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Monday, August 21, 2006

Eastern Egg Rock

On the third day of the Audubon Leadership Workshop on Hog Island, we took the Puffin IV out to Eastern Egg Rock to look for the puffins that Stephen Kress introduced back to the island beginning in the 1970s. It was late in the season, but we did manage to see four of these little beauties sitting on the water.

We might have seen more puffins, but there were four adult and three young Bald Eagles on the small island really stirring up the terns and gulls, so any other puffins in the area were probably smart to head out away from the island.

I am not the best on boats, especially when I keep my eyes glued to my binoculars looking for pelagic species. As we headed out, I told some folks that I wanted to see a Manx Shearwater. As we circled Eastern Egg Rock and the swells started to get to me, I kept up my vigil scanning the horizon with my binoculars while others watched the eagles. Finally, way off in the distance, I saw a shearwater skimming back and forth over the waves. Only a couple others were able to get on it before it disappeared, perhaps landing on the water. I was green, but I'd seen my bird!

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