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Cape Ann and Plum Island

Cape Ann
Plum Island

May 4, 2017

Myles Conway

For Day 1 at Cape Ann there were 14 people on board.  There was less wind than predicted at the start, but it got very strong by the afternoon.  The Thick-billed Murre was sleeping not far out at Jodrey Pier and an Iceland Gull was present with a modest number of other gulls.  At Eastern Point it was too windy to walk out to the jetty, so we walked around the lee side of the lighthouse.  There we had only a few birds, but they included a Razorbill on the water and a flock of Purple Sandpipers flying past.  Niles Pond was fairly calm, with a mixed flock of diving Greater and Lesser Scaup, a flock of Ring-necked Ducks, some Gadwall, Bufflehead, a few Goldeneye, and both Hooded and Red-breasted Merganser.  From the Elks Club we had a breeding plumage Black Guillemot, some White-winged Scoters, Eiders, and the usual Bufflehead flock.

After lunch we visited Salt Island, where some got Sanderlings, but no one could find the King Eider.  We headed north, wandering the side streets on the western shore of Rockport, finding only a small assortment of ducks.  At the Granite Pier and at Andrews Point there were Harlequin Duck, Surf and Black Scoter, Bufflehead, Red-breasted Merganser plus Common Loon and Eider.  We could not pick out the female King Eider reported here.

We headed north and found some geese in the Ipswich fields, but no Pink-footed.  Two cars went north to Salisbury to hunt for Red Crossbills in vain. Instead they got 20 Gadwall, two American Wigeon, a few Eiders, and Red-breasted Merganser, some Oldsquaw and Goldeneye, a Red-throated and several Common Loons.  Raptors present were a Harrier and 2 Bald Eagles, plus a close Snowy Owl just across from the boat ramp.        

On Day 2 some took the ride down Plum Island, which was quite barren and very windy and cold.  There were Harriers at the Wardens over the north pool, a flock of Brant, and regular ducks, mostly at Emerson Rocks where a flock of Dunlin were feeding.  Also new were three Horned Grebes.  The north end of Plum had more Brant and some ducks, Cashman Park had a few Goldeneye, and Salisbury had some ducks and loons. The owl was gone.