Posted: October 22, 2016 in Uncategorized
It’s been several years since I took the boat trip out to Machias Seal Island to photograph the Atlantic Puffins. My friend and talented photographer, Harry Collins, was heading out so I decided to join him. It’s a one hour ride on a fishing boat off the coast of Cutler, Maine. Normally, you have 60-90 minutes in one of the several blinds on the island. There is a limit of 15 visitors at a time on the island, the puffins are protected. The first half hour there was decent light, and then heavy fog rolled in. The weather forced the boat to leave after one hour. We has a great time shooting the puffins and razorbacks. They are not afraid of humans and approach the blind within a few feet. No long telephoto lens needed here.
The sad part is that 95% of the chicks on Machias Seal Island died this summer. The fish needed to feed the chicks went down much deeper due to higher water temperatures. They were out of range for the diving puffins. Hopefully they will rebound next spring.
Razorbills also share the island.
Posted: October 13, 2016 in Uncategorized
I have followed this family of Common Loons since I arrived here at Acadia in June. Starting with the adults sitting on the eggs for about 28 days, up to and including today when I spotted one of the chicks. The two chicks were hatched on July 15 and are over twelve weeks old. The adults will be leaving them any day now. The chicks will follow shortly after and head for open water. They won’t return for at least two years and will mature in six years. They will spend most of those years on the ocean. The odds on making it to fledge are small, but it looks like these two will make it. It has been awesome watching them grow, observing from the shore and the kayak. Hopefully, the adults will return in the spring. Here are some photos from the nesting days, more posts will follow.
Mom adjusts the eggs.
Both adults will sit on the eggs.
On the lookout, eagles are a major predator.
In hot weather, the adults will sometimes leave the eggs for a swim.
Posted: October 10, 2016 in Uncategorized
While on my way to the loon nest at Jordan Pond, I came upon this family of Common Mergansers. It was my first time seeing these beauties. I started following the female and her three chicks and kept track of them all summer into Fall. At one point, I witnessed them being attacked by one of the adult loons who had nested on the pond. The loon relentlessly rushed the mergansers from underwater like a torpedo. Fortunately, the mom scurried her chicks on some rocks and all turned out well on that day. But the last time I spotted them, only one chick was with mom.
Mom brings family on rocks during Loon attack.
Chicks were already fishing on their own.
Mom watching loon.
Posted: October 1, 2016 in Uncategorized
The first post of several on the Loons of Acadia and Mt Desert Island in Maine. This was the first loon chick I photographed this summer. The chick has since grown the twelve weeks and has fledged to the open water. There were approximately 14 loon chicks hatched on the island this year, a great success. A few have already left and many are still growing and getting stronger for their journey ahead. This family had a single chick that was able to receive all the attention from both adults. Good luck my little friend, enjoyed watching you grow.
Posted: September 25, 2016 in Uncategorized
On this beautiful night, I headed to the Loop Road in Acadia National Park. I ran into several photographers scattered throughout the darkness. Most of the usual locations were occupied. After some time, I was finally able to find a few locations to set up, shoot, and enjoy the night. At Sand Beach, the water covered the entire beach and I was forced to shoot from the stairs.
The tide covered the entire beach.
Thunder Hole during daylight.
Posted: September 21, 2016 in Uncategorized
In early May, Sharon and I made another trip up to Bar Harbor. Hiking near Sieur de Monts in Acadia Park, we knew that the Barred Owls are sometimes in that area. To our surprise, we stumbled on the nest. As we were walking near the tree with the cavity, mom owl stuck out her head. As you can see from the photos, Barred Owls blend in so well with the trees. Sharon actually spotted her when she turned her head. Mom owl proceeded to call the male who returned her calls, but never came to the nest. At this point, we were pretty sure she had small chicks in there with her. Turns out she had three. I haven’t seen any of owlets this summer, but have seen the adults a few times. Those photos will follow in a future post.
It was a little tight, that’s her tail.
Posted: September 19, 2016 in Uncategorized
Back in early March, I took a quick trip up to Maine to do a few things at our new place in Bar Harbor. I was able to sneak out for a few photos. The moonlit sky was beautiful and the surf was rough. On the way home I stopped in Rye, Massachusetts and was lucky to find a Snowy Owl during a pretty nasty snow storm.