Yesterday, Jim Orrico and I headed up to the Cape Ann area of Massachusetts to chase the previously reported Townsend’s Warbler and to do some birding in the Gloucester area. The Townsend’s Warbler coupled with some great birds in Gloucester made the day a hugely successful one.
Our morning started off at Jim Berry’s house in Ipswich, where it didn’t take long to secure the adult female Townsend’s Warbler. We ended up spending over two hours with this stunner, enjoying the antics of the feeder birds and a nearby Hermit Thrush in between visits.
Our highlights at the pier included two more 1st cycle Iceland Gulls, a Razorbill, three Double-crested Cormorants and a Red-throated Loon.
Our next stop was the Elks Club on Atlantic Road where some of the best birds included seven Red-necked Grebes, a Surf Scoter, a flyby Northern Pintail and last but not least, an ABSOLUTELY STUNNING adult male King Eider not 1000 yards offshore.
It was then time for Brace Cove, a gorgeous cove nestled into the shoreline. We ended up spending a while at the spot, just taking it all in and enjoying the birds. And they did not disappoint. Northern Pintail, Razorbill, Iceland Gull (1st cycle) and Gadwall were some of the highlights.
Our last stop was the famous Niles Pond, where the gull show did not disappoint. Numbers below:
463 Herring Gull — a couple of odd individuals were present, one a candidate for Thayer’s, but we were unfortunately unable to go beyond that conclusion, which is often the case for odd HEGUs!
100 Great Black-backed Gull — this is not an estimate but an exact count of the Great Black-backeds present!
1 Glaucous Gull — an awesome first cycle bird.
3 Iceland Gull — two first cycle birds (one pale and one rather dark) and a fantastic adult.
Other great birds at the pond included Ring-necked and Ruddy Ducks and a number of Gadwall.
Overall, it was a very successful day of birding. I am very excited to return to Gloucester (especially Niles Pond!), and Jim and I discussed spending another day later in the winter.