Thursday, April 12, 2018

Blogging from A-Z • K • King...

Long live the king!

The kingfisher:

The eastern kingbird:

The tropical kingbird (disclaimer, this bird is not local to Massachusetts as the rest of my A-Z birds are! This fella was from my glorious fall trip to Belize!):

And then there is the king eider...

So here's how I came to see the king eider.  This bird spends most of the year in the arctic, but will migrate along the Atlantic coast in the winter, mostly towards the end of winter, and it seems to only stick around Massachusetts for a few weeks.

Until last year I'd never heard of the king eider, until I saw some excited fellow birdwatchers posting about sighting one in Cape Cod Canal and also one in Gloucester Harbor.  Given the excitement and this unusual appearance of this waterfowl, I knew I wanted to try to see it too!

So one Sunday morning, I asked my family, hey, would you want to go up to Gloucester and try to see the king eider with me? I'll buy you some fish & chips!?!?  They agreed.

We jaunted off to Gloucester and headed right to the pier where this bird had been previously sighted.  And if you are curious, yes, I was looking for a SINGLE 3 pound bird off the coast of Massachusetts in the epically large Atlantic ocean.  But hey, that's what birders do, right?

There were about 30 other birders on the pier looking for this bird as well, so I didn't feel so silly, and my husband and son got curious too.  But alas.  The bird wasn't there.  There were a lot of common eiders though:

But no king eider.

So after hanging around the pier for a bit, I said, let's go get that fish & chips and then maybe we'll just swing by after we eat to see if it is here.  Everyone agreed so we started looking on yelp and trip advisor for some good fish & chip joints.  We decided on one that was close by and started heading over.  Then my husband was looking at the map and said, hey, let's not go to that one, it's not near the water, and I would like to be by the water since we're here, so let's go to this other one.  So we trekked about a mile or two south on the coast to this restaurant that was on the water.  Parked and started heading to the entrance of the restaurant, when I spied three folks crowded around a small section of the pier past the restaurant leaning over a fence, so naturally, I was curious.  And wouldn't you know....we drove right to the king eider!

Thanks for bearing with my long story! I do hope you will visit for the letter "L" tomorrow!  

Earrings, earrings, earrings!  Today's challenge earrings are a denim blue version of a tutorial I did on this blog a few years ago for one of my first A-Z challenges! While the color is similar in each of the three different size beads, the finishes and linings vary in this monochromatic design.  Don't forget if you comment, you will be entered in a drawing to win a week's worth of earrings!


  1. I always love seeing the Kingfisher with his punk rock look.that duck looks funky with the bulbous orange thing on the side of his nose. I love blue so, yes, I love these and everything looks so, well done!

  2. Great story and what luck to find him! Love the earrings...remind me of huichol style.

  3. It was fate or destiny or serendipitous or something like that. Very cool.

  4. Your husband was correct ~ if you are going to be near the water, eat near the water ... and you will see more waterfowl!!! What a wonderful coincidence and what a funky headed Eider! You know I love these earrings ~ round and round they go.


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