Okhotsk Chapter
of the Wild Bird Society of Japan

2017 Excursions in the Sea of Okhotsk

Seabirding Excursion I :  27 May 2017, 3:00 p.m.~

It started to rain earlier in the afternoon and it was still raining when we left Abashiri port, but it stopped shortly later and we were able to populate all parts of the Chipashiri, for a while. Looking out at sea, however, there was hardly a bird to be seen other than a few pairs of Rhinoceros Auklets (Utou) here and there, and a few Black-legged Kittiwakes (Mitsuyubi-kamome) flying in the air. We were keen to find Short-tailed Shearwaters (Hashiboso-mizunagidori) stopping here along their long circum-Pacific journey that started in Tasmania, and maybe some Red-necked Phalaropes (Akaeri-hireashi-shigi), both of which come in huge numbers at this time of year, but none of them were around at all. We settled on seeing two minke whales and some more Rhinoceros Auklets and gulls during the latter half of the cruise that was mostly in rain. There is still an immense amount of beauty in these waters north of Abashiri in the Sea of Okhotsk. Two of our members stood for at least an hour in the rain at the front of the boat!

Black-legged Kittiwakes, one with something that looks like a fish in its bill. A pair of Rhinoceros Auklets (Utou) in their typical appearance at this time of year, unmistakable even when out of focus.
Unidentified bird in a dark sky. A time to look for birds when it stopped raining.

Today's list (compiled by Kawasaki-san): Tufted Duck (Kinkuro-hajiro), Greater Scaup (Suzu-gamo), Great cormorant (Kawa-u), Japanese cormorant (Umi-u), Slaty-backed gull (Oo-seguro-kamome), Black-legged Kittiwake (Mitsuyubi-kamome), Rhinoceros auklet (Utou), White wagtail (Haku-sekirei), Carrion Crow (Hashiboso-garasu). Marine mammal: Minke whale [9 bird species]

Information about Abashiri Nature Cruises can be found on their webpage (part of the Abashiri City Travel Site).

Many thanks to Captain Maeda of the Chipashiri and to the Abashiri Tourism Association for making these cruises possible again this season despite such changeable weather.

  Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov
Land     5 20, 30 7 3
Sea 5, 8, 15, 19 23, 26, 27 23 1 7 10, 31 14

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