You get spoiled quickly in Boiler Bay. Another day of poor migration today compared to the days before yesterday. To boost morale and escape the rain for a while, a pause was done in the sea watching in order to go to nearby Depoe Bay for a coffee. We can’t help but feel like this is the calm before the storm, maybe the pressure is building up for some massive migration in the days ahead. Counting time 06:00 – 08:00 and again 09:10 – 11:10. 3774 seabirds of 31 species counted. Weather consisted of showers and overcast skies with winds from the south, about 3 m/s (7mph).
Today was the first day since we came here that felt kind of slow. Generally, migration went further away from the coast today than before. Pacific loons did a push in the morning and again before lunch, however only in moderate numbers. Migrating Bonaparte’s gulls were seen during most of the time but in lower numbers than yesterday. Counting time: 06:00-12:00. 42 species of seabird counted. Winds from the north during the morning, around 5 m/s (11mph) brought a few showers. Around noon, as most days, the wind increased and the clouds dispersed.
Bonaparte’s Gull and Cackling goose. Today’s migration was maybe not so intense as it been the days before, but it still was very interesting. First push of Bonaparte’s gull was very pleasant. With many flock within a kilometer. Large flocks of Cackling goose filled the sky and today’s count is the best so far for the season. Flock of 50-200 shorebirds (mainly Western sandpiper) flew by just some hundred meters from the coast. Counting time: 06:00-14:00. 43 species of seabird counted. Weather today was cloudy with some showers later around noon. Visibility mostly good (5-10 km) temporarily moderate (2-5 km).
ORCA! We had to wait for more than a week to say the magic word but today was the day. While scanning for Bonaparte’s gull, Rasmus suddenly finds three breaching killer whales (two adult and a young one) moving steady towards northeast. All the counting was for a short while paused to observe the fantastic creatures for at least two minutes. Sea lions were also on the move today and at least 50, most likely Californian Sea Lions were seen moving north. The morning started with heavy fog so counting was reduced but good numbers of Loons and Common Murres were still seen. Counting time: 06:30-14:00. 41 seabird species counted. Weather: Limited visibility due to fog, less than 500 meter until 10:00 and good visibility for the rest of the day. Weak wind from northwest 5 ms (11mph).
No words can describe the intensity of the days migration. A constant flow of loons and murres filled the ocean, and only in the first hour more than 20 000 murres and 7 000 loons passed by. Large flocks of Shorebirds sometime accompanied the flow of murres and loons. Today’s count on murres is probably the largest spring count ever in Boiler Bay. A really great day! Counting time: 06:10-15:10. 50 species of seabirds counted. Weather was sunny with some haze far in the horizon. Moderate wind 5 m/s (11 mph) from northwest.
Great movements on geese today. Total over 10 000 geese counted. Good numbers were also counted by Teals, Greater Scaup, Surf Scoter, shorebirds and Caspian tern. Good species counted were Snow goose, Ring-necked duck and Eared grebe. Counting time: 06:05-14:35. 50 species of seabirds counted. Weather was sunny, fairly good visibility and moderate to weak wind from north.
Movements towards north started to pick up today! Brant, Greater White-fronted Geese, Surf Scoters, Pacific Loons and shorebirds were all counted in fairly high numbers and a lot of different duck species could be seen migrating north. “Bird of the day” became two males Harlequin duck towards north on less than a kilometers distance. Counting time: 06:10-12:10. 48 species of seabirds counted. Weather: Nice sunny sky with a strong wind from northwest 8 m/s (18 mph).