Usually we start this trip along the coast, but because of the bitter cold and strong winds, we decided to start inland; visiting the Exeter Wastewater Treatment Plant, then Chapman's Landing in Stratham, and the Great Bay Discovery Center. We then headed over to the north part of the coast and worked our way south from Great Island Common in New Castle, Odiorne Point State Park, Seal Rocks, Rye Harbor area, Eel Pond, Bicentennial Park, and the Hampton harbor area to finish the day.
The weather was sunny, but bitter cold in the morning and strong winds. Temperatures were in the teens and the windchill was far below that. The temperatures eased to nearly 32F by the end of the day, but the winds didn't really let up as I had hoped, so the day was uncomfortable at best! The recent cold snap had also frozen many areas that had been open. The south shoreline of Great Bay was FROZEN! As was Eel Pond, and the coastal salt marshes.
Complete list of birds = 42 species ------------------------------------------------ Canada Goose Mute Swan - 4 on ocean near Little Boar's Head in North Hampton American Black Duck Mallard Green-winged Teal - 3 at Odiorne Ring-necked Duck - 6 at Exeter Wastewater Treatment Plant Greater Scaup - 3 females at Odiorne (odd location) Lesser Scaup - Big flock of 45 continues at Exeter Wastewater Treatment Plant Common Eider Surf Scoter White-winged Scoter Black Scoter - 1 immature male at Odiorne. Long-tailed Duck - Distant views only Bufflehead - Several in Rye harbor. Common Goldeneye Hooded Merganser - 4 at Exeter wastewater treatment plant. More at Chapman's Landing in Stratham and on Eel Pond in Rye. Common Merganser - Several at Chapman's Landing in Stratham including some beautiful flybys. Red-breasted Merganser Common Loon - Including one molting into breeding plumage. Horned Grebe Red-necked Grebe - Two getting near breeding plumage at Odiorne. Great Cormorant - Several birds at Concord Point in Rye, approaching full breeding plumage! Turkey Vulture - About 3 for the day. Bald Eagle - 4 total for the day including some nice flyovers. 1 immature at Exeter Treatment plant. 2 immatures at Chapman's Landing (not the suspected pair), and 1 adult at Great Island Common in New Castle. Northern Harrier - Surprise female flying low in front of us at Great Bay Discovery Center in Stratham. Red-tailed Hawk - Several for the day. Killdeer - 2 at Ragged Neck at Rye harbor State Park. Purple Sandpiper - About 3 at Seal Rocks in Rye. Ring-billed Gull Herring Gull Iceland Gull - Surprise flyby of adult at Great Bay Discovery Center in Stratham. Sadly, the adult Glaucous Gull did not make an appearance in the late afternoon. Great Black-backed Gull Rock Pigeon Mourning Dove American Crow Black-capped Chickadee Tufted Titmouse American Robin European Starling Northern Cardinal Red-winged Blackbird - Perhaps 50 total Common Grackle - Perhaps 100 total House Sparrow