Dad and I went up to visit the Bird Islands on a boat cruise.
The Bird Islands are a couple of hours from here, off the coast of Cape Breton Island.
Here are some of my photos:
The tour boat was similar to a lobster boat, only a cabin had been built to keep us mostly inside, with big windows.
Not the easiest boat to step into – more like step down on, and duck and squeeze your way in – but we all made it!
Here are our hosts, Captain John MacAskill and his wife Donelda. Dad said they were the best boat tour guides he ever had. What hard working folk though – Donelda said she was up at ten to three in the morning because they fish lobster with one of their sons before their scheduled tours to the Bird Islands!
Donelda said the bald eagles in the area know their boat and the sound of her voice on the speakers. Why? Well because she tosses them a fish if they come down to visit the boat!
A fog cloud kept coming in and off shore, but luckily it mostly lifted by the time we got out to the Bird Islands (about 40 minutes from shore). It was quite rough to get out there, so Donelda put sea sickness bands on several of the passengers. The bands velcro around your wrist and have a pressure point that works like acupuncture on a nerve in your wrist. It seemed to work – no one puked!
Here are some grey seals!
At this time of the year, the small rocky islands are home to Atlantic Puffins, Black Guillemots, Great Cormorants, Double Crested Cormorants, Razorbills, Great Black Backed Gulls, Black Legged Kittiwakes, Herring Gulls, Great Blue Herons, and Bald Eagles. Donelda did an excellent job at pointing out each species to us, and making sure we all got to see them.
We went out to the back of the boat with all the other photographers. The ocean was really rocky most of the time, so getting good photos was tricky! For every photo in focus, I have about 10 that are duds.
The cormorants like to flash people! Actually they are just drying their wings, but it is neat to see them stretched out.
There were nests everywhere. Everytime a bald eagle came by, all the gulls went nuts and flew around in swarms.
The seals are really cute. There were lobster traps EVERYWHERE around the islands and the coast. Jeff said the seals can rip open the lobster traps to help themselves to lobster!
Immature bald eagle. They don’t get their white head for a couple of years.
I snapped a picture of this heron just before it took off, so I kept taking photos as it elegantly flew away.
Two kinds of cormorants:
Puffins are SO cute. They are quite little and have to flap their wings extremely fast to get anywhere.
The boat was full! I highly recommend this tour. For more information, visit their website: http://PuffinBoatTours.ca