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The Spectacle at Point No Point

Birds in review!

Twice each day, the tide surges past Point No Point on Washington State's Olympic Peninsula, causing the upwelling of cold, nutrient-rich water. These nutrients support clouds of tiny plankton that feed vast schools of herring and sand lance. They in turn attract fish-eating birds, which flock here by the thousands. Among them are Bonaparte's Gulls, wheeling in the sun. Add in the diving birds - auklets, murres, mergansers, and cormorants - and it's an unforgettable spectacle. Stand on the point and watch, as the tide, the fish, and the birds pass in review.

Full Transcript

Transcript: 

BirdNote®

The Spectacle at Point No Point

Written by Dennis Paulson

This is BirdNote!
[Cries of Glaucous-winged Gulls, sound of waves]
    Today, we’re watching the daily bird spectacle at Point No Point on Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula.
[More calls from Glaucous-winged Gulls]
    Twice each day, the tide surges past this point, causing the upwelling of cold, nutrient-rich water. These nutrients support clouds of tiny plankton that feed vast schools of herring and sand lance. They in turn attract fish-eating birds, which flock here by the thousands.
[Flock of Bonaparte’s Gull calling while feeding]
    Among them are Bonaparte’s Gulls. We can see these tiny gulls with black heads scattered along the tidal rips. As they rise in flocks, wheeling in the sun, their white wing-patches flash like mirrors. Bright red legs dangle as they settle back to the water.
[Bonaparte’s Gull calls]
    Several hundred Bonaparte’s are feeding in one spot, splashing down on the surface and coming up with small fish. Add in the diving birds – auklets, murres mergansers, and cormorants – and it’s an unforgettable spectacle. Stand on the point and watch, as the tide, the fish, and the birds pass in review.
[Glaucous-winged and Bonaparte’s gulls call, waves]
    Writers for BirdNote include Dennis Paulson, Ellen Blackstone, Todd Peterson, and Bob Sundstrom. Our producer is John Kessler and our executive producer is Chris Peterson. Bird sounds are provided by The Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. For BirdNote, I’m Michael Stein.
                                                                               ###
Sounds of birds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Calls of Glaucous-winged Gulls [ 59257] recorded by G.M. Bell; Bonaparte’s Gulls 59221 recorded by W.W. H. Gunn
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2012 Tune In to Nature.org     November 2012   Narrator: Michael Stein

ID#        pointnopoint-01-2012-11-03    pointnopoint-01   

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