The Alcids returned to the island after a complete absence on and around the island for 6 days.
In typical early-season fashion, they rafted early Wednesday afternoon and came ashore in strength just before 16:00 hrs.
This time PUFFINS dominated and birds occupied all parts of the colonies, albeit a bit sparsely in the most recently colonized areas.
As well as being in strength, the birds stayed overnight, in spite of a SHARP SHINNED HAWK that repeatedly sent the seabirds scurrying for cover. They were likely perfectly safe but a predator is a predator is a predator, no matter its small size, and instincts won't be denied.
"Where's the picnic that goes with this picnic table?"
Today there was an adult HARRIER making passes over and near the colonies.
I've see them take Puffins even though the raptors couldn't carry the prey and had to feed at the kill sites.
This is a Harrier on a Puffin kill last year.
I don't know if today's predator make a kill, or even launched an attack. However, its presence and the presence of "our" RAVENS contributed to virtually all the Alcids leaving the island for a few hours.
Many of them returned after a period of rain dampened the predator activity and more are arriving as the day wanes.
Nonetheless, the vacancy sign is lit for over half of the island.
(Explanation: Ravens act like and are viewed as predators by the seabirds. They lack talons but they will kill opportunistically, using their size and massive beaks to peck their prey. It's usually a slow, bloody death.)
This Puffin survived a Raven attack with relatively minor wounds.
Little change on the songbird front: 1 PALM WARBLE seen today; COWBIRDS have up-ticked again; a 2nd ROSE BREASTED GROSBEAK has appeared; some type of FLYCATCHER (maybe a LEAST but not a PHOEBE) was glimpsed hawking around the boardwalks; FLICKERS are up somewhat. I just counted 19 on the lawns around the houses so I'd guess that there are upwards of 50 over the entire island.
INDIGO BUNTINGS, BLUE GROSBEAKS & WHITE CROWNED SPARROWS should be arriving soon.