November on the Maine Coast

I spent the last few days guiding sea duck hunters. It is always rewarding to spend some time on the ledges and see what is going on out there. The weather is usually a very big part of my life but it dominates sea duck hunts. We had strong wind for a couple of days that kept us from the outer islands and ledges but Saturday was perfect. We had little wind until noon or so. A three foot swell left over from the wind of the previous few days kept it interesting.

Last year while hunting out of Port Clyde I saw a variety of interesting sea birds. The only unusual sighting this time was a pair of harlequin ducks that buzzed the decoys on Saturday morning. It has been a while since I had seen some in the decoys and it took a minute to realize what they were. We also had Harbor Porpoises feeding outside of the decoys on several occasions for long periods of time. Seals also were around in good numbers and we even had one on Friday give the decoys a very careful look. I’m sure that he was planning to add duck to his menu that day and did not realize that he was looking at fakes. The populations of both of these marine mammals have really taken off in the last ten or so years. It will be interesting over time to see if there is a move to manage those populations as they begin to impact their environment.

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