June Sailing and Maine Wildlife

This has been an amazing couple of weeks for wildlife which has reminded me how much affection I have for sailing during the month of June.

Eider Duck (photo by Kaido Kärner from Shutterstock)

Eider Duck (photo by Kaido Kärner from Shutterstock)

The eider ducks have hatched and the non-descript brown feathered mama ducks are leading their flocks of five to seven identical hued ducklings wiggling and scurrying around behind her.  In comparison, the showy tuxedo-garbed black and white males are now seen in small bachelor rafts of their own.

Rafts of razor bills, members of the Auk family and related to puffins, have been a common sighting as well.  One not seen as often as the eiders, but more than in previous years.

The osprey on the Pulpit Rock nest have hatched and Mama and Papa are diligent sentries warning passing schooners to keep their distance with their piercing warning calls to us and each other.  It’s hard to see how many are in the nest , but this pair usually hatches two (sometimes three, but the third one rarely makes it).

Osprey in Pulpit Harbor. (Photo by Jeannette Lovitch/ Freeport Wild Birding Supply)

Osprey in Pulpit Harbor. (Photo by Jeannette Lovitch/ Freeport Wild Birding Supply)

Loons are also back and calling their haunting songs early in the dawn and late in the glooming hours of dusk.  Mostly, we are seeing males as the pairs are still keeping close to their shore side nests – often on nearby lakes.

The jellyfish – both moon and lions mane are also coming alongside to say their good wishes and delight us with their undulating movement.  The moon jelly fish always seem a happy sort if one can attribute emotion to a jelly fish.  Maybe it’s just my emotion as I watch them as I know they don’t have a sting of any consequence.

Harbor Seal Pup (Photo NOAA)

Harbor Seal Pup (Photo NOAA)

Baby seals with their little heads poking out of the water have come to great us in numbers this month and they get a little closer to the schooner when we are at anchor than their parent because they can’t resist the pull of curiosity.

The winds have been strong and have made for exciting sailing days.  The moon has been out and peeking at me in the early morning before the sun is fully up.  The daylight hours are long and welcome us to the bay with a wide open embrace.

June, it turns out, is my favorite time to sail.  I’d forgotten just how much wildlife is active this time of year.  You should come join us!

Annie
Taking it all in

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One Comment

  1. Daphne Parker
    Posted June 24, 2014 at 9:11 am | Permalink | Reply

    We were up that way for the weekend. First time I ever saw eiders, so what a treat to see the babies, too!!

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