Managed to get out on the kayak for most of the morning. Later in the day went for a drive to both ends of the road. Despite the chill, the sun was appreciated.
Weather: Today was the first mostly sunny day in at least a couple of weeks. It was in the upper 30’s around 9am and it looked like there might be frost on the roof. Winds were calm and temperatures climbed up into the 50’s later in the day. It felt quite warm on the water with the sun reflecting off the calm surface. There was fresh snow on some of the mountains. It looked like the snow probably fell down to about 2400 feet or so, but it was difficult to tell for sure.
Birds: One of the main reasons I wanted to get out on the kayak was to try to get a photo of a Fork-tailed Storm-petrel. Unfortunately, I did not get a good photo, but I saw lots of them. A couple of them even came close enough to me that I just about could have reached out and grabbed them.
I saw lots of gulls at the park, there were a dozen or more Greater Scaups, quite a few Scoters (most and maybe all were Surf Scoters), and Harlequin Ducks out off the river mouth.
The only other ducks I saw were one Teal and a few mallards. There were many more a couple of days ago, so I guess they were
either hiding well up in the grass or perhaps they have moved on with the nicer weather.
There were quite a few Kittiwakes flying and floating around Crescent Bay. I took a picture of one at the mouth of Indian River that I assumed was a Black-legged Kittiwake, but a close look at the photo seems to suggest that it may be a Red-legged Kittiwake.
There were four Common Mergansers opposite the river mouth. I have not seen very many of these birds this fall. I am not sure whether this is a typical pattern, or if usually there are more around at this time of year.
There was a Pigeon Guillemot cruising around the bay. I think it may have been a juvenile, but I am not sure.
When I came back in to Sage Beach, there were a couple of dozen Surfbirds on Sage Rock along with a few Black Turnstones. These are the first Surfbirds I have seen since last spring. There were also a couple of Double-crested Cormorants, a Pelagic Cormorant, many Gulls and four Harlequin Ducks.
Othern Notes: I saw a seal not too far offshore at Totem Park. I kind of wonder if it has taken up residence in the area and is the same one I have been seeing when I walk through the park.
Leaves are turning color on the Mt. Ash and to a lesser extant on the Crabapple trees. Most of the leaves are still on the trees, though they are definitely starting to fall. Devil’s Club leaves are yellowing and falling off.