Thursday, September 24, 2009

High Tide at Salt Creek

Salt Creek County Park, Tuesday afternoon. High tide. Not a hint of a single passing Cathartes aura (turkey vulture). Nobody around except gulls and harlequin ducks. And a couple of kayakers.

Tongue Point, where the Strait was washing over the tidepool rocks (Click for larger image.)

Only I couldn't get away from work until later than I planned, and arrived out there at about 2:30, perhaps too late in the day.

It was very gorgeous out there, sky very clear (the smoke plume that was about to wave over the Olympic Peninsula was still blowing out to sea.)

I wrote to Diann MacRae, who does the Olympic Vulture Study, Tuesday night; she answered back: "The highest numbers seem to come between 10 am - 2 pm, but also as early as 0930 and late as 430 pm. If it's a really good flight day, they seem to arrive around 10 and stream in for an hour or two or more." So since I got out there at 2:30 on Tuesday I'd have missed them, probably, though there probably weren't any, other than maybe a few calendrically confused ones. Sept. 26 to October 3 is usually the peak migration week.

Might go early Sunday morning and try again. I sure would like to see a few hundred big birds come gliding across the Strait from Sooke. Or not. I'm actually tired of thinking about birds all the time...

Kelp Bed at Tongue Point (Click for larger image.)

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