Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Birding Gloucester & Rockport-December

Alan and I headed out to Gloucester today and met up with fellow blogger Steve from Shooting my Universe. Anyhow, we arrived there a little early so we decided to check out a couple of local spots where we saw a couple of White-winged Scoters including the one above.
We happened to glance across the street where there were a bunch of Rock Pigeons on top of some poor homeowners roof. Seriously, how would you like to come home from errands to see this as you are pulling into the drive way! I will never complain about my dozen House Sparrows again and that's a promise!
Of course we had to make a Dunkin Donuts stop and what do we see on top of the town hall steeple, well a Peregrine Falcon of course!!! Really interesting to get a look at this falcon and how much different it looks from the falcons I see almost every day as this one was much darker overall, especially its mustache.
We picked up Steve and the first place he brought us was to the Bass Rocks in Gloucester where the King Eider has been seen most often which offered killer views of the bird as you can see in the photo above that was undigiscoped as I was able to get a half way decent picture with just my 15 zoom camera.
Was so happy to get this as the the last time I saw this bird it was under less than ideal conditions so I never thought I would get this lucky so thank you Steve!
Next it was onto another Atlantic Avenue near the Elks Club where we scanned around with our binoculars and were delighted to see a large flock of Purple Sandpipers nearby and hanging out with a lone Herring Gull.
They looked rather miserable as the wind all day would prove to be close to unbearable at times. Seriously, I thought the wind was bad yesterday, but today nearly killed me at times as my face burned from the wind. The face on the sandpiper above sums up how I felt many times during the day, but that didn't stop us from birding of course!
Here they are resting. I seriously had forgotten how much I missed shore birds as they are very entertaining to observe. One of the funniest things they would do was land on a rock that was slippery with ice which would cause them to slide some before they caught their balance. The perils of winter!
The lone Herring Gull that allowed us to get pretty close which made for some nice pictures like the one above.
And this one that I love where its shaking itself out some. Probably trying to shake off some of the cold!
I got one lifer today which was the Black Guillemot that Alan spotted. Very cool bird to see even in non-breeding plumage. The first thing that struck me of the bird was just how chunky it looked, especially the neck.
Steve also took us to an awesome place where there were a bunch of Great Cormorants shown above.
Lousy Digicopsed picture of it handing out with the many gulls.

We hit a few other places after that with our last stop being Andrews Point in Rockport as I really wanted to see a Dovekie and that's where they were reported last. By this time, all of us were cold, but decided to brave it out one more time to see if we could spot one. The wind was so bad here that white caps were all over the water and your eyes would water after only being out there for a few moments. Nothing but Common Eiders and gulls here so we knew it was our sign to throw in the towel and go get some food. Steve took us to an awesome place in Gloucester called Passports and the food was INCREDIBLE! I had a cup of hot green tea and this wonderful fish stew with fresh shrimp, muscles and tuna served over perfectly cooked rice and cooked in one of the most tastiest broths I have had in a while. To top it off, they even serve you fresh popovers, straight out of the oven. Absolute heaven after the cold day we had today. Seriously, if you are ever looking for a place to eat in Gloucester, this is it!

Anyhow, we had a wonderful time with Steve who was the perfect host today showing us around and it was very much appreciated. Be sure to check out his blog as he does a fantastic job in showing us all the beauty and charm of Gloucester. Thank you Steve!

Take care all.

10 comments:

A New England Life said...

What'd I tell you, Steve knows where the birds are in Gloucester! Not to mention the good food apparently. Next time I head down that way I'll try to check out Passports.

Glad you had a good time but sorry it was still so cold and windy. Maybe next time you'll have better luck, and better weather.

Those were a LOT of pigeons on that roof! Holy cow! I'm liking that King Eider too!

Sharon

Kim said...

Thanks so much for the suggestion of meeting up w/ Steve Sharon as it was a fantastic idea and we had a lot of fun despite the cold. Be sure to check out Passports too as you can't go wrong there. Am hungry now just thinking of it. :-p.

If you go there, be sure to check out that King Eider as I know you would get incredible photos of it!

Steve Borichevsky said...

It was a great day and had a lot of fun being a birder again. Thanks for indulging me while we photographed the sandpipers. Kim and Alan showed me a couple of places up in Rockport that I didn't consider birding. It was a hoot. I'm just a little disapointed you didn't want to check out Dogbar. (LOL! It was SO COLD, I'm glad we didn't have to go out there for the sandpipers!)

Kim said...

LOL Steve, I'm glad we didn't have to go the dogbar either as that would have just about done me in for sure!

Oh, and next time all of you are ooohing and ahhhing over Steve's gorgoues sunrise/sunset pictures, I just want to inform you of how brutally cold it is while he is doing it as the winds there can be fierce. Steve definitely works for his photos that's for certain.

Can't wait to see your Purple Sandpiper pictures.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

In spite of cold winds,this sounds like an exciting day.The gull pictures are super.
Blessings,Ruth

Chris Petrak said...

A day of winter shore birding is always good - when you get the KIEI you have a very good day! I'm heading over on the first decent day in the new year.

Hilke Breder said...

Kim, thanks for the trip report. Now I know what spots to check out when I go again. The last time I was out there I saw a flock of Purple Sandpipers on the harbor side of the dogbar.

Craig Glenn said...

I just love hearing about this great outings with fellow bloggers. So glad y'all had a great time!

Craig

Larry said...

I'll keep that in mind the next time I go cod fishing in Gloucester. My neighbors were making fun of me for a while because of pigeons on my roof.I had to stop ground feeding the birds for a while. I'm not sure if you see a lot of peregrines or if they are following you.

√ Abraham Lincoln said...

Right now I need all the help I can get.

I have found some nice photos from 2007 and 2008 that I would like to use in my blogs but last night was a bad night for me and I didn't get much rest. Most of the time I had one coughing fit after another. I thought I would try to just say, "thanks" to those who stopped today. I appreciate the comments, visits and prayers. I hope things will get back to normal soon.

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