This past Saturday, I drove out to Wellfleet, Massachusetts on Cape Cod to give a lecture at the Massachusetts Audubon Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. This Sanctuary is close to my heart as it’s one of the places my family and I camp each summer, and to visit in another, less populous season is always a pleasure too. Beyond the beauty of the place, it was most gratifying to find a room full of people eager to hear about the Wellfleet Bay Virus (WFBV) and its impacts on Common Eiders. Several of those in attendance were Seanetters: Mary Myers and Diana Gaumond were there, and I got to meet Jerry Hequembourg and Steve Gulrich for the first time. Two prospective volunteers approached me about taking on Great Island and Jeremy Point for SEANET, and I was barely able to contain my excitement, given our lack of regular coverage there since the departure of Seanetter Dick Jordan.
To top off an already fine day, I signed up for the “Searching for Seaducks” program led by Mass Audubon’s Mark Faherty. We stopped at Wellfleet Harbor, where we saw Horned Grebes, Common Eiders that were alive (!), Bufflehead, Red-breasted Mergansers, and Common and Barrow’s Goldeneye (a first for me). Then we headed for the ocean side of the Cape and watched the surfers in their ninja-like dry suits, as well as Razorbills, scoters, and loons of two varieties. A one hour program turned into a two hour tour, but no one was complaining. Finally, we headed back and made my trek back home to New Hampshire.
I hope to have more breaking news for you, dear readers, and for everyone interested in the progress on Wellfleet Bay Virus research. The various labs and universities involved in the research are scheduled to hold a conference call on their work next month, and I will report on that as soon as it occurs. All the more reason for you to keep an eye on this blog, friends. We are a font of seaduck knowledge!