Gale force winds from the northwest snuffed out any chance to run a trip on Sunday and these winds brought us some very cold arctic air and subfreezing temperatures, which are rare here, even in February. It was only 23 degrees F when we left the dock on Monday morning, but there was intermittent sunshine and the wind had fallen out somewhat from overnight. I picked a course that kept us in fairly calm water as much as possible. We headed east from the inlet and traveled for several miles through some fairly quiet water, which was in the low 50s. Just a little bit west of Diamond Shoals, we found a sharp color change where this relatively clear, green water (55 degrees) collided with dirty water from the shoals, which was in the mid 40s. This turned out to be a great area and we saw many Razorbills along the change (photograph by Brian Patteson).
Thanks to Kate Sutherland, Todd McGrath, Dave Pereksta, Jeff Lemons, and Chloe Walker for leading, spotting, chumming, and keeping track of numbers, which was a challenge with so many birds. Thanks also to Kenneth Kelly for allowing us to use a couple of his photos for our blog post!
We saw 161 Dovekies on Saturday & 107 on Monday (Brian Patteson).
We had many Lesser Black-backed Gulls in our flock each day, though there seemed to be more with us on Monday (Kate Sutherland).
Whenever we have a nice flock of gulls behind us, there is always a chance of seeing scenes like the one below (Brian Patteson). We saw at least three Dovekies get eaten each trip (sure there were more), and we came upon some young Great Black-backed Gulls arguing over this Horned Grebe on Monday.
The Northern Gannets are always exciting to watch and photograph (Kate Sutherland).
There were quite a few younger birds on these trips (Kate Sutherland).
A couple shots of one of Monday's Little Gulls (Kate Sutherland).
Another shot of the Iceland (Kumlien's) Gull - looking up! (Kate Sutherland)
Another shot of the sea smoke along the change on Monday with Red Phalaropes and Bonaparte's Gulls (Kate Sutherland).