[Tweeters] Re: seabirds down?

Mike Patterson celata at pacifier.com
Wed Mar 18 07:12:36 PDT 2015

Here on the Columbia River Estuary a better than average smelt run
has brought in remarkable numbers of BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES along with
other gull species in higher than average numbers. The BLACK-HEADED
GULL that was on Youngs Bay most of January disappeared during the peak
of the smelt run, but has reappeared as of Monday. WESTERN GREBE
numbers on Youngs Bay are normal.

The smelt run also brought COMMON MURRE into the estuary and murres are
now congregating at nesting sites to the south.

We've also seen way more CALIFORNIA SEALIONS in the river including
females and youngster. STELLER'S SEALIONS are hauling out with the
Californias as far up river as Tongue Point. Very unusual. As many of
you have probably seen on the news, sealions have been having some
trouble farther south on the coast because of poor ocean conditions. It
has been hypothesized that the Columbia River numbers are an artifact of

What I haven't seen on the ocean are rafts of loons or alcids other than
murres. No nearshore fulmars. No pelicans.

The surfer dudes tell me the ocean has been remarkably warm this winter
and they are my SST barometers...

Mike Patterson
Astoria, OR
Problem? what problem?

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