Saturday, August 6, 2011

American Pipit - Cape Spear

Last Sunday morning I went to Cape Spear in search of sea birds that might be flying by. What I found was large flocks of Murres and Puffins sitting on the water and flying by. There was the occasional Gannet diving to spice up the panorama.

Within seconds the first whale showed itself. Then, I began to see them everywhere. At any given time there were about ten in my view. The question was where to look.  They were in every direction and they were showing their tail, flapping the water with their fins and there was the occasional breach.
 I, along with the many other spectators, was enthralled. I wanted to see the full 180 degree view all at the same time. Amid all of this whale action, three little American Pipits flew onto the rocks in front of me.
I haven't seen many American Pipits. The first time was late last summer in a farmer's field in Goulds. I could only see its head as it was standing in tall grass. The second time was more of a challenge. Another birder and I were scouring the Southern Shore for birds in the fall when she spotted a small, brown, non-descript bird on the shore. I posted a report of that lengthy search to finally identify the little bird as an American Pipit.
This time a group of three just landed within a stone's throw of me, but I was too preoccupied with the whale display going on to really try to get any good pictures. I intended to return because I saw more of these little birds around Cape Spear when walking back to my car.

I did make it back to the Cape on the Tuesday but the sun was out, it was warm and the whales were frolicking all around and very close to shore, too. How could I leave that display to hunt for the pipits?  Why haven't I been back? Well, it is called Rain, Drizzle and Fog mixed with high winds! If these relentless conditions ever pass, I will return.

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