Tuesday, April 27, 2010


27 April: At Sea, Miyake-Jima, Izu Islands, Japan. At 4:45 am, we received a
wake-up call to get out on deck to search for the Japanese Murrelet. Unable
to rely on finding this treasured species tomorrow, Rodney Russ had brought
our ship, overnight to this island in order to attempt to find the
murrelets. John Graham and I one of the first on the monkey bridge, heard a
Japanese Murrelet calling, "chi, chi, chi." In the dim, barely light hour
from 5 am until 6 am, we recorded some 70 of the mighty murrelets! Most of
them were making a dawn flight from their breeding stacks to the east. Once
again, our key spotter, John, located one on the water right next to the
ship! But, I missed this bird! Drats! Moving inside to the bridge, I finally
saw two different pairs, on the water, quite close to the ship! This was a
major goal of the voyage for me, as the Japanese Murrelet completed my
record of having seen all of the world's species of alcids! Flocks of
several hundred Tristram's Storm-Petrels were lifting off the water.
Streaked and Short-tailed Shearwaters were all around. Again, we also found
all three species of albatrosses! And, off the bow, just now some Ancient
Murrelets and Rhinoceros Auklets were spotted. This afternoon we docked at
Yokohama harbor. The weather and seas will not permit us to make a landing
on Mikyake-Jima tomorrow. So, we shall be based in Yokohama until our
departure on the morning of 29 April. Some of us went ashore, after clearing
immigration late this afternoon. We only managed to find a few bird species
in the light rain, and enjoyed some good coffee at a cafe. Email services
end at dinner tonight. So, for now, I shall sign off, although, I shall be
continuing for 3 more days of birding in Japan with my 3 companions from the
USA, as well as my friend, Eriko Kobayashi. We shall be heading to Mt. Fuji!
Debi Shearwater, in the Izu Islands, Japan, Western Pacific Odyssey

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