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Team Information: USCGC Healy
- Ross's Gull Rhodostethia rosea
- Ivory Gull Pagophila eburnea
Participants: Andy Bankert
Weather: Overcast with some snow
Location: Beaufort Sea, Longitude: 151 15.252 W Latitude: 72 19.146 N
Time At Location: 1030-1130 AM AST
Only two species were detected, but they were two very good species: Ross's and Ivory Gulls. Ivory Gulls have been checking the boat out most days in the deeper water (our depth was around 3000 meters). A total of 6 were seen circling the boat while we were on station, a truly stunning sight to see. We have seen at least one Ross's Gull every day in the Arctic. The views today were fairly poor, but the pink color was noticeable. No Ross's have stopped by to check out the boat, while almost every Ivory Gull has circled us giving great views. Today was the fist day I heard the tern-like call of the Ivory Gull.
This may have not been the most official Big Sit, but I tried to keep it within the spirit of the rules. I am currently on the USCGC Healy (the ice breaker that helped deliver fuel to Nome, AK last winter) and I learned this morning that Sunday would mostly be used for transiting. So if I was going to do any stationary counting it would have to be Saturday. We had 4 stations today where the boat deployed instruments called CTDs that collect water samples at varying depths in the water column. I decided to do the Big Sit at our first station. The boat was probably getting blown around in the water, but it remained relatively stationary. I got up to the bridge to the sight of open water. We have been averaging less than 10 individual birds per day, so open ocean is a common sight up here. About halfway through the station, two Ivory Gulls decided to check out the boat. Then two more joined them, then two more totaling a group of 6. Some other gulls were seen while scanning the horizon, and they flashed the distinctive color of the Ross's Gulls we have seen for the past 5 days.