We had such a strange weather year with hardly any rain until February. Al, the Laysan Albatross, usually arrives in November or December, often after a big storm. Since we had no big storm in those months, perhaps that is why Al did not return to the waters off the Point Arena Pier.
Laysan Albatrosses generally do not come near land. We've been fortunate to have Al [or Alice, we don't really know] visit and birders from around the country come to see him. Here is a photo of this unique bird taken by John Batchelder.
We hope this was an anomaly and that our favorite Albatross will return in November or December. The last time Al was here, he arrived on Dec. 22, 2012 and left on March 7, 2013. Previous arrival dates were Dec. 5, 2011, Nov. 22, 2010, and Nov. 18, 2009. I have records going back to 1994.
Thanks to John for allowing me to share his photo with you here.