The boat trip was scheduled for 5:00 pm.... we got to the dock early and met up with some other volunteers from Aroostook. While we were waiting we did some bird watching...
This Roseate Tern and Atlantic Puffin were hanging around on the dock, directing tour participants to the sign-in desk.
Notice how overcast the sky is?
Right before we headed out it began raining... and the fog drifted in.
It didn't get any better.....
We had hoped we were leaving the dark skies behind... but.no such luck.
You can see Egg Rock lighthouse out in the distance.
The boat had an upper level that was open, but the rain was such that nobody stayed up there very long. The middle level was under cover and actually gave us all a good view of the water, the islands and the birds. Last year this tour was packed... this year, probably due to the weather, everyone could walk around or sit pretty much wherever they choose.
The "bird of choice" was the Atlantic Puffin (of course) and while the boat was fairly close to them (and there were quite a few out there), I didn't get many photos as I didn't want to get my camera wet.
Not just the Puffins, but we saw Razorbills as well.
Bill and an Atlantic Puffin
Three staff members of the refuge were dressed as seabirds... the two girls in the first photo as well as a guillemot. As a fundraiser, you could donate some money to vote for your favorite bird. Those girls had such a good time mingling among the guests, and we had a good time watching them. Naturally we voted for this Puffin.... and she was everyone's favorite. The Roseate Tern came in second, and the guillemot came in last. I bet they did very well with the donations.
Of course what everyone wanted to see (besides the puffins) is Petit Manon NWR...
This island houses various personnel... mostly biologists of one kind or another.
Studies are constantly being done to monitor the seabirds and their interaction with each other; the number of nests, eggs and chicks.
The nesting colonies are numbered and kept track of.
Problems between the gulls and other seabirds are studied. A Peregrine Falcon created all kinds of problems in the past... causing the puffins to abandon their young.
Near the end of the tour recognition was given to the sponsors and many thanks to all who participated. While this tour wasn't heavily attended, I'm sure that many folks supported it in other ways.
We docked around 7 pm.... it was still raining, and even starting to get dark. Bill & I headed back to our car and drove about 30 miles up to Ellsworth where we spent the night before returning to Aroostook NWR on Monday morning.
It's always an adventure to volunteer at wildlife refuges, but being given an opportunity such as this is a bonus that is certainly appreciated.
That's All for Today!