[Tweeters] Puffins in near Smith Island, WA, July, 2021

byers345 at comcast.net byers345 at comcast.net
Fri Jul 30 15:48:22 PDT 2021

Hello Tweeters,

We've spent July hoping to see puffins. Bill and I had seen
Tufted Puffins before, distantly, but never the Horned Puffin. Since both
these birds were being seen with some frequency near the TUPU nesting colony
on Smith Island, off Whidbey Island, we signed up for a cruise to go try to
see these amazing alcids. On the first cruise, out of La Conner, we saw the
Tufted Puffin, but not Horned. A number of us were so crestfallen about
this, that, through the energetic efforts of Maxine Reid, we hired a second
boat to go to Smith Island again, this time from Anacortes. There were six
of us in a smallish boat, but the boat could go fast and we zipped out to
Smith Island in an hour and had a leisurely hour and near 30 more minutes to
inspect all the kelp beds and bait balls. Our captain kept in touch with
the other boats out there, and we did get to see the Horned Puffin several
times. Bill, as usual, got some incredible photos and I decided to share
them in an album on Flickr, which you can look at below. Some of the photos
are mine too.


In addition to the alcids, gulls, cormorants, and eagles, we
also saw four marine mammals-Harbor Seal, Steller Sea Lion, Orca, Whale and
Minke Whale. I've included pictures of some of these here too.

I hope you are all staying cool this summer and wish you all
the best birding, Charlotte Byers, Edmonds

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