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DVOC Field Trip Report
by Adrian Binns
February 18-20, 2006
Pictures by Adrian Binns
Pictures by Bert Filemyr (will open in a new browser window)
In spite of high winds and cold temperatures for the first couple of days we had a very successful trip to New England. Once again we had good numbers of gulls with many Iceland’s including four adults at Newburyport and five 1st cycles in along with three Black-headed, including an adult, and a 1st cycle Glaucous at Gloucester on Cape Ann. Along with a large group of Harlequins and amongst Common Eiders we had a spectacular drake King Eider at Pigeon Cove capping off a wonderful morning of birding on the cape.
A nearly pure white Snowy Owl hunkered down in the salt marshes of Plum Island made up for the lack of other species there, though at Emmerson Rocks we did pick up a small group of Purple Sandpipers while looking at White-winged and Black Scoters. Salisbury Beach was rather disappointing with only large rafts of Common Eiders on the Merrimack River and a Northern Harrier over the dunes.
On the middle day of the trip we opted to head north of Bangor to look for a couple of Great Gray Owls that had been around for well over a week. Unfortunately there was a reason for the lack of reports from the days leading up to our visit – it was not there! However we did get tremendous looks at our only Northern Shrike and a couple of Barred Owls, the later a first record for this trip in over 20 years of coming to New England in mid February. On our way back we stopped in to see Derek Lovitch at his Wild Bird Center store in Yarmouth to thank him for all his local knowledge in getting us onto some of birds.
Along the Maine coast we had a half dozen Barrow’s Goldeneye’s including cracking views of a drake. Another male was seen off the New Hampshire coast along with a Red-necked Grebe and Common Loons. Off Bass Rocks on Cape Ann we added our only alcids, these being four Black Guillemots, one of which was in summer plumage; several Horned Grebes and Rob found an immature male King Eider.
We saved the best bird for last and heading south of Boston
to Plympton to visit a
feeding station that had been host to a Boreal
Chickadee for the past couple of weeks. It is not often that one gets
such a good look at this often elusive species even on its breeding ground.
OF SPECIES SEEN - NEW ENGLAND