We have Mondays and Tuesdays off from our volunteer job counting migrating sea birds. On this Tuesday, we slept in, got a little RV-Dreams work done, dealt with a couple of things that came up regarding my Dad in Louisville, completed our daily exercise routine, and then made a trip to civilization.
On the way, we stopped off at the J.M. Gerrish restaurant in Winter Harbor to get our free volunteer scoop of ice cream .... and to check out their menu for future visits. By the end of the week, they will only be open until 3:00 and serving only breakfast and lunch.
We just got here and businesses are already closing for the season or cutting back hours. School started here today, so that appears to be an end-of-summer signal that potential customers will be decreasing.
After ice cream, we headed into Ellsworth, the home of our nearest Walmart (30 miles). Before stopping at Walmart, we went to Cadillac Mountain Sports looking for rain pants for me and checking out their sale. At the right price, it may not hurt for us to acquire a couple more insulating layers.
That was pretty much it for that day.
We were at our post on Schoodic Point ready to count birds at 6:30 a.m. Linda has been popping up with the alarm at 5:30, making her a cup of coffee, and making a second cup just before it's time for us to leave the rig.
It was cool and foggy, but we had some decent visibility for awhile. Our "office" was open for business - binoculars, spotting scope, three bird books, our field data sheets, and a binder of other useful information.
The Harbor Porpoises came by, and then all the gulls on the rocks took off at once. Seconds later, a Bald Eagle flew in front of us - the gulls saw it before we did.
We could see the birds flying by between us and the fog blanket farther out. However, by 7:40, the fog moved onto shore giving us zero visibility out to sea.
We couldn't see any migrating birds and that pretty much makes them tough to count. Knowing the fog could lift quickly, we waited until 8:30. But it only got worse, so we packed it in. We went back to the rig, and I modified a spreadsheet Seth sent us so we can enter our daily observations. We saved it online so he can view it and add his observations from when he goes out on our days off.
We did our morning run, the fog finally lifted, and it turned into a pretty, but cool, day. There were a lot of people at "the Point" when we did our afternoon counting session. In fact, I think we had more interactions with people than we counted birds. It was a slow birding session. We chalked it up to the southwest wind off the ocean that was in the face of the southbound migrants. The wind was also keeping us chilled.
The air temperature was in the 60s, but it took four layers and gloves to keep me warm. It's amazing how much colder it feels when the sun is blocked by clouds and there is a breeze coming straight off the ocean. Linda only had on three layers and she was a little uncomfortable.
But we saw some birds, saw the Harbor Porpoises again, and we got a good look at a Gray Seal munching a fish in the water in front of us.
Soon, it was time to go and we were looking forward to finishing off our leftover chili in the warm confines of our fifth wheel.
That's another couple of days in the books. See you tomorrow. :)