Six people in two cars arrived at the rotary, where high tide gave us 50 Bufflehead, 2 Common Loon, and 4 Red-breasted Merganser. We then drove right out to Rockport where the Granite Pier had 5 Harlequin Ducks, 12 Surf Scoter, 50 Eider, 4 Gannets in the distance, 2 Red-necked Grebes and a Cormorant. At Andrews Point we saw some distant Razorbills, 3 flying and one on the water. Much closer were 75 Harlequin Ducks, 2 Red-necked Grebes, 3 Common Loons, a Black and 6 White-winged Scoters, 2 Eiders, an Oldsquaw, and 4 Red-breasted Mer-gansers. The next stop was Cathedral Ledge, where we noted 60 Purple Sandpipers on the point, while close to us on the water were 6 Bufflehead, 2 Common and a Red-throated Loon, 20 Black and 12 White-winged Scoters, 50 Harlequin Ducks, 10 Red-breasted Merganser and 80 Eiders. Halibut Point, after a long walk, had only 2 Long-tailed Ducks, 5 Eiders, and 2 Common Loons. There was a beautiful close adult Gannet working right off shore.
We returned to Gloucester and stopped at Bass Rocks to view the scattered Eiders, along with Black and White-winged Scoters, 20 close Bufflehead, 2 Common Loons, a Red-throated Loon, and a Red-breasted Mergan-ser. Further along the shore we found 5 Great Cormorants, many Eiders, a few Red-breasted Mergansers, and one Purple Sandpiper. At Niles Pond the road was narrow, but we stayed long enough to find 12 Coot, 6 Hooded and 20 Red-breasted Merganser, 4 Greater Scaup, 5 Ring-necked Ducks, 15 Bufflehead and a Ruddy Duck. We stopped at Jodrey Pier, which was crammed with parked cars. The Glaucous Gull was opposite us on a laden pier in a small open area with other gulls, a very bright individual. On the water were 40 Eiders and 20 Cormorants, a Red-breasted Merganser, and 5 Common Loons. We stopped for a food break, then went on to Plum Island, arriv-ing at 2 pm.
The first salt pannes had 25 Gadwall, 25 Wigeon, and 4 Mute Swans mixed in with the many Black Ducks. Also there were 2 Dunlin and a Greater Yellowlegs. A flock of Dunlin with one large likely Black-bellied Plover flew overhead to the ocean. At North Pool overlook we got a flyover Harrier, while Hellcat Pool had 12 Pintail, 6 Green-winged Teal, 15 Hooded Merganser, 8 American Wigeon and a Bufflehead among the many Black Ducks. Two more Harriers flew over farther along the road. Emerson Rocks at low tide had 6 Red-throated Loons, 12 Common Loons, a Black Scoter, 2 White-winged Scoters, 10 Bufflehead, and many Eiders. On the way back north a Cooper’s Hawk flew close in front of us. Joppa Flats was just starting to open and we had 20 Bufflehead, many gulls and Mallards, many Black Ducks, 50 Canada Geese, 3 Great Cormorants, and 50 Dunlin.