[CT Birds] Comparing three different ferry rides on the same morning

jaybrd49 at aol.com jaybrd49 at aol.com
Mon Jan 16 09:54:16 EST 2012

 A few minor thoughts with respect Tom's comments. Jamie Meyers and one other observer did have a single razorbill in CT waters on the trip out. The 3 murres were all seen on the trip back.  We had to wait 30 minutes for another ferry to load and depart at Orient Point. Thus, our time for the return trip was much later than we had expected, arriving at New London at approx. 2:30 PM.

Tom is correct in that every trip will be different. For us CT birders, however, there is a significant difference between the Cross Sound Ferry between New London and Orient Point and the Block Island ferries in that the latter travel a more easterly route and are not as affected by the limiting factors that Long Island Sound places upon our trips. For those looking to bolster their CT lists, and also perhaps looking for a gentler passage, the Cross Sound ferries are still a good deal and provide the potential for unusual birds.  We're still looking for that special trip where Dovekies are reported. To date, at least this winter, I am not aware of any New London-Orient Point trips made with moderate easterly winds. Whether or not that will make a difference remains to be seen.

On our Saturday trip, the most unusual observation, at least from my point of view, was a pair of adult Bald Eagles several miles out into the Sound, but still in CT  off the Waterford coast.  I believe the earlier ferry had a Northern Harrrier also well out into the Sound. As has been said, every trip is different. I plan to take at least one more trip this season and I recommend others try it as well.  Finally to Glenn Williams - you are right, the chowder is good!

Jay Kaplan



-----Original Message-----
From: Thomas Robben <robben99 at gmail.com>
To: ctbirds <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org>
Sent: Sun, Jan 15, 2012 10:58 pm
Subject: Re: [CT Birds] Comparing three different ferry rides on the same morning

There is a lot of current interest in "ferry birding".
Here is an interesting comparison of three different CT/RI
ferry rides on the same windy morning,  january 14th....
as quoted from Glenn Williams and Keith Mueller....

"... it seems that each ferry ride is unlike the next.  We had
seven adult kittiwakes, lots of Razorbills, but no murres.  Coming in, we
passed the next ferry coming out....

They had no Razorbills in Connecticut waters,
no kittiwakes (despite going through where we had ours fifteen minutes
earlier), but three Common Murres.   Exciting times in the Sound."

Glenn Williams

"...with strong westerly winds and the
very rough sea conditions and looking directly into the very bright
sun, I only had limited viewing from the upper deck of the smaller
ferry behind a small compartment avoiding the mass amount of spray
coming over the upper deck. There were 550-600  sea ducks from
the outer walls of PJ to Block Island. RAZORBILL and COMMON MURRE-
100-125 (conservative estimate). Approx. three dozen seen between the
outer walls of PJ to the North Point of BLock. The balance were in the
calmer waters on the eastern side of BLock. The large alcids were in
singles, pairs, trios, small groups and one larger group of over 36
birds. DOVEKIE- at least 2 that I could positively ID (east of BLock).
Many birds sitting on the rough sea, just couldn't identify them.
There were many Gannets, and the water was covered with Loons and sea
ducks everywhere you looked..... we didn't find any White-winged
or Lesser Black-backed, Bonapartes, Kittiwakes, etc...."

Keith Mueller
Thank you Glenn and Keith!

Tom Robben
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