The paved road into the Reserve was one of the smoother road sections we've been on lately. This was the first of several surprises at the Reserve.
The drive there was pleasant in spite of the fog and cloud cover in places:
|Someone's vacation home in Paradise? A bit tattered-looking now.
Approaching the Visitor Centre, viewing didn't look too promising:
|But it cleared up nicely later in the morning
The Visitor Centre is quite a modern building with good inside washrooms (our second pleasant surprise). From the Visitor Centre, it's about 1.5 km / 1 mile hike back to the viewing. After some discussion we decided to give it a try:
|Could just about see the cliffs along the way
|The trail was easy here, tougher further on
|Tiny wee violets in bloom already
|Cinnamon Ferns apparently
Made it there! It's early in the season so no young birds yet, mostly pairing off and nest-building.
|Cathie's splinted finger is just visible here
|Where I did most of the filming. That's the peak of Bird Rock in front of me.
|Lots of Gannets!
|Gulls and others too
|Swiping at each other's heads and bills is mating behaviour
It was clearer where the birds were than on the trail above. That's Cathie sitting on a bench:
Here's a short video that (I hope) will capture some of the constant motion and noise (sorry about the wind noise):
Back at the Visitor Centre we went through the displays to identify some of the birds we saw:
|Common Murre, one of the species we weren't sure about
We were surprised how large the Gannets were when close up:
|This was a neat visual comparing wingspan of various species
And the fog still lingered on out here, murkier than the Bird Rock area See our gray van out there?
Tonight we are camped (we hope, it's another boondock) at the town of St Vincent's, where whales have been known to come right in to the town beach. No action yet though. It's a bit early for the whales, as they follow their food fish, caplin in this case, that are just starting to arrive for spawning.