Date: 3/31/17 5:43 pm From: RALPH ELDRIDGE <lightrae1...> Subject: [Maine-birds] MACHAS SEAL ISLAND REPORT
SPRONG!!!! Has spring actually arrived? Or is this just another blip?
The day certainly seemed as if the migration has finally started in earnest. Multiple flocks of CANADA GEESE (mostly in the 20 to 30 range); 5 WOODCOCK (possibly 7); ROBINS by the lawn-full (well, over 30); Around a dozen FOX SPARROWS (digging the island apart); SONG SPARROWS (by the score); The first wave of SAVANNAH SPARROWS (with at least 10 IPSWICH type); JUNCOS, galore; A sprinkling of RED WING BLACKBIRDS (definitely 5 on the island); One lonely GRACKLE; 3 KILLDEER (fly-by); 17 COMMON LOONS (all feeding near shore); 9 RED THROATED LOONS (all fly-bys except one); 38 HARLEQUIN DUCKS; 4 RED BREASTED MERGANSERS (acting like pairs); 17 COMMON EIDERS(mixed genders and the 1st group that seem to be migrants); 9 LONG TAILED DUCKS (set down briefly then headed up the bay towards Grand Manan); GREAT BLACK BACKED GULLS (perhaps 50 scattered throughout the day); HERRING GULLS (outnumbered Blk. Backs by 3:1) ICELAND GULLS (represented by about 12 individuals); A couple dozen CORMORANTS (all were GREATs except for 1 DOUBLE CREASTED); 2 PEREGRINE FALCONS (the 4th & 5th of the year).
BIRD OF THE DAY: RAZORBILL. They have been rafting in varying concentrations off-and-on for a couple weeks but this afternoon they showed signs of coming ashore. As the evening crept by and 8PM was fast approaching, the ALCIDS started wheeling but rather half heartedly. It looked like a typical recognizance flight leading up to a mass landing in days to come. At 5 minutes to 8 the first adventurous Razorbill touched down and opened the gates. By 8:10 there were several thousand Razorbills on the rocks.
(I'm sure that COMMON MURRES landed, too, (they were on the water) but I didn't go into the colony to confirm that.
GRAY SEALS are building up. Counted 103 on Gull Rock this morning, including at least 9 pups. HARBOUR SEALS aren't very numerous but they tend to peak closer to their pupping season, come June.