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Tuesday Feb. 15, 2011
- Everyone left Cape May on their own schedule to arrive sometime Tuesday
afternoon or evening
at the Fairfield Inn in Amsbury, MA. Several of us met for a nice dinner at Striper's Grille.
Wednesday Feb. 16, 2011
- Continental breakfast at the motel and then off birding at 7:30 am. First
stop was the Cape Ann
area, specifically at the Statue in Gloucester Harbor. Here we found lots of activity including Common Eider, a Horned Grebe,
and a Razorbill. We moved to Stage Fort Park area to get a different vantage point, and then to a break at Dunkin Donuts in town around 9:45 am. From the parking lot we scoped 2 Peregrine Falcons on the Town Hall building.
Refreshed, we then birded
the inner harbor extensively. Lots to look at. A fairly close
Razorbill was cooperative, as was a
Black Guillemot. Several Iceland Gulls were found, as was a Glaucous Gull among the hundreds of gull present. Several more
close Razorbills made for a good show. We birded our way around the harbor out to Niles Beach, Lighthouse Cove, to Dogbar
Breakwater. Here we found more Razorbills, Horned Grebes, Common Eiders, and Surf and White-winged Scoters. From here
we birded the East Gloucester sea coast and Rockport area.
At Good Harbor Beach near Bass Rocks and the Elks Club, Don found the Adult drake King Eider that had been reported in the RBA. Although far off, we had good scope views and also had a number of Red-necked Grebes as well as Common Eiders and Goldeneyes. Next stop was Loblolly Cove where Don again found the drake Barrow's Goldeneye ( also reported in the RBA) with Common Goldeneyes. As with the King Eider, it was a scope view but a good one. From there we birded Back Harbor, Pigeon Cove, Andrews Point, Halibut, Point, and Folly Cove. We ended up at the Locust Grove Cemetary looking for passerines. We refreshed ourselves and met for dinner around 6:00 pm. Tonight it was Michael's Harborside Restaurant for dinner. Karl ordered Lobster only to find, to several other's chagrin, that he got the last one on the premises. It was good!
Thursday Feb. 17, 2011
- Another Continental
Breakfast at the motel and meet at 7:30 am for another day of birding. First
stop, around 8:00 am, was Plum Island where we birded from area #1 to area #7.
We encountered variuos ducks in areas of open
water and kept looking for a Rough-leg or Bald Eagle. No Snowy Owls were reported this year. We did watch a Cayote wander across the frozen marsh. At 9:00 am Nancy found a two-toned Seal way out. Interesting! A perched bird in a tree top turned out to
be a Northern Shrike. It moved several times and finally to an area where there was a 2nd Shrike. We watched from a distance as
the Shrike chased a Song Sparrow behind a row of bushes. Results of the chase unknown.
Later, Don found a perched
Rough-legged Hawk even further out. We also encountered a hard to see, roving
flock of Common Redpolls, but a better view was desired. At area #4 we did a
little hand feeding of Black-capped
Chickadees and also had a
Red-breasted Nuthatch in the mix. We birded the beach at area #7 loons, Red-necked Grebe, and Sanderling were found. We birded our way back to the entrance and decided to go to Bob Lobster for lunch. It was good last year and we couldn't pass it up. Then a short visit to Mass. Audubon Center at Joppa Flats where we got a Bald Eagle. No special gulls.
We then moved up the Merrimac
to the Cashman Park area and encountered 2 more Bald Eagles and watched a
Great Black-backed Gull try to eat a 9 inch catfish. Then off to Salisbury Campground and Beach. Seals, Gulls, Eiders, Grebes,
and Loons in the inlet and bays. Of note was a Loon pointed out by Don which looked to be a Pacific Loon. (Digiscope photos
were difficult because of the distanceand lighting). This identification was solidified when a Common Loon came as close as 3-4 feet to the Pacific Loon. The differences in size ,shape, posture, and color were apparent. In the campground, House Finches
were the only passerines in the numerous pines where Crossbills have been found in the past. At dusk we headed back to the
motel and met for dinner at 6:00 pm. This time it was back to Striper's Grille. Lobster was enjoyed be those who missed out the previous night at Michael's.
Friday Feb. 18, 2011
- Everyone set
their own schedule for the return to Cape May and a meeting at CMBO CRE at 5:00
the annual Winter Party.