We finally found a handful of Razorbills offshore of Salvo where there was some cooler, but not necessarily clearer, water. Here also we discovered some Humpback Whales and more activity than we had seen to the south. (photo of Razorbill with Salvo in the background by Kate Sutherland)
As we steamed back to Hatteras Inlet Brian spotted a large whale off the beach that turned out to be a North Atlantic Right Whale! This species is quite rare, but migrates offshore of Cape Hatteras each winter. The last time we had seen one on our winter trips was in 2008 so this was quite awesome! This individual surfaced a few times and fluked twice while we were observing it! Definitely the "bird of the day" for me and an excellent ending to our winter trips from Hatteras for 2016...(photo by Ned Brinkley)
Thanks again to everyone who joined us offshore this winter & thank you to Ned Brinkley for helping us lead this trip. A big thank you to Middleton Evans & Mark Vukovich for allowing us to use their photos in the blog post! It was a gorgeous day offshore!
Northern Fulmar 4
Manx Shearwater 1
Red Phalarope 5
Glaucous Gull (first winter) 1
Forster's Tern 14
Royal Tern 1
Northern Right Whale 1!
Humpback Whale 3
Bottlenose Dolphin hundreds
Atlantic Spotted Dolphin 2
Loggerhead Turtle 3
Northern Gannet (Kate Sutherland)
Third winter Lesser Black-backed Gull (Kate Sutherland)
& some more photos courtesy of Middleton Evans (thank you!!) below:
Excellent takes on our "squadron" that followed us for most of the day!
Beautiful morning light on the Glaucous Gull
Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins
Humpback Whale off of the tri-villages