Coastal Journeys

Up close to birds at Goose Spit in Comox

Scenic backdrop helps Keith and Heather Nicol's jaunt into the water at Comox Harbour. Sea kayaking is a great way to see a variety of “water” birds in varied habitats from rocky shores to sandy,

beaches and as well as in different ocean environments. With wind warnings issued for Georgia Strait on Friday, May 6 we decided to head to Goose Spit in Comox to do some paddling around Comox Harbour and the protected water behind the spit. This area can also be good for birds but on this trip we saw just a few species. One bonus was being able to drift into a flock on Bonaparte Gulls which are a nice looking gull and one we had not seen before coming to the Comox Valley. It apparently was named by Charles Lucien Bonaparte, by a relative of Napolean Bonaparte, and is the only gull to nest in trees. We saw those close to our launch point on a gravelly bar exposed by the low tide. 

 

We paddled around Goose Spit but saw little else in terms of bird life. However, the Comox Glacier and surrounding mountains looked splendid with their white snow cover and we saw 3 other sea kayakers and lots of sailboats out enjoying the day. On our return trip just before we were going to “take out” we saw a red necked grebe which hung around and didn’t dive allowing us to get some good shots. This was the closest we have been able to get to one of these birds since they often seem to dive just as you get the camera out of the dry bag. These grebes apparently ingest their own feathers for reasons that are unknown. One suggestion is that it may protect their stomachs from bones or other hard to digest materials. Whether or not you are interested in birds, remember Goose Spit is a good windy day place to paddle in the Comox area.

Photos: Above, Heather paddling with the Comox Glacier behind; below, a Bonaparte gull and a red -necked grebe in Comox Harbour.

Keith and Heather Nicol write a popular travel blog and more travel ideas can be seen at: http://keithnicol.blogspot.ca/

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