Sunday, July 8, 2012

July 7 & 8, 2012

Birding was excellent this weekend in spite of persistent southwesterly winds and swift current (moving about 5kts with the wind) in the Gulf Stream.  Highlights of the weekend were Trindade Petrel, Brown Booby, and finally some better numbers of Black-capped Petrels!  A light Trindade Petrel popped up in the slick on Saturday a few minutes past noon and quickly flew upwind of the slick reducing our chances of recruiting it for a better view, but at least most had a quick look!  Minutes later a Brown Booby, preceded in flight by a young Pomarine Jaeger, flew right up the port side and sat on the water ahead allowing a fairly close approach!  The jaeger was feeding on something that looked to be an eel? Interesting sighting since we had a Cory's Shearwater this spring with a similar looking creature in tow. Sunday turned up a Bridled Tern that we pursued in fairly large seas before it decided to just fly in to us moments later.
Otherwise, we had the usual suspects offshore both days with more consistent Black-capped Petrels than we encountered this spring.  Black-faced individuals with intermediates composed the majority with just a handful of white-faced birds seen over the weekend.  The Black-cappeds were very responsive to the chum, making nice close passes when we stopped to drift.  While we found some Band-rumped Storm-Petrels on Saturday, Sunday's birds were more cooperative and everyone had great views!  Cory's, Great, and Audubon's Shearwaters were seen on both trips, with better looks at Audubon's on Saturday, and while we did not have the numbers sometimes encountered this time of year, Wilson's Storm-Petrels were with us in the slick for most of each trip.
As most of the east coast suffered through some of the hottest days on record this weekend, we were lucky to have some wind offshore keeping us fairly cool and comfortable (even if it was a little bumpy!).  We would like to thank everyone who ventured offshore with us over the weekend!

Saturday July 7, 2012
Trindade Petrel   1
Black-capped Petrel   30-35
Cory's Shearwater   11
Great Shearwater   9
Audubon's Shearwater   13
Wilson's Storm-Petrel   108-128
Band-rumped Storm-Petrel   6-7
tropical tern sp.   1
Brown Booby   1
Pomarine Jaeger   1

Sunday July 8, 2012
Black-capped Petrel   33-38
Cory's Shearwater   19
Great Shearwater   17-18
Audubon's Shearwater   6
Wilson's Storm-Petrel   101-106
Band-rumped Storm-Petrel   6-8
Bridled Tern   1

Photos July 7:
Black-faced Black-capped Petrel

 Brown Booby!
 young Pomarine Jaeger feeding

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