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.