Today was the same as yesterday, in that it was different from every other day, the classic pelagic situation where habitats come and go overnight with wind and current. Overall it was a very pleasant sunny day with generally low seas and light Southeast winds. We headed out of the inlet as a burning red sun emerged from sleep over the Cape Hatteras lighthouse and our commute offshore featured a Northern Gannet, the expected Cory’s-type and Sooty Shearwaters, plus a Pomarine Jaeger and a bonus Leatherback Turtle, rarely seen here in spring. Slowing down in the blue water around the shelf break we found some Audubon’s Shearwaters and had a nice show of flyingfish before the chum block attracted its first customers—diminutive Wilson’s Storm-petrels, all the way from Antarctic breeding grounds to spend their “winter” here before heading back south in September to breed in the land of ice. Here’s an adult with obvious wing molt.
Not again—just another frame-filling view of South Polar Skua!
Thanks to everyone who joined us out there today, plus spotters Peter Flood and Steve (N G) Howell—Steve also wrote the blog. See (some of) you out there again tomorrow, and spaces remain for any who would like to come.
Species list for May 28, 2019:
Black-capped Petrel - 33 to 35
Cory's Shearwater - 37 to 39
Scopoli's Shearwater - 1
Great Shearwater - 1
Sooty Shearwater - 4 to 5
Audubon's Shearwater - 15 to 17
Wilson's Storm-Petrel - 45 to 50
Leach's Storm-Petrel - 2
Band-rumped Storm-Petrel - 3
South Polar Skua - 2
Pomarine Jaeger - 1
Parasitic Jaeger - 1
Common/Arctic Tern - 1
Bottlenose Dolphin (offshore) - about 20
Leatherback Turtle - 1
Loggerhead Turtle - 1
Flyingfish, an immature stage of species unknown, perhaps growing up to become...