Date: 10/6/17 4:20 pm
From: Cliff Otto <bye.bye.nh.birdy...>
Subject: [NHBirds] Granite State Whale Watch trip and Eel Pond
I'll start with Eel Pond since I drove past it on the way to Rye
Harbor...there were three swans together but I didn't have time to stop to
determine if all were the same species.

On to the 10 a.m. trip, which was spectacular with regard to whales. I
don't have counts but we started off with several groups of 3-4 Fin Whales
that were actively feeding...on their sides so you could see their tales
and occasionally open mouths. That is rare.

Then we went on to the Humpbacks that were group feeding, even more groups
of 3-4 that would surface all at once with open mouths/ejecting water.
There was a calf with one group that breached and one group that surfaced
immediately in front of the boat...and I mean immediately.

On the way back we saw a pod of Atlantic White-sided Dolphins and a Minke
Whale close to the Isles of Shoals.

In the harbor I saw a Black Guillemot that was mostly transitioned to
winter plumage but still maintained some of the summer/breeding plumage.
There were a lot of adult Northern Gannets on the way out, many on the
water. As we got farther out, we started seeing some shearwaters--Cory's,
Great, and at least one Sooty. We also saw gannets, including juvenile and
second-year. Oh, and a lot of Great Cormorants and a large skein of distant
ducks that I think were White-winged Scoter.
Gulls, which I can't identify. No storm-petrels.

Clifford Otto

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