Since there was a large boy scout troop that arrived in between all of us birders, it took a lot longer than anticipated to buy everyone's tickets. One birder, Janet Foote, tried what she thought would be a faster way to get her ticket, by using an automated machine but the machine ended up eating her credit card and the attendant had to take the machine apart to retrieve it (Seen in below photo upper left).
|A few of the guests arrive|
|Anxiously awaiting a flock of Scoters|
|Surf Scoter (Photo by Amy Langman)|
|Peregrine near Lewes (Photo by Amy Langman)|
Other ducks we were able to find were Red-breasted Mergansers and Buffleheads. One Horned Grebe was spotted in Lewes along with Double-crested and Great Cormorant. Sanderling and Dunlin were on the beach at Lewes and we tried to find an Oystercatcher or a flock of Snow Buntings at Cape Henlopen beach as we passed by but to no avail.
But the highlight of the day came about halfway across the first crossing. The group was standing on the bow and I happened to look over the side and back towards the stern when I saw a small dark bird approaching the ferry. I have seen female Red-winged Blackbirds on this crossing in the past, so I was expecting this bird to be that species. Suddenly as the bird quickly passed right next to and below me, I realized what I had. I yelled out to the group "White-winged Crossbill!". As if to give the birders a better view the bird flew across the bow and circled around and flew right back towards us. The bird crossed right in front of us, so close that I thought I felt the breeze as it passed. It hung around the ferry for about five minutes trying to find a place to land and take a rest, but it was very nervous about where to put down. It finally made a quick landing on the front netting on the bow next to two surprised passengers. Everyone was able to enjoy great looks as the bird constantly flew around in front of all of us.
|White-winged Crossbill onboard (Photo by Amy Langman)|
|White-winged Crossbill circling ferry (Photo by Amy Langman)|
|White-winged Dove with Cave Swallow in background left of wire|
|Cave Swallow (Photo by Amy Langman)|