Sunday, 15 May 2016

Sea kayaking with more sea birds at Point Holmes

by Keith and Heather Nicol  
Marbled Murrelets nest in old growth forests
On Saturday May 14 we had the good fortune to go sea kayaking with an old friend Alan Burger, who is also an avid birder. We launched our kayaks at the boat launch at Point Holmes near Comox and headed toward Cape Lazo. We hadn’t paddled too far before we began to see some small groupings of Marbled Murrelets which it turned out Alan had done lots of research on when he moved to Bamfield from Corner Brook, Newfoundland. We knew Alan from Corner Brook but had not seen him for over 15 years.

Alan and Heather off of Cape Lazo

Pacific Loons breed on freshwater tundra lakes
      Then out further Alan spotted a large grouping of other birds and it turned out to be a surprisingly big grouping of Pacific Loons with a few Common Loons in the mix. From there we paddled around into Kye Bay where we saw some large rafts of scoters. We hadn’t seen many of these birds for several weeks so were surprised to see them back in this area. We saw all 3 types of scoters (White winged, Surf and Black Scoters) but most of them seemed to be Surf Scoters who make an interesting whistling sound when they take to the wing. We told Alan we hadn’t seen so many birds in this Cape Lazo-Kye Bay for quite a while so he was quite lucky. And that is one of the nice aspects of sea kayaking along the B.C. coast-you never know what you might see and it changes by the day.    
Surf Scoters make a whistling song with their wings when they fly

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