18 August 2015

Puffins with Steve Kress

Eastern Egg Rock, ME

When Steve Kress, founder of Project Puffin, calls you up and asks if you want to join him for a boat ride to Eastern Egg Rock the answer is always yes.  The opportunity to see puffins with Steve seemed a little surreal.  Recently arrived to Hog Island, I was happy to find my Friday afternoon in company of a great ornithologist on a trip to see the species he brought back to the Maine coast.
Rose and Steve share a laugh.

We headed out to Eastern Egg Rock with great weather, calm seas, and a high tide.  We were going to pick up Rose Borzik, who has been working with Project Puffin for over 20 years.  We scooped her up from the dingy and circled the island in such of the sea parrot. 

Atlantic Puffin, Fratercula arctica

Puffins can be a little hard to see in August but we were in luck as one flew right at the boat and landed a mere 30 feet away.  The Atlantic Puffin is a silly looking football-shaped bird with a colorful beak and a tuxedo suit.  Our puffin had a mouth full of fish and seaweed and casually watched us, diving sporadically until it decided it had its full investigation satisfied.

It was the only puffin of the trip but it was a perfect specimen that gave us wonderful looks as we idled in the boat.  Our trip was smooth on the return and the sun gave a hint of setting as it brightly lit up the Queen Mary on Hog Island.  A great welcome to Maine and my life on Hog Island!

Hog Island Audubon Camp, Maine

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