[CT Birds] FW: [MASSBIRD] Gyrfalcon on North Beach, Orleans

Tina and Peter Green petermgreen at hotmail.com
Mon Nov 28 09:46:10 EST 2011

Just in case anyone is heading to the Cape today!
Tina Green

> From: wpetersen at massaudubon.org
> To: massbird at TheWorld.com
> Subject: [MASSBIRD] Gyrfalcon on North Beach, Orleans
> Date: Mon, 28 Nov 2011 04:41:09 +0000
> While observing seabirds off North Beach in front of Pochet Island in Orleans early this afternoon, Carl Goodrich and I enjoyed spectacular looks at a magnificent gray Gyrfalcon actively harassing a large flock of feeding Northern Gannets several hundred yards beyond the surf. The Gyrfalcon first appeared from over the dunes behind us and immediately headed out over the water where it began to idly pursue several different gannets in the midst of the large feeding flock. We were able to watch the bird for over a minute as it moved powerfully through the flock periodically making passes at several different gannets before eventually gaining altitude and heading back toward the beach. Once it reached the dune line the Gyr continued west across the Pochet marsh, then turned south and passed over Pochet Island toward Pleasant Bay. Having been fortunate to see Gyrfalcons a number of times in the past, we were both amazed at the temerity of this individual to even consider see!
> mingly taking on a bird the size of a gannet. Carl was fortunately able to grab several hasty photos of the bird while it was in the midst of the gannets.
> Also seen in the several hours that we were on North Beach were:
> Red-throated Loon - 100+
> Red-necked Grebe - 4
> Great Shearwater - 70
> Sooty Shearwater - very late individual
> Manx Shearwater - 2
> Northern Gannet - 3000 very close to shore in giant feeding flocks extending over two miles along the beach
> American Bittern - 4 pushed up by the very high tide
> Great Blue Heron - 17
> Razorbill - 100+ in small groups on the water among the feeding gannets
> Wayne R. Petersen, Director 
> Massachusetts Important Bird Areas (IBA) Program 
> Mass Audubon 
> 208 South Great Road 
> Lincoln, MA 01773 
> (781) 259-2178 
> Protecting the Nature of Massachusetts 

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