At the Seattle Aquarium this morning, I added a new bird for the year: Cassin’s Auklet. My intrepid assistant was the first to spot it, and alerted me to pair of them diving (for frozen shrimp).
We did have a great time at the Aquarium, but of course birders don’t “count” captive birds in zoos, aviaries, or aquaria. They must be “alive, wild, and unrestrained” to count for my year list. Seeing Cassin’s Auklet from 6 inches away was an amazing treat though, especially since my most recent sighting in the wild was from the deck of a heaving ship at range of 100 yards, squinting through the fog with my spray-drenched binoculars.