Date: 5/13/18 2:35 pm
From: Stephen Mirick <smirick...>
Subject: [NHBirds] Coastal sea duck survey and WHALE WATCH FROM SHORE!
Jane and I got out a bit late today but had a great time.  Nice weather
and LOTS OF DUCKS continue along the shoreline.  Especially from
Bicentennial Park and from the north end of Hampton Beach toward Great
Boar's Head.  Very high numbers of Black Scoters and Long-tailed Ducks
are lingering.  AND MANY ARE VERY CLOSE.  Mixed in are other species of
sea ducks and especially Red-throated Loons.  A group of 13 off
Bicentennial included an incredibly close bird in breeding
plumage.....that decided to swim away when I ran for my camera!!

Perhaps the highlight of the day was seeing the Granite State Whale
watch boat cruising south (on its 2nd trip of the year) past us at
Little Boar's Head.  It was our first sighting of the boat in the water
this spring and it was full of whale watchers and JUST offshore.  We
assumed it was heading further south, but it STOPPED!!  We realized they
were on a Humpback Whale!

10:15 AM - 1:15 PM
Comments:     Coverage of NH Coast from north end of Seabrook Beach,
north to Pulpit Rocks.  Calm, gray, flat seas and great visibility.
Ideal conditions for scanning offshore.  Got late start and sun came out
and wind picked up a little by after noon. Primarily focusing on large
numbers of lingering sea ducks which are mostly in the area between
Little Boars Head and Hampton Beach.  From Little Boar's Head saw
GRANITE STATE boat pass by and STOP.  This clued us in to a HUMPBACK
WHALE just offshore.  Also saw 2 Minke Whales, and 2+ Harbor Porpoises!

Surf Scoter  52
White-winged Scoter  11
Black Scoter  383     Careful count. Mostly from Little Boar's Head and
Bicentennial Park.  My highest May count ever beating 320 on May 29, 2015.
Long-tailed Duck  228     Careful count.   Mostly from south side of
Great Boar's Head and Bicentennial Park.
COMMON GOLDENEYE  2     Together at Bicentennial Park.  Odd sighting for
mid-May.  1 adult male. 1 immature male.
Red-breasted Merganser  14
Red-throated Loon  32     10 migrating. 13 together off Bicentennial
Park!  Ties for my highest May count (32 on 5/22/11).
Common Loon  25
Red-necked Grebe  4     Off Bicentennial Park.
Northern Gannet  12
Black-bellied Plover  6
Spotted Sandpiper  12     Single flock of 10 at Seal Rocks.
RAZORBILL  1     Immature bird close offshore at Hampton Beach. Picked
out by Jane as it dove just beyond sea ducks.
Black Guillemot  4     At least 4 off Little Boars Head.
Laughing Gull  1
Roseate Tern  5     Well seen.  Three or four birds close in from Yankee
Fisherman's Coop in Hampton harbor.
Common Tern  8     Likely an undercount, but surprisingly few.
Fish Crow  2     Bicentennial Park.

Steve & Jane Mirick
Bradford, MA

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