Janice Zepko & Seth Kellogg
There were 6 cars and 16 people on the trip to the North Shore. At the meeting place in Gloucester there were a few distant Bufflehead and a gliding Harrier. After struggling with the back road to Andrews Point, we set up scopes at 9:15, quickly counting good numbers: 170 Eider Ducks, 30 Harlequin Ducks, and about 65 Black Scoters. There were some Surf and White-winged Scoters, ten Long-tailed Ducks, and a few Red-breasted Mergansers, Common and Red-throated Loons. We also spotted soaring Gannets and some Razorbills.
Cathedral Ledge, Granite Pier, and Bass Rocks had more of the same, big Eider flocks, 40 Harlequin Ducks, over 300 Black Scoters, 3 Black Guillemots, Great and Double-crested Cormorants, 3 Gannets, a flock of Bufflehead, over 20 Red-throated Loons, a Goldeneye, a Hooded Merganser, a Red-necked Grebe, and another Razorbill. We got very close to a flock of Snow Buntings and a few Purple Sandpipers on the jetty rocks. The Point and Niles Pond added Ring-necked Ducks and Greater Scaups, 35 Mergansers, 2 Great Blue Heron and many gulls. Jodrey Fish Pier gave us another Razorbill and a Peregrine Falcon.
We headed north to Newburyport, where Joppa Flats added two more Great Blue Herons. It was mid-afternoon for Plum Island, where we added 6 Gadwall, 13 Pintail and a Green-winged Teal. Also, there, were 3 Horned Grebes, and 3 Coot. The only hunting raptor was another Harrier.