Jeffrey’s Ledge

Eastmans Docks in Hampton is one of the only operators in the northern New England area to run fishing trips this late in the year, routinely running into late December.  I often hop a ride, as it is one of the only ways to get out to NH’s pelagic water this time of year – 20 plus miles offshore.  This is the only place to see several species of birds that spend the winter off our coast, including northern fulmar, dovekie, two species of murre, Atlantic puffin, and occasionally great skua.  Barring storms, these birds are rarely seen from the coast.

I went out Sunday November 27th and it turned out to be pretty spectacular for dovekie.  Exclusively confined to the ledge proper, they were everywhere.  I counted at least 250, but counting from a boat is not an exact science.  Certainly had the day not been fogged in for most of the time I would have seen many more.  One Atlantic puffin, several common murre and razorbill, in excess of 100 northern fulmar and 50 great shearwater, and 30 black-legged kittiwake rounded out the bird list.  Several fin, one minke, and two northern right whales were also noted.

Next calm weekend day I will be chartering a boat – stay tuned.

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