Monday, May 28, 2012

The fifteen(th) luminous things...

...Atlantic puffins, razorbills, black guillemots, great black-backed gulls, herring gulls, black-legged kittiwakes, great cormorants, double-crested cormorants, northern gannets, eider ducks, bank swallows, minke whales, gray seals, harp seals, great blue herons.

This morning six of us went on a boat tour to the Bird Islands out in the Atlantic ocean and there and on the way there saw all these wondrous creatures (plus a few more). The capelin, a small smelt-like fish, is running so the northern gannets and gulls come to feed on it, and the minke whales, and the other birds as well. Puffins, cormorants, razorbills and gulls are all building nests and raising chicks in burrows in the cliffs, or on the cliff ledges. The black-backed gull is the largest gull in the world, and twenty percent of North America's great cormorants nest here. Harp and gray seals come to pup, and we come to watch the miracles.


Evening update: it was 54 degrees and sunny today, we're an hour ahead of Eastern time (Atlantic time) and at the moment sitting in front of a roaring pine fire in the B&B living room watching the twilight settle into night. It gets light early here (4:30am?) and stays light late (9pm). Dinner at the B&B was line-caught halibut from just up the river, local asparagus and wild rice with sesame seeds. To go with was Nova Scotia pinot grigio, homemade bread, local butter. Mom had homemade tomato basil soup to start, I had a salad with homemade goat cheese, and mom had dessert—blueberry creme brulee made with local eggs and milk and tiny local blueberries. 

Enjoy the photos! My camera battery died, so all these were taken with mom's iPhone camera out the window of a moving boat...

Getting ready to board  (mom on the right) 5.28.12

heading out to the ocean 5.28. 12

Bird Islands 5.28.12

View from the dock, looking up Bas D'Or (saltwater lake) to bridge 5.28.12

Razorbills near the water, 5.28.12
More razorbills, 5.28.12
Razorbills near nests on right, 5.28.12
Gray and Harp seals, black-backed gulls, flying puffins and razorbills 5.28.12
Nests in the cliffs--gulls, razorbills, puffins, cormorants 5.28.12

One of the island cliffs 5.28.12

Birds nesting in cliffs, sitting at opening of tunnels 5.28.12

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