May 6, 2009

Liquid sunshine in the islands!

Hello all,

A group of intrepid seventh graders and their chaperones were our guests on the MV Kittiwake today. The kids and adults alike were inquisitive and well rewarded for their interest. We had a good look at some Harbor Porpoises in San Juan Channel that were milling around in the swirling water, most likely feeding. There were Pigeon Guillemots galore, along with their vibrant red feet, especially on the backside of Flattop Island which is a wildlife preserve.

Bald Eagles were seen by all as were Harbor Seals with all of their spots. While motoring through John's Pass between John's and Stuart Islands we were treated to a rare sight of a pair of eagles sitting side-by-side in the top of a tree. They were probably a mated pair and with the large size difference between males and females we could tell that the female was sitting on the left and was almost a head taller than the male. There were also juveniles in the area still sporting their mottled brown plumage and dark beak, all of which will give way to their adult colors by their 5th year.

Our finale for the day was a good showing by a bull Steller's Sea Lion in San Juan Channel in the maelstrom. He bobbed up and down several times as well as doing some bellyrolls and dives. Nearby was a Harbor Seal with a fresh fish catch which he was vigorously devouring to our delight. An opportunistic gull was floating next to the seal's head doing his best to snatch up tidbits of leftovers.

Despite our gloomy skies and rain the kids were good spotters of wildlife and asked questions up until the minute that we docked. Thanks to all of you for choosing San Juan Safaris and we will...

See You In The Islands!
~Tristen, Naturalist

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