Date: 2/12/18 5:03 am From: RALPH ELDRIDGE <lightrae1...> Subject: [Maine-birds] MACHIAS SEAL ISLAND REPORT
I returned to the island on Wednesday last but station activities have kept me from wandering about very much. Except for brief periods, usually only hours, the ground remains snow free and not completely frozen.
It is apparent that we still have 4-6 SONG SPARROWS surviving. A HORNED LARK is spending time around the lawns and PURPLE SANDPIPERS can be readily seen all over the island. That makes for interesting juxtapositions like the Horned Lark, a Purple Sandpiper and a Song Sparrow foraging together on our patio or a CATBIRD chasing along with P. Sandpipers as they search the lawn and boardwalks for food. The Catbird just arrived yesterday (Sunday) as doesn't seem to have found citrus or jelly offerings.
The Purple Sandpipers are almost a nuisance. Just walking between buildings virtually guarantees encounters with the little buggers. They tend to run along, keeping just 6-10 feet ahead, protesting loudly about being interrupted. In true PS style, they are very reluctant to take flight.
The winter compliment of HARLEQUIN DUCKS is still evident and my rough estimates make me think that the numbers continue on par with earlier observations and counts from recent years. EIDERS are normal with a few scattered around.
A couple EAGLES have done fly-bys but air traffic has made it hard for them to stop and hunt.
Gulls and other water birds are generally at low-normal levels except that I've seen what might be the first hint of RAZORBILLS spending time closer to the island.