August 7, 2008

Gull Island & Otter Cove

Well it had been some time since we've done some serious birding, and we discovered another interesting coupon in the "Tour Savers" book (which is a great value!)....the day boat trip to Gull Is. From the moment we step aboard Capt Roark Brown's ship, we realize he's pretty serious about not only the birding, but everything he does. It wasn't until later in the trip we found out that he owns & operates the Otter Cove Lodge & Rookery Resturant where we are to have lunch. Our journey would take us westward across Kachemak Bay, past a series of small islands, then northward into the Cove and back.

As we pull up to Gull Island, it becomes immediately obvious why it got it's name. Literally thousands of birds, mostly terns inhabit these tiny blips of rock in the middle of Kachemak Bay. Approaching closer to one of the "islets" one notices that, just like with us humans, top floor condos are the most desirable, every square inch of that most prized real estate occupied.
A surprise though is that all species seem to be satisfied at this top level living within inches of one another, something we humans have not been able to master....

We see our old friends the Tufted Puffin both high up near the grassy tops (where they like to nest) and out at sea. Along with them are countless examples of Mew Gulls & Black-Footed Terns, and even a few Palegic Cormorants.

As we headed into Otter Cove, we see examples of those playfull creatures for which it's named. Although they look like they are sunbathing (on their backs) they actually use this technique to help them stay warm.... you can learn more about these guys at: at:

We pull up to the dock and a short walk up to the Lodge where we are greeted by an eager to serve staff, beautiful window seat and an outstanding lunch! We highly recommend this package to any of you if you find yourself in Homer.

After that fine meal, we look across the Cove to see a sailboat moving briskly along across the blue-green waters.

With the warm sun on our backs, looking to our right, down the shoreline, one could swear we're in a tropical paradise!

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