Seth Kellogg and Janice Zepko
This trip, originally scheduled for January 6th, finally got off the ground two weeks later. We met at McDonald’s in Ludlow at 6:30 am and eleven of us left for the South Shore. Doing the reverse of our usual route, we stopped at Cumberland Farms first to pick up Rough-legged Hawks (4) that had been reported. Also there were 4 Redtails, 3 Harriers, 30 Cowbirds and 200 Canada Geese. Next stop was at a park overlooking Duxbury Harbor, where we picked up 25 Surf Scoters, 20 Eider, 3 Black Duck, 5 Bufflehead and a Horned Grebe. On to Duxbury Beach by Gurnett Road. It did not disappoint with a close in Snowy Owl.
North Plymouth at the pumping station of Chuck Carroll Investment Pond we got 2 Gadwall, 2 Hooded Mergs, 30 Mallards and a Black Duck, as well as 3 Mute Swans, 25 Ring-billed and 6 Herring Gulls. Plymouth Harbor added 150 Black Ducks, 40 Surf and 12 White-winged Scoters, 100 Eider, 1 Oldsquaw, 1 Horned Grebe, 1 RB Merg and a Great Blue Heron. By1:30 we were at Jenny’s Pond for 2 Turkeys, a Mute Swan, 10 Gadwall, 25 mallard, 3 Bufflehead, and a Red-bellied Woodpecker. Plymouth Long Beach added Oldsquaw, 5 RB Mergs, 30 Eider, 25 Surf Scoters, 3 Common and 1 Red-throated Loon, 1 Horned Grebe and 1 Bonaparte’s Gull.
Manomet Point was our next stop, where we found 60+ Harbor Seals and birds too, including 10 Oldsquaw, 2 Great Cormorants, 50 RB Mergs, 6 WW Scoters and 3 Bufflehead. On to Long Pond and a second stop at its south end for 7 Bufflehead, 4 Goldeneye, 3 RB Mergs and a Great Cormorant.
An overlook of Great Herring Pond from Eagle Hill Rd gave us a Bald Eagle, 13 Lesser and 7 Greater Scaup, 35 Red-breasted and 10 Common Mergs, 25 Goldeneye and 80 Crows probably going to roost.
Finally, we arrived at Horizons Restaurant on Town Neck Rd in Sandwich, where the parking lot and beach give us close up views of waterfowl. There we counted 300 White-winged 20 Black and 6 Surf Scoters, 500 Eider, RB Merg, Horned Grebe, Blk-backed Gull, and a Common Loon. Also, Holly added 4 Sanderlings and a Song Sparrow to the list, after we sent her, by accident, to Scusset Beach where we spotted her with scope from our position across the sea water.