What do ship watchers do while hanging around the piers waiting for ships to come by? I think quite a few boatnerds watch the birds! Particularly in winter, there are many interesting birds waiting around for spring. You can see a variety of ducks: wigeons at Seaview Park; mallards, blacks and mergansers at Point Pleasant, not to mention gulls of various sorts, and even a loon in winter colours.
The most common are the common eiders that flock together off Halterm in rafts of twenty or so birds.
On April 1 I was birdnerding out at the end of the breakwater waiting for ships when the pilot boat set out in advance of Atlantic Compass and Don Carlos. Suddenly the boat veered off course right toward me, scattering eiders in all directions and made a fast pass off the end of the breakwater.
I guess they were trying to scare the eiders, but they startled me enough that I only got a few quick camera shots.
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