Christmas Bird Count was held today in Sitka. After a quick morning trip through Totem Park, I was able to spend the bulk of the day birding by skiff in the bays south of town. Of particular note was my first trip into No Thorofare Bay – a body of water, which as the name implies, is difficult to access due to a very narrow opening. The relatively large opening behind the narrow entrance means a lot of water flows in and out with the tides, but we had good timing and had little trouble getting in and out just after high tide.
Highlights in the bay included 40 Red-breasted Mergansers and a Pied-billed Grebe. The water was exceptionally clear making it relatively easy to see the bottom below, especially in the shallower sections. It was fascinating to see the different looking marine flora and fauna that lives in the areas of high tidal currents.