New England Coastal BIrds

New England Coastal BIrds

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Late September Shorebirding- Part 3/ Seabirding Cape Cod Part 1

Searching for Sula in Provincetown, pirates on the sea, Orleans salt marsh and Newport sunset
  I was in my studio painting and putting a few finishing touches on a few carved birds, I began to think about where Jen and I would go birding on Saturday. I thought about the three Sabines Gulls that have been seen recently on Cape Cod; one off Race Point, a single bird on the beach in Welfleet, and one photographed on the Dolphin Fleet Whale Watching vessel. And of course that Brown Booby was still spending the last days of summer on the breakwater in Provincetown, and a large concentration of Terns remain on the beaches of Hatches Harbor and Race Point. The large Tern numbers could only mean one thing: Jaegers!  Our decision was easy; Provincetown.
    Friday was a beautiful day, it was warm and the sun was bright. However, the weather forecast predicted that the day would end with building clouds, then rain and thundershowers would be moving into our area at night. The weather forecast for the “outer Cape” (or correctly “lower Cape”) was less than inspiring. A 40% chance of showers and rain was being predicted for Saturday, but I have learned one thing about the Cape and Provincetown over the years; the weather is often contrary to the weather reports. Because the Cape extends thirty miles eastward into the ocean with Provincetown extending an additional fifty miles north from the “elbow” at Chatham the weather is very unpredictable. I remember a few times crossing the Bourne Bridge in a heavy snow storm only to find light rain or no rain in Chatham, while other times I was in light snow in Sandwich only to find a blizzard in Orleans. I have even seen winter temperatures twenty-five degrees warmer in Provincetown than in Eastham. My thoughts have always been to go and see what you have for weather when you get there and take your chances. The best part about birding P’town and other locations on the outer Cape is that if the weather is bad, there are so many places to bird from your car especially for sea birds. This is one of the many reasons that P’town is our favorite birding spot, and probably one of the best locations in New England.  So Jen and I were on the road Friday evening. We arrived at the Hotel in Orleans by 10:00 pm and at that point, it hadn’t rained….yet!

     We were on the road at 5:45 am heading North on 6 towards P’town and although it had rained during the night, it wasn’t raining at that point. Shortly before sunrise, we were driving through North Truro, and a light rain announced itself on my truck’s windshield. As we approached P’town, it hadn’t rained there at all. I suspected that the rain storm from down Cape was probably following us there. After a quick stop for coffee, Jen and I drove over to the commercial pier to search the outer breakwater for the Brown Booby. As the sunrise approached the increasing light began to brighten the overcast sky. Parked on the outer pier, I immediately set up my scope, hoping to find the Booby before the rain started. The outer breakwater in Provincetown Harbor is nearly a quarter of a mile long, and it is always covered with Cormorants; a thousand of them from one end to the other! So how hard could it be locating a single similarly sized and plumaged bird (that may or may not be there) in bad light under the pressure of impending rain? I started at the eastern end and Jen started from the western end of the breakwater looking through the heavily concentrated “clumps” of Cormorants tying to locate the Booby. By the time I reached the bend at the middle of the breakwater, it started to sprinkle turning to light rain. We didn’t see the Booby (yet) but did find five Great Cormorants, three Great Blue Herons, six Black-crowned Night-Herons, and a few scattered Ruddy Turnstones.

                           Sleeping Great Blue Heron on the breakwater

                                              One of the five Great Cormorants

    Another Great Cormorant scratching with two Ruddy Turnstones-digiscoped                    

    Within a few minutes, it was raining harder. At that point it was best to continue looking from inside the truck. While Jen and I continued searching, the evening roost of Cormorants began to leave the breakwater in a long steady procession heading out to the fishing grounds. Within a few minutes the breakwater was nearly cleared of Cormorants, and we never found the Brown Booby. Maybe it was there and had escaped with the mass exodus of cormorants before we could find it, or maybe it just wasn’t there!?

   Looking around the Harbor, small bunches of Common Eiders were swimming around the docks and fishing vessels taking advantage of the sheltered waters. Jen and I looked at every boat, floating dock and the distant sandbars to see if the Booby was present; it wasn’t. We decided to head over to our next favorite location; Herring Cove beach. On the way we made a quick stop at the “Moors” and the bay below the dike. It was low tide and the sandbar was exposed completely across the bay. There were small smatterings of Shorebirds present, mostly Yellowlegs, Black-bellied Plovers and Sanderlings.

    When we arrived at Herring Beach the rain had was light and steady and the winds were southerly. The tide was very low which extended the beach quite a distance from the parking lot (which is normally a short distance). A few handfuls of surf fisherman were present waiting for the eruptions of bait fish to begin being pushed by Striped Bass, Bluefish and possibly Bonita. The light from “sunrise” was beginning to brighten the dark overcast sky, and birds were on the move. Herring, Ring-billed Laughing and Greater Black-Backed Gulls were starting their morning rituals, but the most active gulls were the Laughing Gulls. Flocks of Sanderlings traded back and forth along the beach, and offshore a few Cormorants and Eiders swam and flew by. Three White-winged Scoters flew just off the beach flying towards Race Point.

    Soon many Terns were on the move searching for the baitfish schools. With the fisherman paying close attention to them, their hopes counting on the sleek and agile Terns locating the baitfish schools hopefully within casting distance. And the Terns began dropping in sporadic dives; there was some baitfish in the area. The Laughing Gulls became excited by the success of the Terns. Soon small groups of Laughing Gulls began chasing the Terns which snowballed into a horde of frenzied Gulls attacking anything that had wings. The feeding frenzy accelerated to Gulls chasing each other and ganging up on the one bird who successfully acquired the prize only to lose it to another cunning and competent thief!

    I knew that this frenzy would bring the Jaegers…..and come they did!  Jaeger after Jaeger appeared and joined into the frenzy. The Jaegers would assert their dominance and take over the chase, and of course the Terns would relinquish their fish to the Jaegers which proudly took the prize!

                     The first Jaeger (Parasitic) of the day zeroes in on a Common Tern

    While we sat there, the Parasitic Jaegers would come at one minute intervals in singles and pairs. They would single out a Tern and engage the chase (which only lasted a few seconds). Most of this action took place within a hundred yards from our truck, and much of it I was able to capture with my camera. The Jaeger/Tern interaction happened for at least a half an hour until most of the Terns moved farther offshore. But the incredible interaction displayed between the Jaegers and Terns was augmented by other fascinating events. After the Jaegers successfully stole the fish from the Terns, the Laughing Gulls entered the picture.

                                     A single Laughing Gull joins the chase.........

                                          ........and matches every move of the Jaegers.........

      More and more Laughing Gulls would appear and join the chase. When success came to the Jaeger, the Laughing Gulls would then gang up on the Jaegers and would chase them relentlessly. Often the Jaegers would out-maneuver the Gulls and escape with the stolen fish, but many times the Gulls would win, and the Jaegers would release the fish causing the hordes of Laughing Gulls to get caught up in a frenzied mass of squabbling Gulls. Several times Jen and I watched a Parasitic Jaeger close in on a Tern within a few inches then suddenly give up realizing it was being closely followed by a dozen hungry Laughing Gulls.

                                             ..........a second Gull appears.........

                                    ..................the Jaeger sharpens it attack..............

                                     ...................the second Gull gets closer...........

                                  ...............the Jaeger has figured out the Tern..........

                    .....................the Gull frenzy overwhelms the Jaeger, it retreats............

                        .........the Tern relents, the lead Gull has the prize, or does it?...........

                         .......the Tern decides to get the heck out of there!!

   We did see more Jaegers off shore, but for the most part, the Jaeger/Tern/Gull show had moved North, offshore of Race Point. Jen and I had seen over three dozen Jaegers in a short period of time. All the birds were Parasitic Jaegers.

   We moved to the northern part of the parking lot so we could scope the sand bars at the mouth of Hatches Harbor about a mile from the parking lot. Through the scope, I immediately noticed a very large concentration of birds. These sandbars at the mouth of Hatches are a trap for common and uncommon species to roost and feed in the ebb and flow tidal current in the inlet. In winter it holds large numbers of Iceland Gulls (with as many as two dozen being sighted in the same day). In the summer it is possible to find uncommon Terns such as Royal, Sandwich and Caspian Terns, and late summer Sabines and Little Gulls are often reported. In fact, a pair of Sabines Gulls was seen last week feeding in the inlet, and a few were reported off Race Point and Herring Beach within the last few days. As I started to identify the species of birds on the sandbars as best I could at that distance, a huge mass of swarming birds lifted off the sandbar and flew out towards Race Point.

        A small section of the Tern roost (maybe a Little Gull or Sabines Gulls)??-digiscoped

                         Part of the huge swarm of Terns (who knows what else)- digiscoped

    The huge swarm of birds were Terns, several thousand of them! The rain began to pick up to a steady rain, so Jen and I got back into our truck. As I was putting the scope in the back seat, I looked up and saw a single bird flying across the dunes behind us, it was a beautiful adult Parasitic Jaeger. I raised my camera and took a few quick shots. This bird was flying across the dunes following Province Lands Road most likely coming from P’town Harbor or maybe Pilgrim Lake. It flew over the beach and then disappeared towards Race Point.

                               Close-up of the Parasitic Jaeger flying over the parking lot

   After a quick run over to the Race Point Beach and a few minutes of sea watch we drove back to the Provincetown pier.

            A sign posted at Race Point Beach. I am glad that I am not a "summer" person!

    Jen and I had planned to include a whale watch trip that day, and the most successful bird/whale trip we have taken has been on the Dolphin Fleet in P’town harbor. Since the fleet passes directly by Long Point on its way to Stellwagen Bank and then passing closely by the “birding rich” stretch of beaches from Race Point, to Hatches Harbor, to Wood End to Long Point is one of the best birding opportunities available anywhere in New England! Last May Jen and I took the trip, and besides the unbelievable views of Northern Right Whales, the birding was second to none! We spotted an incredible fourteen Iceland Gulls, three Glaucous Gulls, a Nelson’s Gull, a Little Gull, a Kittiwake, and a late (or early) Manx Shearwater (this report will be posted on this blog soon as one of the retrospective reports I will be featuring).  So we drove back to P’town Harbor to purchase our tickets. We drove onto the pier at 9:00 am, and parked near the ticket booth. By now the rain had developed into a heavy and steady rain, on the verge of pouring.

                     An eclipse drake Common Eider enjoys his fresh water shower

    The nice lady at the ticket booth was looking at the current weather forecast for Provincetown on her Blackberry, and she showed me with a little smile on her face; sunny and warm today!! We both looked at each other and stated almost simultaneously; “you know Provincetown’s weather”!! The first trip was set to sail at 9:45 am, and remarkably, there were only thirty-five reservations taken (probably both the weather and too early for a Saturday morning on vacation), that was just fine with me!! The vessel had an upstairs canopy and roof over the seating area, so even if it was raining, I could still take pictures and both of us could enjoy the day on the water.

   With only a short time to wait, it began to pour! Thankfully, Jen packed the umbrella, so we had a chance of boarding the vessel without getting soaked and to also keep my camera equipment dry. While we sat there, a dark line of clouds was moving in from the west; a classic squall. Within minutes, the rain was coming down in sheets and buckets, the outlook for our whale trip started to look quite grim! The rain was coming down so hard; we could hardly hear each other as we laughed about the “sunny and warm” weather forecast.

                    hen Common Eider also enjoys the pouring fresh water rain

                                       Juvenile Laughing Gull in the soaking rain

   But just as it happens so often in New England (especially on Cape Cod), if you don’t like the weather, wait a few minutes! And just like the surprise ending to a seagoing novel, the rain stopped, the squall passed and the sky teased us with wisps of blue between the layered clouds. Within minutes, we had parked the truck in the town lot and we were boarding the Dolphin IX. Jen and I took the front row seat on the upper deck, and it was quite comfortable. Even if the rain started again, we would be nice and cozy and dry under the canopy.

Looking down from the upper deck, a drake Common Eider pries barnacles and periwhinkles from the pilings under the pier

     The wind shifted to the east, and I heard the Captain comment about the fog that had started to roll in off the bay. Suddenly our smiles were tempered by the realization that maybe we won’t be going out, or if we did, could we even see anything, let alone flying birds? But the fog was at a higher altitude, and soon blew out to sea…..our smiles returned! :^)

                      Higher altitude fogbank rolls in covering the top of the Pilgrim Tower

  The Dolphin IX was underway, and we were heading out of the harbor. One of my many reasons for going on the trip was to get a close look at the breakwater as we passed to get another vantage point to hopefully spot the Brown Booby. As we passed the tip of the breakwater, Jen scanned the rocks through her binoculars, and I photographed the entire length of the breakwater….my auto-wind was having trouble keeping up with my trigger finger. I wanted to photograph all the birds so I could look at the images later on my laptop to see if the Brown Booby was present or hiding among the remaining Cormorants. The vessel soon reached Long Point, and the first Jaeger of the trip: a Parasitic. It was trying to pick up a large fish and kept fumbling and dropping it. The bird wasn’t able to carry off the fish; it left it behind and flew off towards the beaches. A single juvenile Laughing Gull appeared and was able to pick up the fish and fly off with it.
                                      A few flying views of this stunning species.......

                                                                 You can have it!

   The first Gannets of the day appeared and were abundant in the area. Many were adults, but the majority of the Gannets were juveniles through third year birds.

    One of the naturalists from the wheelhouse noticed that I paying attention to the birds and he asked me if I was a birder. I said yes, and he introduced himself as the birding naturalist on the vessel. His name was John Conlon and he was a very passionate birder. John and I chatted for a little while and he asked if I had seen the Brown Booby. I told him that we didn’t and he told me that he had seen it quite a few times plunge-diving along the beach from Wood End Point to Long Point. We also talked about birding on the Dolphin Fleet and he wondered why more birders didn’t take advantage of that unbelievable opportunity; something I thought about as well?! The opportunity of birding on whale watch vessels are a wonderful gift, but birding on a whale watch vessel off Provincetown is the ultimate of coastal birding! John would be hard at work looking for whales from his great vantage point in the wheelhouse. Occasionally John would stick his head out of the wheelhouse door and inform me that a bird was coming by the bow and one of those times being for a spectacular Parasitic Jaeger that was coming from the starboard bow towards my position on port side. Jen and I also had the pleasure to meet the onboard naturalist and whale expert Nancy Scaglione-Peck and we also shared many birding stories.  She told us of the many birds seen from the fleet and many of the rarer finds such as the Sabines Gull.

  The first cry of whales came as we were steaming to the western side of Stellwagen. There was a pair of Minke Whales surfacing, but they only gave us quick glimpses, they never stayed on the surface for very long. Shortly there after, I spotted a distant bird, it was a Fulmar, the firstof the day (and the first of the fall for me). I returned the favor and pointed it out to John.

    Heading farther out to the western edges of Stellwagen Greater Shearwaters began to appear. More and more Greater Shearwaters (with three Cory’s) appeared and they would show up in regular intervals five minutes apart in single, pairs and trios.

    Occasionally a few Gannets would show up flying along the water (and often swimming) meeting the Greater Shearwaters as they “skimmed” across the surface of the sea.

   Several times, Greater Shearwaters would appear from a dive close to the vessel. Startled by the boat, they would take off from the water pattering along the tops of the waves offering great close views. In the distance a few hundred yards out, a pair of Fulmars paralleled the vessel.

    Whenever Jen and I have taken whale watching trips, there is usually down time before whales are discovered. Of course we love seeing whales and are fascinated by them; it’s the birds that are our prime motivation. And that motivation is obvious and infectious! People on board will always ask us what we are looking at (thinking that we are seeing whales that no one else was) When we tell them that we are bird watching, they become very interested. In fact when we start talking about the birds, they start looking themselves. This of course leads to “what kind of bird is that”?  But one of the best highlights of this day was meeting a couple from St. Louis, MO., Laura and Ralph Melber. They were celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary on Cape Cod and Nantucket-Congratulations Laura and Ralph! Since Jen and I had our Honeymoon on Cape Cod during a cold and stormy December, we know how special the Cape is. They decided to go on a whale watch, and soon they caught the “birding bug”, as they began pointing out birds to me which I greatly appreciated. Within a short time, Ralph was calling out the birds; Gannet, Shearwater…..that was fantastic!! The sun finally broke out of the clouds; it looked like the Provincetown weather forecast had become a reality. Throughout the time we were on Stellwagen, “Flycatcher” type species would appear out of the mist and fly alongside the vessel often landing on the boat for a few minutes and then take off heading west towards Provincetown. I believe one or two may have been probable Eastern Wood-Pewee, I couldn’t identify the others.

   The trip was beginning to wind down; our time on the “Bank” was drawing to a close. We would have to head back for the 1:30 trip. The Captain said that “we would have to start heading back; we were just out of time”. As if on cue, a call from Nancy over the PA system announced “whales at ten o’ clock”! Since Jen and I were positioned beautifully on the port side at the wheelhouse we could see the whales perfectly, about two hundred yards out. It seemed like seconds the Captain closed the gap so that the whales were merely a few yards off the port bow. They were two Fin Whales and they were huge! In fact they are the second largest whale and the second largest animal on earth. The two whales entertained us for a few minutes feeding just under the surface, coming to the surface and blowing sending huge columns of water into the air. I have seen so many Fin Whales while cod fishing off Gloucester, but never this close; absolutely amazing!

    As I was taking rapid shots of the surfacing whales, my camera quit. Looking into the settings window, my camera indicated “FULL CF”; I needed to change my flash card. Just as I inserted a new card, another Fulmar appeared very close and just off the port bow. It lifted up and crossed just in front of the bow. I ran to the starboard side and managed a few shots as the bird turned away and flew ahead of the vessel. John saw it also and he met me there on the starboard side walkway with the bird in his binoculars.

   Turning the Dolphin around, we were now steaming home for port. Along the way, more Shearwaters appeared skimming the waves. Our naturalist Nancy began to discuss our route and our location on Stellwagen Bank including the areas where we saw the whales and a great natural history lecture about Stellwagen Bank.

    After ten minutes, Jen spotted a few birds sitting on the water. Most of them were Gannets, and one was a Fulmar; the fifth one of the day. It was apparently feeding on some sort of surface food item which it eventually swallowed.

    A hundred yards from the Fulmar were three small rafts of swimming Greater Shearwaters with a few Herring and Greater black-Backed Gulls. The three groups of rafted Shearwaters contained approx. one hundred birds.

    Within a few minutes, the Pilgrim Tower in Provincetown was becoming visible in the distance. We were still a few miles from shore and the amount of Shearwaters began to dwindle. When we were a mile east of Race Point Jen saw a whale break the surface. The whale surfaced again, and it was identified as a Minke Whale.

    Outside Race Point, a cluster of fishing boats were lined up along the shoals in the distance. The boats were surrounded by a cloud of Terns which indicated to the fisherman that schools of bait were present. Seeing the distant swarm of Terns indicted to me that I should search the skies for Jaegers. Within a minute, the first Jaeger appeared off the bow heading for the large concentration of Terns in the distance.

    The Dolphin was now outside the beach near Wood End Light and a large flock of several hundred Common Terns were feeding around the vessel. Soon three more Parasitic Jaegers appeared and began chasing Terns. John reminded me that this is the area where he had been seeing the Brown Booby, and judging by the amount of Terns, the school of baitfish was quite large. I began looking at every bird in the area between the vessel and the beach. I did see many Cormorants, Gulls, a few swimming Cory's Shearwaters, Terns, Gannets, and a few more Jaegers, but could not find the Brown Booby.   

                   One of the handful of Cory's Shearwaters swimming just outside the beach

   Steaming around Long Point, three Black terns flew by the bow of the vessel heading directly for the school of fish and the flocks of feeding Common Terns, Cormorants, Gannets and of course the “Klepto”parasitic Jaegers!


    Approaching the breakwater, Jen and I began to look through all the Cormorants (just as we did on the way out of port) searching for the Brown Booby, which we didn’t find.

    As we pulled into the slip, the line of people waiting to board the Dolphin IX stretched as long as the main pier! Jen and I were glad that we chose the early trip instead! Saying good-bye to Laura and Ralph, and thank you to Nancy and John, Jen and I disembarked the vessel. It was a great trip with fabulous views of sea birds. We are looking forward to our next trip on the Dolphin Fleet….(which will be in two weeks). If you want a fabulous sea birding experience with a few whales thrown in for good measure, give the Dolphin Fleet a try, you will thoroughly enjoy it! In the harbor the usual flocks of Common Eiders were quietly resting around the docks and boats, a classic image of Provincetown Harbor.

    I was still anxious to find the Brown Booby. Jen and I decided to give it one more try. We again drove down to the end of the pier. I set up our scope and began searching the hordes of Cormorants whose numbers have built since returning from the mornings fishing. I began at the eastern end of the breakwater and Jen started at the western end. About the time I reached the middle of the breakwater the concentration of Cormorants had thinned. As I continued looking, a voice from behind me said “it was there earlier”; I turned around to find the Harbormaster. He was a friendly man who showed interest in the bird. We chatted for a few minutes and he told me that the bird was seen by a few birders earlier in the morning, but he wasn’t sure if it was still there. I thanked him and began looking again. I began to think that the bird wasn’t there and I wouldn’t see it. As I continued scanning the birds by pivoting the scope, suddenly there it was! 

   I told Jen and she came over and had a great look at the bird in the scope. The bird was standing quite relaxed among a few Cormorants, (probably enjoyed not being cramped). I took a few distant images with my regular camera, and then wanted to try and take a few digiscoped images.

   Since I was still learning to digiscope, and I am still not satisfied with the long range results, any images of this bird would be better than not having any at all. Jen and I watched the bird for fifteen minutes, and while we were there the bird was quite comfortable on its breakwater stone roost. The Booby preened quite a bit, especially addressing it long wings a typical maintenance activity of this species.

    Saying good-bye to the Brown Booby and Provincetown, we started south on 6 planning a stop of two on our way home. Our first stop was First Encounter Beach. As we approached the road to the beach, we could see that the tide was very high covering the marsh completely. My first thought was shorebirds, and the high tide would expose their usual roosts in the marsh. At the end of the road overlooking the inlet to the marsh, a large flock of large shorebirds were flying around the marsh followed by a second group. The flocks of mostly Greater yellowlegs with a few Lesser yellowlegs, Short-billed Dowitchers and Black-bellied Plovers were searching for dry roosts as the rising tide chased them off the last remaining higher grounds.

                               Flock of Greater Yellowlegs with five Short-billed Dowitchers

     The flocks settled for a higher area just below where Jen and I were standing near the parking lot. We counted one hundred and thirty-six Yellowlegs, seven Short-billed Dowitchers, and four Black-bellied Plovers.

                                                         Black-bellied Plover

                                       Short-billed Dowitchers with the Greater Yellowlegs

                                              Three Short-billed Dowitchers

 As we were leaving, a small flock of Wild Turkeys walked out of the scrub and fed along the road.

   Before leaving the area, Jen and I always check Great Pond for waterfowl, and of course the "high wire" act Double-crested Cormorants perching on the wires. For a clumsy looking sea bird, Cormorants are quite agile and acrobatic.

     Since Jen never had a chance to see the five Avocets in Rhode Island, we decided to stop off at Easton Beach in Newport, Rhode Island on our way home. After a nice (late) lunch at Lindsay’s in Buzzards Bay we were on our way. I figured we would reach Newport with a half an hour to spare and hopefully the Avocets would still be there. We pulled into the parking lot at the beach with twenty minutes before sundown. Down on the beach along the wave line the five Avocets were feeding in the edge of the sea moving their heads in the classic side to side sweeping motion. Jen and I walked down the beach for a closer look passing by several Semi-palmated Plovers and a few resting Laughing Gulls. The beautiful Avocets were starting to become “tinged” with pink illuminated by the cast light of the setting sun.

                                                            Semi-palmated Plover

     As the sun set, small flocks of Sanderlings flew along the beach silhouetted by the backlit bright reds and pinks of sundown. A perfect ending to a perfect day of birding!

   Jen and I will be supporting and helping Tom who is leading a birding trip to Cape Cod next week, please watch for the report.

Keith and Jen Mueller     Killingworth, CT
Common Eider- 65, White-winged Scoter- 3, Black Duck- 17, Common Loon- 2, Double-crested Cormorant-1,000+, Great Cormorant-5, Herring Gull- 250+, Greater black-Backed Gull- 150+, Ring-billed Gull- 50+, Laughing Gull- 350+, Common Tern- 2,500+, BLACK TERN- 3, Gannet- 50, FULMAR- 5, Greater Shearwater- 135, Cory’s Shearwater- 7, BROWN BOOBY- 1, PARASITIC JAEGER- 45, Sanderling- 400, Semi-palmated Plover- 14, Greater Yellowlegs- 225+, Lesser Yellowlegs- 6, Short-billed Dowitcher- 7, Black-bellied Plover- 24, AMERICAN AVOCET- 5, Ruddy Turnstones- 9, “Flycatcher” species 11 total incl. 2 probable Eastern Wood-Pewee, Minke Whale- 3, Fin Whale-2, Mola-mola- 1
 For the ADDENDUM trip report, highlights, and images from October 5 "SEABIRDING CAPE COD" it follows this report. Just click on "older posts" on the bottom of this page or Oct 01 under the "Blog Archives" on the upper right column of this page