Date: 7/4/18 8:12 pm
From: 'Phil Brown' via NHBirds <nhbirds...>
Subject: [NHBirds] Granite State Whale Watch, 7/4
My six-year old daughter and I continued our annual July whale watch tradition by taking the afternoon Granite State out of Rye. Conditions were calm seas and slightly cooler temps offshore with a nice breeze while we were moving - a nice way to beat the heat. Whales were somewhat few and far between, at least without any notable activity at Jeffrey's Ledge as the whales seem to be feeding very close to shore so far this summer. In fact, we motored way out to Cape Ann well within a mile of land to finally catch up with a humpback and two fin whales! Good looks at the fins, and decent looks at the humpback (though this whale was surrounded by a fleet of mainly smaller boats in pursuit of its every move), with a couple of quick looks at minkes and harbor porpoises to round things out in the cetacean category. We also saw two harbor and one gray seal, and there was a too-quick-to-ID shark.
Birds were somewhat thin, outside of the usual gulls and common terns, and flyby cormorants:Common Eider - 10 mainly close to and in Rye HarborCommon Loon - 9 mainly between Rye and south of the Isles of Shoals
Great Shearwater - 1 Jeffrey's
Wilson's Storm-Petrel - 3 Jeffrey's
Northern Gannet - 3 Jeffrey's
Double-crested Cormorant - uncounted
Willet - 1 in Rye Harbor (only shorebird of the trip; no migrants noted)
Bonaparte's Gull - 1 1st year, close to Rye HarborLaughing Gull - 1 adult between Rye and south of Shoals
Least Terns - a few well offshore including one likely in NH waters; several more closer to Cape AnnCommon Tern - uncounted
Phil and Laurel BrownHancock, NH

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