Well, I'm feeling better… kind of. My voice lasted for better part of a day of guiding before it started giving out again. That’s what I get for being a quiet person who needs to be otherwise for work. Despite this, my camera still works properly and my fingers are still capable of pounding out a quick blog post so here we go….
A visit to the “close kittiwake cliffs” on the west side of the island will provide many opportunities for watching these unusual kittiwakes. The trick, once you’ve seen your first one or two, is to enjoy this species without actually seeing the red legs. Here’s an example of how you can start:
There are also quite a few RED-FACED CORMORANTS out there too. Although none of their nests are in plain sight on the close kittiwake cliffs, you can often spy them spying on you:
If you want an alcid that will pose, look no further than the PARAKEET AUKLETS on St. Paul. The details of their bill, eyes, and face plumes are downright shocking and straight-up goofy when you get a chance to see them up close:
There are a few endemic and near-endemic things you can look for on St. Paul. One of those is the Pribilof subspecies of PACIFIC WREN (alascensis). This subspecies is literally only found on 3 islands in the world and St. Paul is one of them. If you visit, the cliffs at Tolstoi Point have been our most reliable spot for finding them this year:
I’ll end with a flower; the Alaska Spring Beauty... which is blooming in summer now that the summer solstice just occurred: