Cooperative Sabine’s Gull

Mostly sunny over town by midmorning until around sunset. Clouds persisted over the mountains, and there appeared to be showers in the broader area. Clouds built up over town a bit this evening and later there was some rain. Winds were fairly calm and tempartures around 50F.

After meeting Kitty at the harbor, we checked Crescent Bay from the bridge.

Although swells were coming in through middle channel, the weather was pleasant, and there were storm-petrels on the bay. We decided to go out for a short loop. I would try to get photos of storm-petrels and we would see if any shearwaters showed up.

We stopped briefly at a small gathering of mostly kittiwakes just in from Middle Channel. There was also a Rhinoceros Auklet and a couple of Marbled Murrelets.

We did not see any shearwaters during our time on the water, but plenty of Fork-tailed Storm-petrel fly-bys.

It’s a bit challenging to get good pictures of the storm-petrels. They move so quickly and erratically that when they’re close they are difficult to keep in frame. Further out and there’s not as much detail.

After Kitty received a message about two deer in the garden, we went to Galankin Island. There I helped arrange some netting as a barrier to future incursions.

Kitty needed more net (which I had at my house), but also needed to stop by UAS. While there I checked out the channel. I was surprised to see a Sabine’s Gull all by itself swimming near the shore.

After yesterday’s sightings which continued the pattern of distant and brief looks, I had been hoping to get better photos. Any issues with photos today are entirely due to me, as it would be hard to ask for a more cooperative bird.

While there, I also noticed the Black-legged Kittiwakes regularly dropping sharply down from fairly high up and diving into the water. It would have been fun to get photos of that behavior, but they were not very predictable and tended to be out fairly far.

After spending an hour with the Sabine’s Gull, it was time to retrieve the net and get on with the evening.

I made one more stop by the channel after dropping Kitty off at the harbor. The Sabine’s Gull was still there, but a bit further out. I was able get the attention of Paul and Brooke by yelling at them as they motored down the channel. (I had been feeling a little bummed that I didn’t have my phone and couldn’t let some folks know about the gull, so it was nice to at least be able to get the attention of a couple people who were interested.)

This evening there was a good turnout at ultimate. We started a bit after 5pm, and finished up as it was getting dark a little after 6:30pm.

My iNaturalist Observations for Today

2 thoughts on “Cooperative Sabine’s Gull”

  1. Great set of pictures. I would have never recognized the black-legged kittiwake — looks so different than adults with black beak and head markings. Great shots of Sabine’s Gull and storm petrel. Thanks for sharing. I kayaked yesterday 10/16 on Jamestown Bay and out in the channel toward Whale Park. Heard long-tailed ducks in distance, saw a couple of pairs of marbled murrelets, lots of surfbirds on the rocks, and loons in distance, maybe commons. Great day to be on the water.

  2. Thanks for the note Debbie – sounds like it was a nice day for kayaking! I’m still looking forward to my first Long-tailed Ducks of the fall. I’m sure they’ll be showing up in the channel soon.

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