Posted by: Anne Murray | March 6, 2012

Sojourn in Sooke

The view from the shore looked across the Juan de Fuca Strait to the snow-capped Olympic Mountains in WA  although rain and mist kept sweeping in and hiding them. Seals bobbed among the kelp but there was no sign of any grey whales yet. It was intermittently misty, sunny, windy and lashing with rain – typical for a winter weekend in southwestern Vancouver Island. Streams ran full through the dark, cedar-forested gorges, splashing over the rocks. The moss was an unbelievably vivid green.We looked for, and found, a Dipper, teetering on the rocks midstream.  

Further west, Whiffen Spit shelters the water of Sooke Harbour, and is a great place to see Harlequin Ducks, Black Oystercatchers and dozens of Buffleheads. These small ducks seemed to be very abundant all along the coast. The males sport bright black and white heads and pink feet; the females are brown with a white spot on their faces. At this time of year, males were still grouped with other males and females hung around with other females. We watched five females doing synchronized swimming as they dove for small crustaceans off the rocky shoreline of Sooke Regional Park. It was difficult to focus on all five at once, so I only have four in my photo.


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