A couple days ago (Wednesday) I received an incredible photo from a friend who manages Maine’s offshore islands for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It was of two Puffins . . . one Maine’s adorable Atlantic Puffin and the other . . . a Tufted Puffin!!!!
The Tufted Puffin is a west coast bird that breeds from San Francisco to northern Alaska. How this sea bird had managed to get across the continent and end up on Petit Manan, an island off the Maine Coast is anybody’s guess. The arctic ice has been receding more and more each summer, but it’s doubtful that there would be enough open water for a Puffin to cross in the late Spring.
As usual, when a rarity shows up, the Maine Birding community went into action, looking for ways to get out to Petit Manan.
Unfortunately, Ingrid and I have been renovating our house and we had contractors coming and going all week and neither of us felt comfortable rushing up to Bar Harbor to catch a boat. Besides, we were scheduled to take a trip out to nearby Eastern Egg Rock to see Atlantic Puffins (ho hum) on Thursday. Perhaps, just maybe, the Tufted would continue south and surprise us.
When the Tufted was seen again Thursday morning on Petit Manan, we booked a Saturday morning trip out Bar Harbor with hopes that the rarity would still be there.
Our “pedestrian” Thursday trip to see our Atlantic Puffins was amazing as always.
Sadly the Tufted Puffin has not been seen in the last 26 hours . . . lets hope it will be re-found.