Desolation Sound 2023: Day 7: Squirrel Cove to Octopus Islands | NW Explorations


Desolation Sound 2023: Day 7: Squirrel Cove to Octopus Islands

We have been spotting many kinds of birds during our journey and today we added a few new species to our count. Before going through Hole in the Wall (a narrow passage which must be traversed during slack tide) we saw a large group of surf scoters. These unique ducks have a white spot on the back of their neck which stands out against the rest of their black feathers. The feature that really sets them apart is their bill. It is large, colorful, and shaped similar to a spoon. They use their specialized beak to dive down and harvest shellfish off rocks and out of mud.

We entered Hole in the Wall right after slack tide and had a slight current where we saw pairs of Marbled Murlets diving for small fish. Marbled Murlets are very cute little birds who will only nest in old growth forest. This means sometimes they will nest 40 or more miles inland and have to fly back to the ocean to get their meals. They will lay their eggs in moss on the ground or sometimes up on a mossy tree branch. We also saw harlequin ducks, mergansers, eagles, grebes, loons, and cormorants. Birders paradise!

Once we arrived in the Octopus Islands a few of us jumped into kayaks while others got into dinghies. We all gathered at a special place known as the driftwood cabin. This cabin looks like it is straight from a page of an Eye Spy book. Mementos left from boaters for the last 50 years fill the cabin. From bergies to fish made out of forks, it is a must see. The flotilla left our own mark of our visit: I spy with my little eye a NWE logo.

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