Thursday, June 28, 2018

Spring 2018, to May 29

spring 2018,

 if its hot down in DC its still nice and cool up here in Maine
 just kidding that was a few weeks ago
these islands are green now

 May 12, Adult Peregrine on Gull Rock, Matinicus Rock,
a few Blurry Harlequin surfing on the sea side of Matinicus Rock, May 12

 peregrine, ashore at Seal Island, May 19
 Peregrine over seal Island,
More Puffins than ever at Seal Island, ~500 breeding pair  I have seen them exploring new areas of the island.
The Gulf of Maine population of Puffins has been growing since 1900 when Victoria was Queen of the British empire, and its growing yet,.. the puffin population, not the empire.

 A gang of mostly black scoter passing the camp on Seal Island
 scoter in the landscape
Male Harlequin at Brimstone Island, May 19.
the great blue heron

A 21st century seabird population crisis in Maine

May 26 Little Robert's Island,  the last of the Great Cormorants at Little Roberts, nesting at this site since 1994, attacked by eagles every year, for 10 years at least, abandoned in 2017 before the end of June.
This small band of Cormorant were seen at this site on May 4, there were four birds in the former nest area and two others nearby. There was no nest material nor was there displaying on May the fourth both of which would be at a colony with some commitment to breed there.
by May 28 they had apparently moved more or less together to the last viable nesting site of this species in the Gulf of Maine at Seal island.

 if you come out to Vinalhaven to go for a boatride you get two more aboard the Maine state ferry service from Rockland, $11 round trip,
This is the morning boat from the island heading west through Leadbetter's Narrows.

May 29, trip to count cormorants

 Ivory Black-backed gull on Carvers Island
 Split Second, east of Brimstone.
 Golden plover Little Spoon Island
Golden Plover

Golden plover, little spoon May 29

 Eastern Cow Pen a corona of traps

 What's left of the Cormorants on the eastern side of Southern Mark.  No Great Cormorants they moved back to Brimstone.

Built but empty Great Cormorant nest on Saddle back Jericho Bay.

 Great Cormorants at Brimstone ledge, they had abandoned this site for Southern Mark last year.
 I counted 6 great cormorant nests here, and a few Double-crested nests,  they were probably late in setting up here as they did not nest here last year, so they will be vulnerable for a long time in late summer when the other birds of the year are disbursed, and eagles are still hungry.
 Double-crested Cormorant colony at Western Green Island.
mooring shag

Evening at Gott's island beach

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