Friday, June 6, 2014

Friday June 6, 2014

Yesterday's southwesterly winds were strong all day and most of the night, but by this morning, though the swell was from the south, the winds were light from the north east!  Beautiful day to be out there!  The swell made it a bit challenging to get where we wanted to go in a timely fashion this morning, but the birds were hungry and once we set out with our slick, there was always activity behind us!  Cory's Shearwaters were inshore this morning and the Great Shearwaters have arrived!  Here are photos of a juvenile bird (top) and a second year individual (bottom):
Wilson's Storm-Petrels came in readily to the chum, though it took us some time to get everyone aboard a good look at a Band-rumped.  A molting individual pictured here:
We found sargassum out in the deep and a Bridled Tern perched on a sandal spiced up the late morning
while Audubon's Shearwaters, also typically found with this brown algae, were very cooperative making nice passes and sitting on the water.
Black-capped Petrel numbers were up from our last outing and we had excellent views close to the boat most of the day!
While the species list is not huge, it was an awesome day to be out there.  Thanks to everyone who joined us, and a big thanks to Steve Howell and Jeff Lemons for helping lead the trip.  We're glad to have Steve back with us, even if it is for just a short three days...thanks to Steve as well for providing the images for today's post!

Pretty fresh looking Black-capped followed by two photos of individuals in heavy molt
Amazingly enough, for a period of time, the only Cory's type shearwater behind the boat was the nominate type, also known as Scopoli's Shearwater (pictured below)
Photo of an Atlantic Cory's (note the reduced white in the underprimaries):
By the end of the day we had Black-capped Petrel, Great Shearwater, & a Laughing Gull all feeding in the slick with the Wilson's!
 Pilot Whales & Bottlenose Dolphins were the cetaceans seen well today!

Black-capped Petrel  41
Cory's Shearwater  42
Great Shearwater  24-27
Audubon's Shearwater  47
Wilson's Storm-Petrel  405-460
Band-rumped Storm-Petrel  9-10
Bridled Tern  2

Laughing Gull  1
Common Tern  2

Pilot Whale  35-45
Bottlenose Dolphin  15-20

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