the other two we went to Calligan Island.
Weather: The morning started out overcast with a little breeze. By mid morning it was starting to clear off and the breeze had died down somewhat. As the day went on, it continued to clear off, but the wind picked up again. The wind seemed to be blowing out of the North or Northwest.
Birds: I saw many murrelets and one murre. Near Calligan Island there must have been some feed near the surface as there was a flock of gulls gathered and acting like they were findind something to eat.
There was a Red-breasted Sapsucker nest with calling young on the point across the spit from Calligan Island. I also heard what I think were a pair of Hairy Woodpeckers. They were active enough I wondered if there was a nest in the area.
Flora: The coralroot orchids are well into their blooming. Though there are many flowers, single-delights seem to be nearing the end of their blooming. Cleavers are abundant on the beaches we visited south of town.
Marine Mammals: We were able to see humpback whales, including some pretty good views of the tail flukes as they were diving.
We were able to observe a raft of Sea Otters as well as many individuals scattered throughout the south part of the sound.
Quite a few harbor seals were hauled out on rocks at one point as well, though I do not know which island/rocks it was.
Invertebrates: One of the tour passengers found a mussel shell that was about 6 inches long. This was a california mussel. These are not typically found around town as they prefer a location with heavy surf.