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Saturday, May 31, 2014

Back Out to Sea & an Owl Prowl

All at the Dock, ready to board
Was up early today, and loaded onto the Whale watching boat for a morning pelagic trip. Once on board I settled in a row with a nice couple, which I only realized when I was writing this up, were the couple that saved my face from the mosquito attack last week. THANK YOU! Hey, better late, than never. Anyway, this particular pelagic was fun, but no finny folk showed up, and not even that many of the feathered sort, but there was loads of scenery. 

Remains of an old Lighthouse
Petite Manan Island, part of the
Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge

There were some birds to look at, most note worthy was a massive flock of Red-necked Phalaropes bedecked in breeding plumage finery. Love these cross-feathered birdies, whose females are brighter and more colorful than the male birds, and it is the male birds that brood and raise the chicks.

Large flock of Red-necked Phalaropes in breeding plumage - YAY!
Best look I got of the Great Cormorant

I was thrilled to manage a few shots of a Great Cormorant, which was a lifer for me a week or so ago. May not look like much to anyone else, but it was a head turning beaut to me.

Searching an island for Peregrines and Baldies
Not to be jaded, but though it was thoroughly enjoyable, the birds today were not super cooperative and the oceanic mammals stayed away, but the sun was out, the waters were crystalline and I always say the worse day at sea is better than the best day on land (yeah, I'm crazy like that).

After the boat docked, I hit my hotel room briefly, then was off to the Festival Headquarters again for a prepaid festival luncheon.The food was great - again, it was prepared by local birder volunteers - and I enjoyed chatting with some birders from Texan and Michigan on what festivals they've attended that I might enjoy. When that was over, I decided to drive down to a spot in Acadia National Park where I was told I might be able to find some Purple Sandpipers if the birds hadn't decided to migrate int the past 24 hours - and rats, of course they had! Not a sandpiper in sight, but I did get some nice views of Black Scoters and a few other species.

Had nice looks at Black Scoters, ducks, that were actually close enough for shot or two
The day ended with a late night, 9 PM to midnight, Owl Prowl. It was last event for the Acadia Festival - not that it's my last adventure on this vacation. The Owl Prowl was - um... interesting. By birder's luck we only managed to hear a couple of Saw Whet Owls, but the driving around was entertaining and we even saw a Red Fox cub crossing a road at one point and a few White-tailed deer. By night's end I was the one who didn't give a hoot about what we saw or didn't see. I was tired, ready for a good night's sleep.

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