Gloucester Birding

I went searching for birds along the coast in Gloucester. These photos are from Eastern Point and Bass Rocks. The stars of the day were the Buffleheads but there were other notable residents. This is a pair of female Common Eider. They have a nice chestnut color that shows nicely on the head of the second bird.

A White-winged Scoter. The little white Nike swoosh is a good marker. You can’t see the bright white wing patch while it is swimming but it is stunning on a bird in flight. The second photo was taken on a foggy, misty morning. The white wing patches are unmistakable even under those conditions.

These Purple Sandpipers were napping in the sun on the rocks at the water’s edge. They are winter visitors and hang out on rocks right at the surf line. They can be hard to spot unless they move or, like these, are sitting in the sun.

Buffleheads are a small sea duck that winters here in Massachusetts. They bob on the water like rubber duckies. Their shape and small bill adds to the impression of a toy duck. The males are black and white but the dark area on their head is iridescent in the right light. The females are plainer in color with a white cheek patch. They are diving ducks and dive in unison. A raft of them will quickly disappear one after another and then pop up nearby after a few minutes. I got these pictures at both the Point and the Rocks.

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