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Cape Ann and Plum Island

Cape Ann
Plum Island

November 18, 2017

Seth Kellogg

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.