Saturday, February 16, 2013

Birding in Newburyport

My husband and I drove up to Newburyport today, hoping to see some eagles around Chain Bridge.  We struck out on the eagles, but enjoyed all the other birds.

Great Blue Heron - doing a little ice fishing 
(click to enlarge)

Common Merganser - walking on water

Great Cormorant

Common Mergansers

Common Mergansers - fighting over a fish

The female on the left was successful at catching a good-sized fish.  She couldn't swallow it very quickly and as a result, was pursued relentlessly by the 2nd female Common Merganser.  The 2nd one would dive and pop up underneath her in an attempt to get her to "fumble" her fish.  She couldn't dive while she held the fish in her mouth, so she just had to "run" on the surface to try to escape.  She held onto it, though, and after about 10 minutes, finished eating it without losing any to her competitor!

"on the run"

Scaup species 

Afterwards, and a highlight of our day trip to Newburyport was eating lunch at Michael's Harborside.  George had Fried Clams and I had the Haddock Po' Boy Sandwich (fried fish, Russian dressing, cole slaw and onion straws).  YUM. Somehow we had worked up an appetite!  Lucky for me, the outside deck on the 2nd floor was open for use as a smoking area, so when I spotted three Long-Tailed Ducks on the water, I rushed out for some photos!

Long-Tailed Ducks (male on right)

Herring Gull

I interrupted a napping gull on the corner of the deck and caught him in the middle of a gigantic yawn!

After lunch, we walked a bit along the Rail Trail and then I walked further along the Harborside, where I was thrilled to find a couple of female White-Winged Crossbills and one noisy Red-Breasted Nuthatch in the pine trees bordering the walkway.

White-winged Crossbill (female)


Red-Breasted Nuthatch

Common Loon

Common Goldeneye

Red-Breasted Merganser

It was an overcast, gray day with little in the way of sunshine, but the temperature wasn't too bad ...hovering around 40 most of the day.  Not  a bad way to spend the day!  15+ species seen....

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