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Date: Wed, 13 May 2009 22:39:23 -0300

From:    Ralph Eldridge NatureNB Listserve
Subject: MACHIAS SEAL ISLAND REPORT

Yesterday was another raptor day. Several PEREGRINE FALCONS were hanging around and some were seen to leave thje island "air space" headed either towards Grand Manan or the Maine coast just west of Cutler. At least 2 MERLINS were also sighted, with at least 1 hanging around for much of the day.

At one point, directly over head, there was a Peregrine chasing and attacking a Merlin while 2 other Peregrines followed along as spectators.At every moment of the day, from before sunrise until dark, there was at least 1 Peregrine in sight, either perching or hunting.

Today wasn't so predatory but PEREGRINES, MERLINS & SHARP SHINNED HAWKS were usually on view.

TERNS put in their first appearance at sunrise on Sunday (only about 150) and departed after a brief high over-flight as is typical at first. They makeover-flights for several days before actually landing on the island. After the first landings, they progress rapidly to locating nest sites and then to staying on the island overnight. There were no Terns on Monday and only about 100 on Tuesday morning.

Tuesday, as I've mentioned was a raptor day from start to finish and that fact wasn't lost on the Terns. In the few minutes that they were nearby they attracted a falcon's attention. As the Terns started to depart I spotted a Peregrine stroking on a long approach run. He engaged the Terns at an altitude of about 1000 feet and over water, about 1/2 mile south of the island. A couple minutes later I spotted the falcon returning to MSI carrying a Tern.

Today a group of perhaps 150 - 200 TERNS returned at sunrise and made a few high altitude over-flights of the island.

With other birds, no big changes although "coloured' birds continue strong and warblers are becoming better represented.Yesterday and today produced at least 7 BALTRIMORE ORIOLES & 2 ORCHARD ORIOLES; many OVENBIRDS; several THRUSHES & BROWN THRASHERS; several BOBOLINKS & ROSE BREASTED GROSBEAKS; our 1st male BLACK THROATED BLUE WARBLER, several YELLOW WARBLERS & PARULAS; a couple each RUSTY BLACKBIRDS & RED WINGED BLACKBIRDS.

On the marine side there's nothing really unusual: lots of ALCIDS, CORMORANTS & EIDERS; scattered LOONS. et cetera. There was a nice flight of 9 GANNETS plus several singles and pairs.

See the pictures and subscribe at http://www.ilovequoddywild.blogspot.com


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