[Tweeters] Brown Booby at Alden Bank (Whatcom)

Eric Ellingson esellingson at gmail.com
Fri Aug 12 23:19:35 PDT 2022

A bit reluctant to head out from the marina in SeaBird due to the wind
waves a bit more than I like for birding, I went anyway.

As usual not much until I got near Alden Bank. There were about four main
bait ball gatherings spread around that had maybe 100-200 birds each. The
usual suspects of Common Murre, Rhinocerous Auklet, Pigeon Guillemot,
(California, Glaucous-winged, Heermans & Bonaparte's) Gulls.

I was on my way back home from a brief trip over to Matia, after Alden
Bank, when I encountered a flock of 53 Red-necked Phalarope. Most I'd ever
seen in one spot/flock. After crossing back over Alden Bank I went by a
couple of the bait-ball gatherings to see if any new showed up ... on the
far side of a large gathering of mostly gulls, a large bicolored bird took
flight. My first thought was a Jaeger but that did not fully compute.
Holly .... a booby! I could hardly believe it. I watched it land near
another large bait-ball gathering. Motoring over to the area I watched for
some time. It seemed to keep an eye on me and even though quite a distance
it took off again. I let it be and headed home.

I'd notified a few local birders of the sighting and set a time to go back
out again. It was truly a long shot to find a single bird in such a large
body of water again but dang it, it was done. All aboard got good looks at
it. It would fly off quite some distance and then return. The last sighting
we had of it, it was headed toward Matia/Sucia Islands.

My eBird list here <https://ebird.org/checklist/S116821824> with some
photos of other birds too.
Some Flickr photos here <https://www.flickr.com/photos/ericellingson/> of
the Brown Booby

Eric Ellingson
esellingson at gmail.com
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