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Mt. Shasta, from I-5 as we drove north to Oregon, April 2017

Monday, July 25, 2016

We saw PUFFINS and EAGLES!

In Baddock, Nova Scotia, Adventures East Campground had super slow internet and no satellite reception. But the beautiful coastal views and being able to go see puffins and eagles made it all quite bearable.

We have seen whales and lots of seals in California, but we have never seen puffins. When we were in Maine, we inquired about a wildlife boat tour that promised puffin viewing, and were told it was too late in the season to see any.

However, we were excited to learn that puffins were still around Nova Scotia, and that we could see them from a boat tour that left from St. Ann’s Bay.  



The Donelda Puffin boat tour was advertised in a promotional booklet I picked up at the Visitors' Desk on the ferry over. We called ahead, and were told that yes, there were puffins still on and about Bird Island. The tour cost was reasonable, about $38+tax USD each, for seniors.

Although it had rained during the night, Saturday dawned with only a bit of overcast, and by mid-day the sun was burning off the surface fog.

The boat seemed old but well painted. The 24 or so seats were pretty full.  After a cloudy start, the sun came out in full force, and the 40 minute ride out to Bird Island was smooth.

Our guide Donelda began by talking about the birds we would see.

Suddenly she stopped, and said to look out to the left because an eagle was coming to catch a fish.



What? How did she know this? Well, it turned out that the eagles knew the tour boat, and knew she would toss out fish for them to catch!






Going in for the catch:
taken with Merikay's point and shoot Sony RX-100,





Away he goes with lunch in talon: taken with Craig's Nikon D3 and Tamron 28-300mm lens.

He caught it, and soon there were three other eagles coming for a free lunch as well. Wow, I was so excited. They were so close we could see every feather. 


We passed a lot of really interesting rocky shores.

Once out at the Bird Islands we saw lots of different kinds of sea birds and seals. 

Puffins are very small, quick birds. We saw some in their hole-in-the-cliff nests, but without a monster telephoto lens it was impossible to capture decent pictures.



There were many of them bobbing around in the water like little black rubber duckies, or zipping away in flight. The above two images are the only ones we took that were worth sharing. 

But pictures or not, the experience of seeing them was wonderful!


There were many other birds on the Bird Islands. But again,  although we were close enough to see them, we were too far away for really good photos.

Nesting Gulls

Two Razorbills in their nest

Cormorant sentry

There were also many eagles on the island. Our guide did not seem to like the eagles here, because she said they were preying on the young of the other species. 



Some of the seals seemed interested in our boat, while others were just lying around on the shore rocks.

As we drift in and out of gift shops I always look at the socks on sale. It has been awhile since I have seen any that made me happy!



Puffins and lobsters, how good is that!

We met two other Alfa-owner couples in Baddock, but we left the morning after they arrived.


We are now 60 miles southwest in Linwood Harbour Campground. Happily we have good Wifi and full hookups, but despite a treeless location, our Direct TV cannot pick up a signal.


And cool breezes are blowing in the windows.  


[From Craig] The satellite TV situation is interesting for a techie like me.  DirecTV worked in New Brunswick and on Prince Edward Island.  In our last campground near Baddeck Nova Scotia, the dish simply couldn't see the DirecTV satellites at 99, 101, and 103 degrees west.  Today in Linwood (60 miles SW), the dish pretty much completed acquiring the 3 satellites, but the DirecTV receiver had problems receiving most channels within a few seconds.  I hope that we will receive DirecTV again at our next stop near Halifax.  I'll let you know.

4 comments:

  1. Love your header photo of the eagle!!! What a great wildlife area... and, Merikay... you got some neat socks!

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  2. What a fun tour, love the Puffins, they are so unique.
    Nice socks too. Keep enjoying and exploring.

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  3. Wow, such great Eagle shots! Nice of the boat operator to feed them for the tourists :)

    ReplyDelete

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