Janice Zepko and Chris Blagdon
Eleven members faced a stiff, cold breeze all day in hopes of finding some good birds on the north shore. The surf was up in the ocean and choppy waters ruled the day, making siting birds more difficult, but we managed all three Scoter species, Common Loon, Bufflehead, Goldeneye, Red-breasted Merganser and Common Eider at many locations, and a total of 44 species.
Jodrey’s Pier gave our first anticipated bird of the day, a close-up look at a Razorbill. Next, we went to Rocky Neck and picked up three Horned Grebes. At Niles Beach, Chris got looks at a Black Guillemot flying, and we spotted our first Long-tailed Ducks. Eastern Point added 7 Purple Sandpipers out on the dog bar, 7 Gadwall up close, and 7 Gannets off the point. We were welcomed by calm waters at Niles Pond and good views of 4 Hooded Mergansers, 3 Lesser Scaup, 6 Ring-necked Ducks and a Pied-billed Grebe. At the Elks Club on Atlantic Ave, we spotted five more Gannets and our first White-winged Scoters. We got good looks at Harlequins from Granite Pier and Cathedral Rocks. We were lucky enough to find ample parking at Andrews Point and were rewarded for our walk to the lookouts with a Purple Sandpiper, 20 more Harlequins and another Long-tailed Duck. More Gannets and Harlequins were spotted at Halibut Point, and on the last stop of the day we found a Red-throated Loon at Plum Cove. Great day of birding was had by all, despite the weather!