Young Birder Pelagic to Sooke

We took a Zodiak out of Sooke with ten kids and went in search of Jaegers, Shearwaters etc. The year before but in October Ilya Povalyaev, Guy Monty, Carlo Giovanella, Peter Candido, Ann Nightingale and Kim Beardmore went out on 2 boats in search of the Brown Booby. Ann was doing her VI big year at the time. We never did see the Brown Booby but we ended up with Pomarine and Parasitic Jaegers, Red-necked Phalaropes, Northern Fulmars, Heermann's Gulls, Cassin's and Rhino Auklets, Marbled and Ancient Murrelets, Pink-footed and Sooty Shearwaters. It was a great day. We hoped we would replicate it even though it was Sept but unfortunately the weather was too good. It was too warm and still with no wind and not a single tubenose was in sight. A Tufted Puffin was seen by a few on board and we saw over 20 Humpback Whales which was really impressive for the kids. We also saw California Sea Lions at a nearby den. We went as far as Port Renfrew and turned back. Sometimes the whales were so close we could smell their terrible smelling whale breath. It was breathtaking to be in their presence. We ended up seeing some Red-necked Phalaropes, Pacific Loons, and Rhino Auklets and Common Murres. The kids were a little disappointed with the lack of birds. The year before we had an incredible pelagic out of Victoria with 3 species of Jaegers and Red Phalaropes you can read about that HERE. I promised them a deep sea pelagic the following year. It was a gorgeous day still and we had fun and ended the day birding at Whiffin Spit.

The kids out on the Zodiac - Photo: Warren Lee
Red-necked Phalarope - Photo: Cole Gaerber
1 of 30 Humpback Whales we saw - Photo: Ian Harland

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