Sunday, 25 September 2016

Sea Kayaking and observing birds at Point Holmes, Comox,B.C.

by Keith and Heather Nicol
The seas were almost flat calm on this day
      Sea kayaks are great vessels for observing wildlife from seals to whales and they are also ideal for observing shorebirds and ducks since they can get close to shore. We have noted that recently various ducks have returned to the waters off of Comox and Point Holmes offers a perfect launch point for seeing these new arrivals. On Thursday, September 22 under clear skies and warm sunny conditions we kayaked at just about high tide (about 4.5 meters) which we usually don’t do since we find bird and marine life is sometimes better observed at lower tides.  We usually paddle toward Cape Lazo and Kye Bay. However,  most bird sitings seem to occur away from where people and dogs are located so closer you get to the sandy beaches of Kye Bay the fewer birds we typically see. 
The pelagic cormorants seem to like the taller rocks
      On this day we were pleased to see numerous harlequin ducks and also many common mergansers seemed to have just arrived. Also many pelagic cormorants adorned some of the taller rocks. Although we often see pelagic cormorants on our paddling trips, we haven’t seen these quantities here for some time.  As well many gulls occupied many sections of sandy beaches along this route. It is always interesting to see what new arrivals we can see and we look forward to our next kayak trip to Point Holmes. 
A group of harlequin ducks swim past a common merganser on the rock

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