Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Herring Run in Point Roberts

It was mid-week and the bird alert emails were reporting a herring run at Lighthouse Marine Park in Point Roberts. Hundreds of Gulls and Brant Geese were seen the day before. I had a quick supper and headed west.

The first thing I noticed on arrival was high wind and pounding surf. This was going to be harder than I expected.

Lighthouse Marine Park. Point Roberts WA

I soon realized the all the activity was to the north of the parking lot. There were some gulls on the shore and it appeared that they had caught some herring. The black and red on the bills and yellow legs indicated they were California Gulls.

California Gulls Lighthouse Marine Park. Point Roberts WA

I'm not sure if this gull has its mouth open from just consuming some herring.

California Gull Lighthouse Marine Park. Point Roberts WA

As I headed north, the scene became more chaotic, with Gulls and Brant in a feeding frenzy.

Brant - Lighthouse Marine Park. Point Roberts WA - 2017 Species #90

Brant are a species of goose that prefer salt water and don't mix with other geese. If you see one, there are likely others close by.

This shot shows distinguishing features of the Brant, the dark head, white barred neck and white tail feathers.

Brant - Lighthouse Marine Park. Point Roberts WA - 2017

Another chaotic shot:

With all of this going on, the regular occupants of the pier seemed to be oblivious.

Double-crested Cormorants and Glaucous-winged Gulls  - Lighthouse Marine Park. Point Roberts WA - 2017

I returned the next evening and everything was back to normal. there were no signs of Brant or California Gulls.

There was a barge coming into carrying a truck with a new house for someone relocating to Point Roberts. I guess this is the easiest way (and maybe the cheapest) to relocate there.

My final shot is Mount Baker, very imposing from this vantage point.

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