On the weekend of the 4th of February, will be the Cape Ann Winter Birding Weekend which was good time last year. This year will not disappoint.
Yesterday, off of Fort Square, I saw a Thick-billed Murre. Today, I ran into a couple of birders who their own sighting in the morning. At noon, I spied a female Ruddy Duck off of Fort Square swimming about the park. This was my first Massachusetts Ruddy Duck, but an old buddy from my days out west.
Today, I though I’d go out to Eastern Point to shot some Purple Sandpipers. Why? Well, it was overcast and the light is very diffuse. My favorite location is on the south side of Dogbar Breakwater, so if the sun is out it makes shooting tough because the birds are backlit. But wouldn’t you know it? Today, they were on the north, steep side. Alas.
I’ve seen many birding parties around Gloucester the last couple of weeks. We have some really good birds in our area this time of year and after the New Year, the twitchers are starting their year lists and Gloucester is an excellent place with good infrastructure to see some cool things. Some of the “gimmies” are Purple Sandpipers, Common Eiders, Surf Scoter, Black Scoter, White-winged Scoter, Great Cormorant, Great Black-backed Gull, Common Loon and Mute Swan. If you keep your eyes open, you will see Razorbills, Thick-billed Murre, Iceland gulls and Glaucous Gulls. Last year we saw a Bald Eagle fly over Rocky Neck. All of these and more I have seen from the piers and shores of Gloucester.
Today, there were two Black Guillemots on the south side of Dogbar Brakwater, 50 to 75 yards off. These are photos are greatly enlarged, but they will give you enough detail to see what they look like in their winter plumage. Rarely, you will see one in their black breading plumage on Cape Ann.
If you’re coming here and you have the intestinal fortitude for it, you can brush up on the local gulls right here on Shooting My Universe.