September 17, 2011

Sea Birds

 We've spent a few posts covering the mammals we saw in Telegraph Cove, but there was a nice little selection of sea birds to be enjoyed out there as well. They are typically rather skittish and much smaller than whales, so they can be trickier to get photos of, and while I certainly didn't get any for prints on the wall, there's a couple worth sharing. Starting off with this rhinoceros auklet, which gets its name in part from a little bump on the bill like a horn which isn't very prominent in this individual.
 We also saw a goodly number of common murres, which we had seen in the past when they weren't doing too well at all. These ones were quite healthy and active in the area. We have also seen these in England where they are known as common guillemots.
 And rounding out our set we have red-necked phalaropes which were standing and feeding on the kelp beds far out at sea. It felt very odd seeing little shorebirds walking around on the water several kilometers from shore, but they seemed to be doing quite well for themselves so clearly its a system that works.
Not quite as exciting as breaching whales, but all very nice in their own ways and easier to spot than a feeding humpback at the bottom of the sea.

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