Jan de Regt, winner of our Southern Maryland Audubon Field Ornithology scholarship to the famed Hog Island Audubon Camp, has just returned from her birding adventure with Atlantic Puffins and other species on the island off the Maine coast. Enjoy her account!
Everything I experienced was so remarkable that it’s difficult to choose just a few highlights, but I’d have to say that seeing the Puffins, hearing a Veery, seeing warblers be banded and released and hearing the heartbeat of an American Redstart are all top contenders.
Photographing the Milky Way in the wee hours with my roommate and another camper who joined the fun ranks right up there too.
We cruised to Eastern Egg Rock in the rain to see the Atlantic Puffin colony that had been re-established by Project Puffin beginning in the 1970s. There were Puffins everywhere, along with Black Guillemots, Common Eiders, a Roseate Tern, Common Terns, a lone American Oystercatcher, together with lots of gulls, Common Loons and Double-crested Cormorants.
We continued on to Allen Island where we erected several mist nets, called in some warblers and banded them. That was quite an amazing process to see up close!
Southern Maryland Audubon provided three fully paid scholarships to different programs at the camp this summer. Jan earned the adult birding scholarship. Two other scholarships were awarded to an educator and a high school student.
Jan captured this shot of a beautiful Magnolia being banded.
If you’d like to apply for one of our 2024 scholarships for next summer’s Audubon Hog Island camps, stay tuned to our website www.somdaudubon.org.