The scenic view from the harbor and the allure of seafood captured our attention.
It was a special day. We were going to find the Atlantic Puffin and visit one of their nesting grounds on Eastern Egg Island!
The morning began with a bit of a breeze. As the day went on, the breeze became something stronger.
Gulls, like the Great black-backed gull, soared and swirled above our heads.
We boarded our vessel and began to leave dock. By now the wind had become rather gusty. The waves grew large as we left the harbor.
|Eastern Egg Island|
The vessel lurched forward throwing some passengers to the side rails. Someone screamed, "LOOK! A PUFFIN!" For a brief moment, the ship stopped moving long enough for everyone to observe the amazing Atlantic Puffin!
Everyone locked their binos and cameras on the birds. Or at least tried. Some had their heads in a bag. Others clung to their loved ones. Was it worth it?
As we approached the island, I noticed my second target bird! The Black Guillemot!!! It was a thrill to see so many around the rocks! The vessel rolled and I was knocked over a bench. Ouch! I CAN DO THIS! CONCENTRATE! FIND THEM! OBSERVE THEM AS MUCH AS YOU CAN! YOU'LL HAVE TIME TO COMPLAIN LATER ON!
I tried to keep my shaking hands steady. Focus you desert rat! There will not be another opportunity to do this again!
On shore, the "Hilton" was home to several human guardians. They observed the nesting birds, collected data and protected the Puffin's breeding grounds.
TERNS! The true test for me began. Not many people were interested in the terns twisting and gliding around our vessel at light speed. I was.
Another sway and rooooooollllll!!!
|Arctic Tern-bill is reddish, but in this pic the lighting makes it look a tad orange|
LURCH!!! I HEAR YOU! I HEAR YOU! THE STARBOARD! keeeyuuuuurrrr! And SNAP!
|A seal passes by our vessel|
As the last Atlantic Puffin flew from my sight, I looked over the rough ocean waters and thought about how exciting this life of discovery is.
This is just the beginning of our Maine story. There is still so much more to come. As of this write, I have observed and discovered 432 birds this year in North America. We began in California, scoured Arizona, got a taste of New Mexico, walked the beaches of Northern Mexico and explored Florida. Life is truly a dream. For more about the Puffin tour, check out the Hardy Boat Cruises. And for more birds from around the world, check out Wild Bird Wednesday!