Category Archives: Maine

On the road in Maine – Part 3

Machias Seal Island –  as I mentioned, we were lucky just to get on the island, but I felt even luckier that we saw SO many puffins! They are one of the cutest birds. The Atlantic puffins are mainly found on islands along the coast of Maine. They have been described as a clown with wings!  And being so much fun to sketch, they are getting their very own post!

Puffins

Sketched in my new larger (8×10) Stillman & Bern alpha series sketchbook

Puffin flying

Their wings beat up to 400 times a minute, making them look like clumsy fliers!

Puffin closeup

Close up

Two puffins

Two together on a neighboring blind

Puffin feet detail

They were simply adorable!

On the road in Maine – Part 2

Machias Seal Island is a one hour boat ride from Cutler, Maine.  About 20 of us took the Barbara Frost with Captain Andrew Patterson, most with cameras with huge lens in anticipation of close-up shots of puffins and other birds.  It was not a sure thing that we would be able to land on the island – the rain and sea for the past three days did not allow it.

When we arrived, the sea was still too rough to chance it. Captain Andy was very clear that our safety came first. So, he took us around for another hour, near another island where we spotted seals and several different bird types. And at that point, he decided we would be able to land. Yay!

The Barbara Frost & eider ducks

The Barbara Frost and a pair of eider ducks

It took several trips back and forth to get all of us transferred, but there we were, at last, on the island! First, though, we were given firm instructions on how to walk up to the center.  The terns lay their eggs on the grass.  The terns are protecting their eggs. We need to walk on the grass.  (Do you see where this is going?)  We were given short sticks to hold above our heads and told “Do not stop. Do not swat at the birds. Do not go off the path. Just keep walking.” If you’ve seen Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, you’ll have an idea of what we went through!  We all looked the same going to use the outhouse:  Tern terror!

After all that, we took turns using the blinds and were able to get lots of photos, mainly puffins, but also so many others. It was great!  Here are some of my sketches from my photos.  Stay tuned for the puffin ones!

Common murres

Common murres  

Razorbills

Razorbills

Tern & Northern Gannet

Tern (top) & Northern Gannet