This blog covers travel suggestions and ideas by Keith and Heather Nicol. Most of our travels deal with self propelled outdoor activities and include hiking, sea kayaking, backcountry and cross country skiing, alpine skiing and other activities. We also enjoy traditional music and cultures. We have written over 800 articles in various magazines and newspapers. Keith Nicol has also written 2 books and has a popular you tube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/k2nicol
Sunday, 21 August 2016
Sea kayaking with Bonaparte Gulls at Point Holmes near Comox, B.C.
by Keith and Heather Nicol
August 18 we decided to head to Point Holmes which one of our favorite launch
points in Comox Valley. We like this spot since it offers a boat launch so
tides are not that much of an issue and an on shore bathroom which was built
last summer. It also seems to be a good place for a variety of bird and marine
life. We usually paddle toward Cape Lazo and around toward Kye Bay depending on
wind and weather. Once you head around the headland you are no longer protected
from NW winds but if winds are light this is not a problem. On this day we were
treated to a large number of Bonaparte Gulls which must be returning from breeding
in the boreal forest or taiga. We were not familiar with these gulls in
Newfoundland and saw our first ones earlier in the spring in their breeding plumage.
They are a small graceful gull and almost look tern like at first glance.
There was a large flock of Bonaparte Gulls at the launch point
Gull diving for food
On this day a large
flock of Bonaparte Gulls were along the sandy beach near the launch site and just off shore. Some were displaying an
interesting feeding behaviour where they flew off the water to a height of just
30-60 cm and then dove head first in the shallow water. We spent 20 minutes watching them do their
short take off and diving routine before heading toward Cape Lazo. The tide was
just 1.0 meter so there were many exposed rocks and shoals. Many of the rocks had seals draped over them
and we set our sites for an offshore collection of rocks that had some gently
sloping bedrock amidst the rocks. This proved to be a perfect place to haul out
and have lunch.Our lunch spot even had
its own blue heron foraging for food and we saw many sea stars in the tidal
pools. But the tide was rising and after 30 minutes our flattish lunch spot was
in danger of being flooded so packed up and worked out way back to Pt Holmes.Sea kayaking in this area is good at any tide
but we seem to see the most wildlife at low tide.