Back to Island life! It’s been three years since I’ve lived on a Maine island and I’m glad to be back. Dug out all our gear, threw it together and off we went. “We” as in Julia and I – we have been dating for nearly three years and are working together this summer with two other technicians: Anna and Brittany. We are all biologists with varying amounts of experience and we all hope to have a great season with the terns and alcids here on Petit Manan.
We arrived on May 7th and 20th with an ominous greeting by a Bald eagle perched on top of the boathouse. Unpacked all our gear and settled into our new home for the summer – a beautiful 4-bedroom historic building. That first night I was outside and heard the first Arctic and Common terns of the season as well as the unique calls of Leach’s storm-petrels! It was great to finally hear them again. Woke up the next morning, looked out my window to see Atlantic Puffins and Razorbills loafing on the rocks. How could it get any better? Time to climb the 137-step spiral staircase up Petit Manan’s 119ft lighthouse (second highest in Maine) to do morning alcid counts. Wow what a sight to finally be looking down on flocks of terns and guillemots from above. A seabird biologist’s dream! Oh no, what’s that? A Snowy owl!?