Saturday, June 7, 2014

Saturday June 7, 2014

Today's winds were moderate from the east northeast for most of the day.  Again we did not find too much Gulf Stream current out there in the deep, but there was scattered sargassum and even a nice line or two offshore.  We added some species to the weekend list and everything today was seen well!  Thanks to everyone who joined us and thanks to Steve Howell & Jeff Lemons for helping to lead the trip.  Another thank you to Steve for the photos that will tell the story of the day...!

A warm welcome to my nephew (yes, my younger twin sisters both had babies...!) Daniel Milton Head who was born today at 2:24 pm - 7 pounds 13 ounces and 21 inches.  His daddy's in the Coast Guard (Barnegat Light, NJ) so I'm sure he'll be out with us in the future!!  He gets the Manx Shearwater while niece Hazel has the White-tailed Tropicbird (May 29)!

One of the first birds this morning was a young Long-tailed Jaeger, a species not seen at all yesterday!
Another species that was such a treat today was this Manx Shearwater that flew in to the slick and then spent the next 30 minutes or so following and feeding there!
 You can see the white undertail here and even the feet projecting beyond the tip of the tail!
Note the differences in this Audubon's Shearwater (pictured below) with the Manx above!  They are much slimmer, lighter weight birds than the Manx with that longer tail (dark undertail) and whiter face!
We did see a few Black-capped Petrels in varying stages of molt (as seen below!) and they made some nice passes by the boat!
It was a challenge to keep track of the different individual Great Shearwaters that were coming and going behind us in the slick!  Here is a rarely seen third year individual:
 And the more commonly seen juvenile individual!
A couple of Sooty Shearwaters visited the slick over the course of the day and were very dynamic in their activity!  They followed us well and dove behind the boat on the chum!
Scopoli's Shearwaters (nominate Cory's, pictured below) were fairly numerous in the slick today as well as the Atlantic Cory's!  We even had one Cory's diving in the slick behind the boat for pieces of fish!
We had a number of Leach's Storm-Petrels today and they showed well behind and around the boat so everyone had good views!
Band-rumpeds were more cooperative than yesterday!  Here are photos of a fresh individual (below) and a molting individual (second photo)
Also seen...Bottlenose Dolphin!

Black-capped Petrel  16
Cory's Shearwater  38
Great Shearwater  28-38
Sooty Shearwater  2-3
Manx Shearwater  2
Audubon's Shearwater  40
Wilson's Storm-Petrel  385-460
Leach's Storm-Petrel  5-7
Band-rumped Storm-Petrel  17-20
Long-tailed Jaeger  2

yellowlegs  1
Bottlenose Dolphin  3-4

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