Sunday, September 7, 2014

Pinnipeds and Faranoia

     Jim and I went to Main Top Island today.  This requires a decent amount of preparation and a decent chunk of time—time spent on a different island, with many fewer birds.  This leads to acute cases of Faranoia:

Faranoia (n.)
Pronunciation: /ˌferəˈnoiə  /
Syllabification: far·a·noi·a 
     A mental condition characterized by fear of missing rare birds due to distractions, WPWT, or a simple lack of attentiveness (e.g., looking at one's feet so as not to fall to one's death).

     Faranoia is a difficult condition to tolerate, and news from the mainland of such birds as Grace's Warbler and Sulphur-bellied Flycatcher are of no help.  Thankfully, the day was very slow for birds and no mega-vagrants were missed.  The focus of our visit to Main Top island, and the focus of this blog entry, was Pinnipeds.

The star of West End--the Northern Fur Seal.  Nearly wiped off the planet by fur hunters, this species is making a comeback.  They are hilarious sounding (clicks grunts screams and bleats) and are much more aggressive than other Pinnipeds.  Many adults and pups were seen (up close and personal) on our visit to their homeland.

Here we have a Harbor Seal, photographed in a gulch that I visit daily--this individual loves to haul out at the same spot each day.  Look at the pelage on this character--unbelievable.  Its beauty helps support Phoca vitulina's position at the top of the Pinnipedia ladder.

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