Yesterday was different. While on my shift on the shark watch from the lighthouse, Dan Maxwell directed my attention to a flying booby just off the island. It was indeed a Blue-foot. A juvenile. Again, first ever seen on the island. I watched this bird for a while after it landed on Saddle Rock, a small island just a few hundred feet from our island. It preened, pooed, suffered through harassment by Western Gulls, and was knocked from its perch briefly by the wind. Then, after about two hours, it flew up and hasn't been seen since.
Given that the Northern Gannet is still here on the island, Cameron Rutt brought up the fact that we could be the only people ever to see a Northern Gannet and a Blue-footed Booby in the same place on the same day. It's an interesting thought. This bird was a lifer, and brought the total number of sulids that I have seen in the meat on the island to 3 species.
Other than the booby, it's been pretty slow here. The weather hasn't been cooperating, and birds haven't been showing up. I've gotten a few other island birds since arriving including, Clark's Grebe, Osprey, Dusky Flycatcher, Black Swift, Green-tailed Towhee, Northern Waterthrush, and Cassin's Vireo. We've had several Least Flycatchers in the past week as well, which is interesting if you consider there is only one record this year for mainland California.
|A sad, though not atypical sight on the Farallones, this Western Gull is chowing down on a juvenile Cassin's Auklet that left the nest in search of food.|
|One of the rarer birds we've had so far this fall, a Green-tailed Towhee.|