There were plenty of birds moving on Sunday morning and we did not have to go much past Diamond Shoals to find some cold water. It got colder as we went, and we saw many Razorbills in the near shore waters (photo by Peter Flood).
A Great Skua was spotted flying up ahead of the boat and it landed on the water. We were able to get a bit closer before it took off, so everyone was able to see it. We also picked up some tubenoses as we traveled offshore. A Great Shearwater came to feed in the slick for a while and we had some Northern Fulmars visit us too (photo by Peter Flood).
By Monday morning the wind was already coming around to the southeast and it made for a confused sea. Nevertheless we made good time getting over to the north side and were soon among the auks. There were also a few gannets around, and less than an hour after crossing the shoals, a Great Skua came to see us (photo by Peter Flood).
Working back southward and closer to the shoals, we found an amazing concentration of Razorbills. A Common Murre molting into breeding plumage made a nice flyby. I had just about given up on seeing a puffin, but Kate spotted one ahead, while another was seen close to the boat (photo by Peter Flood).
I would like to thank everyone who joined us for this weekend’s trips. We set the bar pretty high last weekend, and it was nice to be able to match that diversity on Sunday. I would also like to thank our spotters, Kate Sutherland and Peter Flood for working the deck both days. Back to back winter trips can be a bit of a workout!
The eBird lists with all species seen can be found here Sunday 2/18 & Monday 2/19 but below is the list of target species for the two trips!
Species List Feb 18, 19
Northern Fulmar 3, 2
Black-capped Petrel 1, 0
Great Shearwater 1, 0
Manx Shearwater 2, 7
Great Skua 1, 1
Dovekie 2, 1
Common Murre 4, 3
Thick-billed Murre 2, 1
Razorbill 2500, 2087
Atlantic Puffin 3, 4
Black-legged Kittiwake 1, 0
Little Gull 1, 0
Humpback Whale 2, 3
Bottlenose Dolphin 45, 60
Harbor Seal 1, 0
Loggerhead Turtle 4, 0
Kemp's Ridley Turtle 1, 0
Thank you to Peter Flood for allowing us to use his photos for this post, here are a few more (all photos unless noted by Peter Flood)!
Great Shearwater from Sunday's trip, this bird fed with the gulls and gannets behind the boat for awhile, diving for fish!
Another image of the Great Skua from Monday
One of the young Razorbills on the water from Sunday morning
This was a nice treat to have a Common Murre (L) and Razorbill (R) pose for us right next to the boat!
One of the Loggerhead Turtles we had on Sunday