Posts Tagged ‘comu’

quotidianart: 119. Common Murre (Uria aalge), with…

Friday, March 9th, 2018


119. Common Murre (Uria aalge), with spectacle/bridled markings (the white marks around the eyes.) In a recent fake survey, bridled common murres were considered more intellectual by their peers than non-bridled conspecifics.

Hopefully the highlights on its beak don’t make it look too much like a thick-billed murre…

It’s an odd thing for me personally, having grown up sailing, and also birdwatching, that I’ve never really done “pelagic birding”, in the sense of going to sea for the express purpose of looking at birds. I’ve checked out seabirds opportunistically, but when you’re sailing (as distinct from powerboating) and especially when you’re racing, opportunities for focused bird study can be hard to come by. At least that’s been my experience.

So tomorrow’s kind of a big deal for me. I’ve booked one of the last available seats on Island Packers’ spring pelagic birding trip, which (weather permitting) will be heading out from Channel Islands Harbor tomorrow morning. The plan is to follow Hueneme Canyon toward Anacapa, then motor past Anacapa checking out the nesting birds. Then we’ll cross the Anacapa Passage to Santa Cruz, where we’ll go ashore at Prisoner’s Harbor to see the requisite Island Scrub Jays before returning to Oxnard late in the day. The forecast is for some rain, but relatively light winds.


I’m especially interested in the part of the trip when we’ll officially be in Santa Barbara County (basically, everything west of a north-south line bisecting the passage between Anacapa and Santa Cruz). That’s because I’m doing a “little big year” in which I identify as many species as I can in the county. (I blame @quickthreebeers.) I’m hoping to add 5 new species tomorrow, and think I have an outside shot at 10. Mostly, though, I’m looking forward to a fun day of birdwatching with other obsessives. And if I’m lucky, my first-of-the-year Common Murre. 😀

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