Monday, June 4, 2012

Monday June 4, 2012

"Swinhoe's Storm-Petrel right here on the stern - the closest bird!" These were words we didn't expect to hear today, and sadly our expectations were met... Instead, the last day of our Spring Blitz started quite windy, again from the southwest, and switched to west but dropped off in the afternoon for a pleasant ride home. The morning wind made for great views of numerous Black-capped Petrels arcing up high, with most being of the enigmatic (and less numerous) white-faced type, whose breeding grounds still appear to be unknown. We also enjoyed good views of the other regular Gulf Stream species - Cory's and Audubon's Shearwaters, and 'Band-rumped' Storm-Petrels (winter-breeding birds in wing molt, presumed to be Grant's). Wilson's Storm-Petrels stayed with us most of the day and gave some great photo ops, but as on most days this spring their numbers were fairly low - because of ocean conditions or wind directions or some other factor(s)? As always, much to see and much to learn out on the ocean – what will see next weekend?

Black-capped Petrel   19
Cory's Shearwater   9
Audubon's Shearwater   17
Wilson's Storm-Petrel   75
Band-rumped Storm-Petrel   2
Pomarine Jaeger   2

Spotted Dolphin   4
Bottlenose Dolphin (inshore)   2

Black-capped Petrel (White-faced type)

 Audubon's Shearwaters on the water
Wilson's Storm-Petrels in the slick

first summer Pomarine Jaeger

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