There were a few shearwaters and some Short-finned Pilot Whales in this cooler water, but not too many Black-capped Petrels, so I headed north to see if the petrels were closer to the hot fast water. Along the way, we started to see a few more birds so we slowed down to chum. Within minutes, a Trindade Petrel came in to sniff out the slick. It stayed in view for a while but never came super close to the boat. Nevertheless, we got a few photos and it was nice to compare it to Back-capped Petrels and Cory’s Shearwaters. Photo by Steve Howell
We kept pushing northward closer to the hot water and went through a vast area of scattered Sargassum. There we saw several individual Audubon’s Shearwaters and a couple of pairs sitting together, but no Bridled Terns. The terns are easier to find when the Sargassum is lined up on a current edge and there is enough flotsam for perches. There were a few Band-rumped and Wilson’s Storm-Petrels around, but overall the storm-petrel numbers were quite low. A couple of weeks of offshore wind is not good for finding storm-petrels here, but we did eventually find a Leach’s Storm-Petrel, so we got all three of the expected species for June.
Around midday we were in the hot fast water and I planned to take it up the northeast, but the current was running inshore instead of up the break. It was also devoid of life, so I decided to jog back south where we had seen a few birds and work inshore from there. We found a few birds back in the blended water, but no new species for the day. Our best find for the afternoon was a couple of Cuvier’s Beaked Whales. Photo by Steve Howell
Today was our ninth consecutive trip, and I would like to thank our crew of leaders for their unceasing efforts. Today we had Kate Sutherland, Steve Howell, Peter Flood, and our greenhorn, Sage Church. Steve and Pete have headed home, but Kate, Sage and I will be back out on Friday and Saturday and there is plenty of space for others to join us. It looks like we get some northeasterly winds for a couple of day before we start so it should be great birding by the end of the week.
Trip List June 4, 2017
Trindade Petrel 1
Black-capped Petrel 16
Cory's Shearwater 31
Audubon's Shearwater 24
Wilson's Storm-Petrel 22
Leach's Storm-Petrel 1
Band-rumped Storm-Petrel 8
Laughing Gull 1
Common Tern 2
jaeger sp. 1
Cuvier's Beaked Whale 2
Short-finned Pilot Whale 12-14
Sunrise by Steve Howell
Another record shot of the Trindade Petrel by Peter Flood
Dorsal view of a Scopoli's Shearwater by Peter Flood
Ventral view of one by Steve Howell
We were able to approach some shearwaters on the water as well, these both looked like they were perhaps the nominate type of Cory's Shearwater (Scopoli's) by Peter Flood
Audubon's Shearwaters were quite cooperative today!
And finally one of the Band-rumped Storm-Petrels from today, photos show it is growing p8, so still finishing molt like the Grant's type - by Steve Howell