Sunday, January 31, 2010

PostHeaderIcon The gulls return

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We'll see if they brought their dancing shoes. The gull population is swelling rapidly with courtship and territorial marking behavior now common among them.

Odds, ends
  • There are several hundred cormorants in the waters to the west and north-west. Some of them were clearly of the double-crested variety. We saw western grebes and western gulls in their midst, and we're very interested in identifying members of other cormorant species in the mob.

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  • Several porpoises were seen surfacing east of the island today.
  • Last week, a heermann's gull was spotted on the dock. Though I missed it, I was able to positively identify it because one conservancy employee, thinking the gull was "funny looking", took a cellphone photo.
  • For only the second time in two years, I observed a black oystercatcher on Alcatraz. Early last year, I spotted one near the dock. This time, I saw one flying over the bay near the island's east side.

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