Thursday, September 26, 2013 Fork-tailed Shore Petrels

Seward, Alaska

On a routine drive on Lowell Point Road, I just had to pull over and whip out my camera. FORK-TAILED STORM PETRELS fluttered erratically like butterflies, glided like balsawood airplanes, walked on water like St Peter, picked at tiny tidbits like phalaropes, and even dove completely underwater. 

It was hard to get a count as in addition to the dozens right along the shore, there were clusters of others sitting on the calm water in Resurrection Bay. Hosting tiny tubenoses in the inner bay is very unusual; it must mean there is a big storm brewing in the Gulf of Alaska.

Suddenly, I heard a loud "Cronk!" and looked up to see three GREAT BLUE HERONS winging south towards Lowell Point. What a contrast between these large, ponderous, and deliberate flyers and the little sprites flitting below me!

Two NORTHWESTERN CROWS walked along, inspecting the rocks for snacks. A Kenai SONG SPARROW popped up nearby, then flew over to a promontory and sang its lovely melody.

Then, quietly going about its business, a Harbor Porpoise momentarily surfaced to catch a breath, then slipped back into its oceanic universe, leaving only a watery "footprint" in the gentle sea.

What a place, Alaska!

Happy Birding!
Carol Griswold
Seward Sporadic Bird Report Reporter

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