www.thefilemyrs.com > Birding > New England 1997
Page last updated Wednesday, February 27, 2008 6:46 PM

March 1997
Newburyport, Cape Ann and the surrounding areas

Martin Selzer, Bert Filemyr, Karl Lukens, Lynn Jackson and John Shipley

Trip report by Martin Selzer

28-Feb-97 left from Flourtown approx 3pm and headed straight to Susse Chalet in Amesbury MA. Stopped for dinner along the way at a service area. No traffic, good weather. We arrived approx 9:30pm, checked in and met with John who flew in from Boston. He was going to bird with us on Saturday and then make calls for his tee-shirts the remainder of his trip.

01-Mar-97 met for breakfast at 7am, loaded up and left at 7:30am to bird Cape Ann area in the morning and then return to Newburyport, Plum Island, Parker River NWR, Salisbury and New Hampshire beaches in the afternoon. Picked up lunch outside Essex (?) at a Cumberland Farms. Started out at Magnolia Point and worked through Dick Walton's Cape Ann route. Lots of sea ducks all along the coast. Picked up a Common Black-headed Gull in the mud flats of East Gloucester Harbor. We weren't able to get a scope on it before it flew but we all were able to make out the red bill and legs with out bins. We also were able to pick up the wing pattern differences as if flew with Bonaparte's Gulls over the harbor. At Eastern Point Light we added a few Black Guillemots to our trip list including 1 or 2 in alternate plumage. Ate lunch in the parking area at Halibut Point. At the point, had Red-necked grebe and Harlequin Ducks in the surf. Back in Newburyport, the tide was out along the Merrimack River and we had two adult Iceland Gulls at Joppa Flats. Plum Island, Salisbury Beach and the New Hampshire Coast were rather quiet and as a light rain began to fall we called in a day. Dinner at the Sylvan Street Grille which was very good.

02-Mar-97 we left John in Newburyport so he could photograph some gulls and make his sales calls while we headed to Portland ME on an Ivory Gull quest. We left by 7:30am and headed straight up Rt 95 to Portland. The drive took about 90 minutes. We got to the harbor and the fish processing plant and the Ivory Gull was right where it was supposed to be on the plant's roof. It sat still for photographs and then flew around the harbor giving us a great show. We then checked out a few spots for waterfowl before heading to the airport in search of the "resident" Snowy Owl. We dipped out on the owl but just as we were about to get back on the highway south, we spotted an immature Northern Shrike. This was pleasant compensation for missing the owl and was a Maine hotline bird the following week. We headed out to Route 1 along the coast and made a few stops on our way out of Maine (including Cliff House) but we really didn't pick up any new birds. Checked out the Merrimack one more time in Newburyport before heading home.