Mosquito Cove Mosses and Slaty-backed Gull Search

Overcast with occasional light rain. Temperatures in the 30s. Calm winds.

I woke this morning to see snow partway down Gavan Hill. It was clear temperatures had dropped significantly since yesterday.

I got a report of a Slaty-backed Gull at Totem Park this morning. The tide had come up since it was seen, so I didn’t head down there.

I checked the channel from both sides. Gull numbers appeared much higher than yesterday. I didn’t find any unusual gulls in the mix.

I met up with Kitty and we walked around Mosquito Cove trail. I wanted to check a couple of things that I had previously observed. As it turned out, I didn’t find either of them.

I did take pictures of several mosses and liverworts on the wet rock outcrops along Mosquito Cove.

Coming back around on the shore side of the loop, we heard a big crash. At first I thought something had fallen at the loading facility across the bay. Then I noticed what sounded like a whale breath.

When I looked out I saw a splash and then heard another crashing sound, though not quite as loud as the first. It took a minute to get to a place where I could get out on the shore for a better look.

I got photos of the Humpback Whale coming up out of the water. It wasn’t a full on breach, but when it fell over, the splash did make a sound. I think the first (loudest) crash had probably been a full breach.

I got a text that the Slaty-backed Gull was found near Indian River mouth. I’m not sure when the text had been sent, but I didn’t get it until viewing the whale.

At Eagle Way Beach many gulls were on the rocky point. I didn’t find a dark-mantled gull among them. Nor did I see one among the gulls at the river mouth.

I saw Connor and Joe (who had refound the gull and texted me) on the park side of the river. I called Connor and found out they weren’t seeing the Slaty-backed Gull.

I decided to check the channel and asked Connor to let me know if they refound it at the park.

On my first scan of the channel, I did not find it. However when I looked again awhile later, I spotted on the roof of a building across the channel.

It was distant enough that pictures weren’t great, but the dark mantle still stood out.

I drove over to Katlian Street and was able to get much closer looks from there. The angle wasn’t great, but good enough.

My iNaturalist Observations for Today

2 thoughts on “Mosquito Cove Mosses and Slaty-backed Gull Search”

  1. Hello Brad – thanks for your comment and question!

    There are a few reasonably accessible places where machine noises are not promiment. Getting away from the sound of moving water can be a bigger challenge, though!

    I do occasionally make recordings, and almost always have a digital recorder with me in case there’s something I want to document. However, I don’t usually head out with the intention to make recordings.

    When I post recordings, I try to include posts in the Audio category, so if you’re curious you can check out posts that have audio as a category



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