Today I was looking for something to do and ended up in Calvert, where quite by chance I bumped into a hunter. After the usual banter I asked him if there was anything good to see nearby, he wasn’t sure he got the question but when he noticed my camera he said he just saw 2000 eider ducks near Stone Island, perhaps this was something to take a picture of?

‘Yes, probably…’, I smiled. I figured 2000 ducks would be quite a sight, so I followed his directions and headed up the trail with 2 cameras and a tripod.

At the end of the Stone Island Trail (one of Cape Broyle Head Path’s side trails) I gazed onto the ocean wondering how I could possible be missing 2000 large sea ducks. But I was, I didn’t see any ducks at all. Then I saw a thin black stripe of sea weed in the water and focussed my long lens on it, bingo: this wasn’t sea weed, these were the ducks:

Common eiders near Goose Island – Cape Broyle Head Path

Not the sight I expected when the hunter mentioned 2000 ducks, but they were very far out, so perhaps this is just the way it was supposed to look. Later the eiders got a little bit closer so I could see the little dots were actual ducks:

A raft of common eiders – Cape Broyle Head Path

My attention quickly shifted away from the ducks though, when I saw a familiar shape coming up through the water, and then another one. I blinked twice to make sure these were what I thought they were, and then I saw one blowing. Two humpback whales surfaced time and time again for the next half hour, before finally swimming out of sight towards Ferryland:

Humpback whales in March – Cape Broyle Head Path

This is very early for humpbacks to be this close to shore, but hey: I’m not complaining. I’ve updated my Whales in Newfoundland page with this new sighting as well.