Summer is the time to go for viewing alcids in breeding plumage. Target species were pigeon guillemot and tufted puffin. Both are striking birds The plan was simple -- pray for good weather and bird hotspots in the Puget Sound area -- on Whidbey Island and off Protection Island.
What was somewhat unexpected was a magnificent rhinoceros auklet:
In terms of sheer visual imagery, it is always a delight to highlight the gape of the mouth: