Posted by: Anne Murray | June 6, 2014

Pelagic Birding on B.C.’s west coast

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Ucluelet Harbour, west coast Vancouver Island

 

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Black-footed Albatross

Wild Research organized a pelagic birding trip in May which took us from Ucluelet harbour on the west coast of Vancouver Island to La Pelouse bank, about 25 km offshore. We enjoyed wonderfully calm weather and blue skies so viewing conditions were excellent. The highlight of the trip were the albatrosses – several Black-footed Albatrosses, a not unusual bird to see in B.C.’s offshore waters, but nonetheless magnificent, and the highlight of the trip, a rare Laysan Albatross, a species which breeds in Hawaii. We also saw Pink-footed and Sooty Shearwaters, Sabine’s Gulls, flocks of Pacific Loons heading north, and Red-necked Phalaropes, tiny shorebirds that land on the water. Other seabirds included Cassin’s and Rhinoceros Auklets, Pigeon Guillemots and Tufted Puffin. There were no whales around, but we saw many sea otters, porpoises (Harbour and Dall’s) and Steller sea lions. It was a grand day. The Francis Barkley, a boat I remember from the Port Alberni-Bamfield run, was a good base for a pelagic trip.

Laysan

Laysan Albatross off the west coast of BC with Sooty Shearwater

Pigeon Guillemots

Pigeon Guillemots

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