Razorbills and Red-Necked Grebes

After attending early church at St. Paul’s in Newburyport, I bundled up, bought a duck stamp, and visited the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge for some chilly bird watching.  It was 31 degrees with a stiff NW breeze – bracing weather along the Atlantic.

Northern Pintails

I was looking for the razorbills reported off Lot 1 and sure enough, with help from a couple of local birders, saw three or four of them bobbing and diving in the ocean.  They were easily seen with the scope but too far out for my photo gear.  A red-necked grebe, common loon, and a couple of scoters were also out there.  Both the razorbills were life birds for me.

Further down the island were hundreds of black ducks, Canada Geese, and Mallards.  I was looking for some Redheads that have been hanging out at a pool on the southern end but did not spot them — I was freezing and wishing I had my Vermont winter gear on.  I did see a couple of pair of handsome Northern Pintails.

As I was leaving, a Great Blue Heron alighted in a marsh just off the road and posed as I slowed the truck and shot its picture out the window.

The refuge is such a wonderful resource for birding.  Bird walks from Joppa Flats Education Center go there most Wednesdays and Saturdays and you can keep up with observations and news by joining the Yahoo Plum Island Birds group.

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