Our much anticipated Puffin adventure started on May 19. We made a stop at Crane Creek State Park which is just outside of Toledo, Ohio, to look for migrating warblers, and were not disappointed. If you are the least bit interested in watching birds this is such a good place to go. There are boardwalks through wooded areas and around marshes, but the best part is the great number of experienced birders who point out and identify all the birds.
This was a road trip without our camper and without Dave - we missed both by the end of our trip. We also decided to set some standards for motel/hotel rooms.
1. the toilet should be bolted to the floor
2. the reception area should not be shielded by bullet proof glass
3. electrical wiring should not be exposed
Our plan was to travel the Maine coast to Lubec, where we would cross the border into New Brunswick, Canada and join our Road Scholar group at Campobello Island. We stopped at Bar Harbor ( BaaHaBa). Mainers really do drop the 'r' if it is at the
Our first lobster roll of the trip. Lobster roll = hoagie bun filled with lobster and a bit of mayo.
end of a word. We stayed at a wonderful B&B called Holbrook House, a Victorian home from the 1800's which was in easy walking distance of shops, restaurants and of course the HaBa. The original name of Bar Harbor was Eden and on the 2 sun filled days we were there we could see why. We walked the streets, hiked across the sand bar to Bar island at low tide, sat on a bench in the harbor park and watched fishing boats come and go. On our last we packed a lunch, grabbed a blanket and head to Acadia National Park to sit on one of the high rock cliffs of Cadillac Mountain and enjoy the view and sunshine.
After walking across the sand bar that Bar Harbor is named for , we asked our B&B host how deep the water got over the bar at high tide. He said that it was about 4-5 inches over the roof of a Cadillac Escalade - This happens every year when someone decides to drive across the sand bar instead of walk. In fact we saw someone who was stuck on the beach part of the sandbar as we
the morning fog lifting
were leaving. We figured they had about 6 hours to get the car moved.
On the afternoon of the 23rd we were finally unpacked and loving our room at Prince Cottage which is part of the Roosevelt Campobello International Park in New Brunswick. Next to Prince Cottage is the summer cottage of the Franklin Roosevelt family. The word ,Cottage, is a bit misleading since it has 34 rooms, 16 of which are bedrooms. It is open for tours and twice a day there is an Eleanor Roosevelt tea - all free for visitors.
Now on to the puffins - The puffins nest - they dig deep burrows - on the 15 acres of Machias Seal Island which is located in the lower Bay of Fundy. Our group took the 45 minute trip to the island with Captain Andy on the Mary Frost. The island has a research center and also a manned lighthouse. Landings on the island are restricted to protect the birds that nest there and required a transfer from the 45' Mary Frost to a 16 ' skiff. Then there was a walk across very slippery, seaweed covered rocks to the footpath
The sand bar that stretches from the mainland to Bar Island at low tide.
leading to the orientation area. After orientation we were escorted to a blind that put us within arm's reach of puffins. We had an hour to watch and photograph puffins, razor bills and common murres.
We also boarded another lobster boat , The Lady H, and explored Head Harbor Passage and the maritime islands looking for nesting birds. The best sighting was the island with the nesting Black Legged Kittiwakes.
We had 5 days of meeting new friends and having expert birding guides lead our group of 16. Our 3 meals a day were gourmet, in our opinion, especially the last day which was a lobster feast. A whole fresh Maine lobster for each of us.
If anyone is interested in a total bird list let me know and I can email it to you.
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