Saturday, August 1, 2009

Wednesday and Thursday report


Got up early and headed to Hampton Harbor to look for the reported Little Gull, Black-headed Gull, Sabine's Gull, and Yellow-crowned Night-Heron. It was just after high tide so there was no birds in the harbor. We went across the bridge to Hampton Beach State Park, and found hundreds of gulls roosting in the parking lot and lawn. A couple Bonaparte's Gulls gave me a scare, looking like a Black-headed and Little Gull, but all ended up being Bonie's.

After the water level dropped some, we checked the harbor once more, and the shorebirds have arrived. There were 2 Black-bellied Plovers, and a few Ruddy Turnstones, and one Sanderling!! The Sanderling was a yearbird, and a cool bird all around.


My aunt Penny and I signed up for the Granite State Whalewatching trip in the morning, and were very intrigued by the weather. It was warm, but extremely foggy, and cloudy with spots of rain. It was one of those mornings you wake up and go outside and the air is heavy with the sense of rare birds. You can just tell that the weather has brought in something odd, but you don't know where or when it will show up.

After we got on the boat and made our way out the harbor, an Arctic Tern passed by; a great yearbird.

The first shearwater (and actually second and third) I saw was a Cory's Shearwater, which I thought was odd. I counted about 9 or 10 throughout the day. On the way to the whale feeding grounds, I saw a few groups of Jaegers off in the distance, to far to ID, but counted at least 12 or 13.

In the whale/bird feeding grounds, we saw Sooty and Greater Shearwaters but in less numbers then Tuesday. The Wilson's Storm-Petrels like tripled in number though. All in all, I would guess over 1,200 birds!! In the mass, I noticed a storm-petrel that flew more like a nighthawk, or tern. Now that was a dead giveaway before looking at fieldmarks.... LEACH'S STORM-PETREL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was close to the boat, but made its way farther out in a matter of minutes. That was the first lifer of the day, and one of the few "odd" birds that showed up. The others so far were the numbers of Jaegers.

I was on one side of the boat, and one of the crew over the intercom said "For all of you birders, there is a Northen Fulmar at 11 o'clock". I was over there before she finished the sentence!! A NORTHERN FULMAR!!! It was a little distant, but was swimming towards the boat!! It came within 40 yards if the boat!! That was amazing!!!

That was about the highlight of the trip, those two lifers. From there, it was more of the usual which was always amazing, as just 2 days before, they were lifers, and who knows when I will see those birds again.

No comments:

Post a Comment