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Birding "The Rock"

Warm, clear days here are a true rarity. Here we were on an 82-degree day, with no fog anywhere in sight, no clouds on a gorgeous blue sky day. The excitement in the group was almost palpable as we strode the one-mile to the endpoint of Cape St. Mary’s Ecological Preserve. The cacophony of massive numbers of sea birds from hundreds of feet below quickened the group’s pace. The calls diminished as we dropped below thick grass-covered hills, only to pick up again when we hit level ground. I urged no photos until the end of the trail. In a mile, as always, I saw shaking heads accompanied by huge smiles. “Bird Rock” is not to be believed. Labeled as “The Most Accessible Sea Bird Colony in North America,” you quickly understand that’s not hyperbole.

The third largest Northern Gannet Colony in North America is a rarity, as you’re viewing the birds from land, not on a boat. Photographers in our group quickly set up tripods to capture the best pictures of the fantastic scene of gannets greeting each other when returning from foraging at sea. We also saw Razorbills, hundreds of Black-legged Kittiwake, and Common Murre on cliffs. This spectacle should be on every nature enthusiast’s bucket list, birder or not.

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