Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Discovery Series - September 6, 2014 by Brian Patteson

It was good to get out again after a few days ashore, we don't usually run many trips in September.  There are too many other birds migrating south to make a late summer pelagic trip draw lots of interest. But fortunately for us, we only need a few people to run a trip on the F/V Skua, so away we went on September 6 with a full boat.  The weather had been hot and stagnant for days leading up to the trip, but the current had picked up so we were optimistic that some birds would be moving through with the Gulf Stream.  Cloudy and choppy conditions during the morning made it tough to see erratically flying terns, but we did have some nice Bridled Terns along a weedline inshore of the shelf break.  Heading out to the deep, we were pushed back by a thunderstorm, but the accompanying winds brought some Black-capped Petrels.  Overall the birding was a bit slow but we saw all of the expected species ending up with eight pelagic seabirds for the day.  The wind picked up during the afternoon and evening, and on Sunday morning, seas were a bit rough.  There were also many powerful thunderstorms in our way for getting out to the deep, so we decided it was best to cancel the Sunday trip.  We still have space on this weekend's trip aboard the Stormy Petrel II.  It looks like we might get one or two cold fronts pushing through before then too, so maybe some Long-tailed Jaegers and a Sabine's Gull are on the way...

Black-capped Petrel  16
Cory's Shearwater  34
Audubon's Shearwater  4
Wilson's Storm-Petrel  60-65
Red-necked Phalarope  5
Sooty Tern  10
Bridled Tern  8
Onychoprion sp.  6
Pomarine Jaeger  1
white egret sp - prob. Snowy
Ruddy Turnstone  3
shorebird sp  3
Atlantic Spotted Dolphin  8-11

Looking to the east in the morning (Kate Sutherland)
 The view ahead as we motored offshore aboard the F/V Skua (Kate Sutherland)
Excellent Black-capped Petrel photo by Kyle Kittelberger
 Cory's Shearwater by Brian Patteson
 One of our loyal Wilson's Storm-Petrels by Kate Sutherland
A very cooperative, perched Bridled Tern - photo by Brian Patteson
 In the afternoon we found three Ruddy Turnstones with a couple of Red-necked Phalaropes flying along a grassline!!  photo by Brian Patteson
(updated to add trip list 9/10/14 updated to add J. Ferdinand's photo link 9/24/14)
photos from Johannes Ferdinand's visit to the Gulf Stream (from Germany) can be seen here 

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