Saturday, January 1, 2011

Three Razorbills off Norwalk Islands

We started the New Year with a Bang!
Dennis Varza joined me this morning for a boat trip outside the Norwalk Islands. Our target was to chart out the feeding grounds that White-winged Scoter have been using for the past three winters.
We were slowly heading east, at  five knots, our position was roughly two miles south of Cockenoe Island.
 Three somewhat different birds appeared off the bow, immediately I shouted Razorbills, Dennis paid little attention to me since moments before I somehow made a small  black and white floating object into a Dovekie
The three birds submerged, but as soon as they surfaced, it was confirmed, three Razorbills!
Happy New Year! 
This is one of the few shots I got of the three birds together, soon one split off and we lost the other two.
We continued to follow the single bird.
These birds were feeding from 47-52 ft of water about 1 mile South of Buoy 24,
which is off Cockenoe Island, Westport. There were also many White-winged Scoter in this area.
Poor Photo's but they get the job done

Near Cockenoe Island we picked up this lady King Eider, it flushed off the water, flew away from the boat, it then turned and flew back towards us. Finally passing off our starboard.
 I saw three eider in this area yesterday,
I assumed they were Common, but who knows?

Harbor Seals would often pop up around the boat, almost always when we were near shallow water.

These Brant spooked for no apparent reason, often I see flocks of these and other birds do this, I mentioned to Dennis, that maybe this is what happens when a seal pops up in the middle of a raft.
Long-tails were everywhere, thousands?

A deer on Grassy Island, checking us out.

Another close fly by

Dennis found this Purple Sandpiper and several of his friends, sitting on the channel marker at the entrance to Norwalk Harbor
It was a great day, who knows when it will be this calm and warm again?
Boating days are precious and few during this month.
It's January and this is New England, yet I can't wait for the next trip!


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