Daily Observations

Least Sandpiper

I had one tour this morning and went for a walk to Totem Park this evening.  The tour was a Captain’s Choice, and we stopped at the Nadezhda Islands in Krestof Sound and returned through Nawkwasina Passage.

Weather:  Overcast with some light rain.  This evening there were a few breaks in the clouds, but I did not see the sun, only the rays filtering through in the distance.

Birds:  At the park there were more gulls than I had seen in recent days.  The balance of numbers seems to have shifted to Glaucous-winged Gulls, though there were still quite a few Mew Gulls.

I started seeing quite a few small sandpipers flying around between the large tidepools and the river mouth.  I would guess there were several dozen all together, though it was difficult to say for sure, since they can be pretty difficult to see.  There were a couple of interesting things I noticed about these birds.  They were far more spread out than I am used to seeing.  At most 4 or 5 birds would fly together and when they were on the ground they would spread out quite a bit.  Also, most of the ones I saw well enough to identify were Least Sandpipers.  I only saw one Western Sandpiper.  This is the opposite of what I have seen the last couple of springs.  I’m uncertain whether this is just random variation, this year was a good year for Least Sandpipers, or Fall and Spring have different distributions of birds (with Least Sandpipers stopping here more in the Fall and Western Sandpipers stopping here more in the Spring).

Other Notes:  There was a doe and a fawn along the shore in Nawkwasina Passage.  We also saw between 6 and 9 deer on the beach near Inner Point when we were stopped to look at Sea Otters.

Some of the passengers got saw a bear, but it took off and ran before I had a chance to see it.

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