Saturday, May 25, 2013

Saturday May 25, 2013

It was still a bit windy this morning, so we did not leave the dock until just after 0600 once Brian decided the trip was a go.  There were some Sooty and Cory's Shearwaters flying on the way out and a Bridled Tern was spotted just before we slowed down and began chumming.  The wind was about 25-30 from the northwest so the seas were a bit challenging, but as the temperature gradually rose the first Black-capped Petrels were seen soon followed by a fast moving Fea's Petrel!  Though the look was brief, most participants were able to see (and perhaps even photograph!) the bird as it quickly passed us on the port side and flew off.  Wilson's Storm-Petrels made a better showing than yesterday and a Band-rumped Storm-Petrel also joined us in the slick for a short period.  Before noon another Bridled Tern was spotted on a board and was much more accommodating than the first staying perched and then taking off in good light!  Though there was quite a bit of scattered sargassum, Audubon's Shearwaters were scarce, but one individual popped up close to the boat making a close pass that allowed for excellent viewing.  Soon after, another Band-rumped Storm-Petrel flew across the bow and away, then a young Pomarine Jaeger joined us in the stern.  A little after 2 in the afternoon, another distant Fea's Petrel was spotted in the slick, and flew in to make a few close, satisfactory passes.  Though the numbers were a bit lower than we expected with all of the wind today, it turned out to be quite a nice day offshore, even without the Great Shearwaters we had yesterday...!

Thanks to everyone who joined us and tomorrow promises some wind, though slighter seas!  Thank you also to our leaders for today, Steve Howell, Dave Shoch, & Bob Fogg, for helping out and contributing photos for this post.  Participant Dough Koch also helped out with an amazing Fea's Petrel shot from today!

Fea's Petrel  2
Black-capped Petrel  6
Cory's Shearwater  22
Sooty Shearwater  12
Audubon's Shearwater  2
Wilson's Storm-Petrel  250-270
Band-rumped Storm-Petrel  2
Bridled Tern  2
tropical tern sp.  4
Pomarine Jaeger  1
jaeger sp.  1

Common Loon  2
Northern Gannet  2
Ruddy Turnstone  1
Laughing Gull  2
Common Tern  1
Barn Swallow  1

Bottlenose Dolphin  4
Spotted Dolphin  3
Loggerhead Turtle  1

First Fea's Petrel from the morning - Steve Howell
 Second Fea's Petrel (much better passes!!) - Doug Koch
 Bob Fogg
 Steve Howell
 An interesting Wilson's Storm-Petrel from the slick - Dave Shoch
 same individual - Bob Fogg
 Bridled Tern - Bob Fogg
 First summer Pomarine Jaeger - Steve Howell
 Same individual Pomarine Jaeger - Bob Fogg

1 comment:

  1. This was my first spring Pelagic...anywhere. I got 6 lifers this day; Fea's, Black-capped, Band-rumped, Audubon's, Pomarine, and Bridled. I was very satisfied. Missed Great but I have a reason to go back (and there's others). Brian and his crew were superb. Why Kate even checked on me to see if I had put the sunscreen on (I hadn't). I don't know how high the sea's were but my estimate would be about 100 feet! That's an exaggeration of course but sometimes it was all I could do to keep from rolling around the deck like an empty soda can! I only chummed once so thanks Bonine (Tip: If you see Steve H eating a banana, that doesn't mean it's a good thing for you to do! He kept his down.) Personally, I think pelagic birding is the most difficult and challenging birding one can do. Getting on seabirds with high powered optics on a tossing lurching boat is no easy task. I guess it depends on the sea's and one's experience. If you're prone to motion sickness, prepare well and in between your personal chumming, try to get on the birds. It help's take your mind off the problem and after all that's what you paid for, the birds. I had the chance to fill a cancelation spot for the next day, and I wanted to badly but, I'd had enough for one year. Brian, you didn't mention this in your pre-trip speech but it is possible to get a thorough full spine chiropractic adjustment on one of your trips if the sea's are co-operative, as they were today. My back felt like it used to 40 years ago for the next several days. Nice bonus (not intended to scare anyone). So, I saw no one had any comments to make, on any days, thus far. That's just not right. I totally enjoyed myself (except for a sixty second period after downing a banana about an hour earlier) and felt like the whole experience was conducted in a very professional manner by the entire Seabirding crew and for that I thank you all. Kerry Provance-Charlotte