As part of the Puget Sound Bird Festival in Edmonds, a group of approximately 75 birders and bird photographers gathered on the Puget Sound Express Saratoga late Sunday afternoon for a three-hour excursion to Protection Island a National Wildlife Refuge.
Jon Houghton and Joe Sweeney were the bird guide experts leading the trip. They are both Master Birders and belong to Seattle and Pilchuck Audobon. The hope, for most, was to see Puffins in their breeding plumage but that didn’t happen. What everyone did see was one of the largest nesting colonies of Glaucous Winged Gulls, plenty of Common Murres, a few Rhinoceros Auklets, and several other genus of birds, as well as a large population of harbor seals.
The forecast was predicting winds from the west with swells, according to Captain Brian. That didn’t really happen. It was pretty smooth sailing and in spite of some threatening gray skies as we approached the island, it never rained a drop.