Starichkov Island in Kamchatka
Starichkov island is an island situated on the south of Avachinsky gulf, 12 kilometers away from the mouth of Avachinskaya bay in the south direction.
The area of Starichkov island which is partially covered with grassland, is not so large, about 0,5 square kilometers. The height of the north-west side of the island is 147,5 meters above sea level, and the flat summit covered with herbs of alder pines downs to the ocean by steep slopes and precipices.
Starichkov island is surrounded by numerous coastal reefs and rocks which are visible at the time of low tide. There are chains of the small islands named as sea stacks. Starichkov island has two one, such as Karaulny and Chasovoy sea stacks.
At first glance it may seem that Starichkov island is one of the ordinary islands which are tens on Kamchatka. However, Starichkov Island is a nature monument with a regional significance on Kamchatka, which is protected by the State and regular watching of scientists. Kamchatka Branch of the Pacific Geographical Institute, Far Eastern Division of the Russian Academy explores the island. It was given a status of aquatic reserve in 1981. What is the uniqueness of this nature monument?
The fact is that Starichkov island is considered the single ecology system presenting the unique conditions for habituating of living organisms. 44 breeding colonies of 11 species of the sea birds are recorded on the island. These are bering and red-faced cormorant, Pacific gull, kittiwake, Pacific and spectacled guillemots, thick-billed and common guilemots etc.
The ancient murrelet (about 13 thousands of species) and puffins (about 32 thousands of species) has superior numbers of species in comparison with other birds on the island. They nest in the ground holes. Three species, such as the red-faced cormorant, the spectacled guillemot, as well as the ancient murrelet are considered rare bird species of the coasts of the Kamchatka peninsula. Starichkov island was declared a nature monument in order to create great conditions for calm nesting and breeding of seabirds’ colonies.
The funny omen links with the island: if bird's dropping falls on you, it means that you will have a success in future. However, if we think about how many birds are there, it leaves only wondering, who of tourists visiting the island will be remained without “luck”. Someone even deliberately tries to catch such “luck”.
If you set a purpose to visit Starichkov island while a trip around Kamchatka, you need to arrive there in the period from June to October, because boat trips are not conducted in other months.
On the map of Kamchatka
You can find this bird's place using the following coordinates: 52°46′38″N, 158°36′58″E
You can visit Starichkov island and see a birds’ rookery in the following group trips: