Midday at the Channel, Evening Low Tide

Overcast was the order of the day, though winds remained fairly calm through much of it. The forecast had called for partly cloudy skies this morning, with rain later in the day. I never saw any breaks in the clouds, but other than a very light bit of rain at times, the bulk of the rain held off until this evening.

I made a short trip out before lunch to check the channel. I had seen fishing boats delivering to the processors yesterday, and there were more again today.

Although gull numbers were up a little bit in the channel, I don’t think there was more than 100-150 or so. I did not spot anything unusual, but numbers may pick up in the coming days, and perhaps something will turn up.

I did not see many Long-tailed Ducks in the channel, so do not know if they moved to the north end of the channel as the gulls have been increasing in numbers, or if they moved further out. I did hear that there was a good group of 100+ out by Sitka Point at the outer part of Sitka Sound. This brought up several questions for me. Are birds that spend time in the channel heading out there at times? How far to the channel birds roam in the winter? Are there other concentrations of Long-tailed Ducks in the Sitka area? (I’ve only seen them in single digits at a time when I’ve been out, but I’ve not been out too much or too far over the years).

A group of crows showed up on the ramp while I was there. One of them had a damaged upper part of its bill, and the lower part looked slightly overgrown. I think it’s one I’ve seen before on at least a couple of occasions. While I was watching, they started engaging in some social behavior, with the cat-like calls along with rattling and bowing. I was able to get some video, though it’s not quite as dramatic as what I recorded at the beach a few years ago.

I was going to be content hanging out at home for the remainder of the day, but then I remembered it was a predicted -0.4ft tide around 5:30pm. With the actual tide still running more than half a foot below predicted, I felt motivated enough to head out to the beach.

I chose to go down by the bridge, and took a look at the rocks near the pair of houses on the mid-water island on the Japonski side. It was breezier than I expected, and with the heavy clouds, light was dim. A very cold rain (maybe even mixed with snow) started falling, and I was not finding too much, so my motivation waned quickly and I headed home just after the low.

My iNaturalist Observations for Today

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