Thursday, May 20, 2021

Thursday May 20, 2021 - Spring is Here! - Kate Sutherland

 Winds were light from the north this morning when we reached the ocean and we had smooth running to the shelf break.  Not many birds around for that leg of our journey though we did have a handful of Red-necked Phalaropes and a Manx Shearwater.  When we slowed down, there wasn't much to see right away but a bird over a charter boat ahead looked promising...  Within a few minutes we had South Polar Skuas, a Pomarine Jaeger, and a Long-tailed Jaeger around us!

Wilson's began to gather in the slick, and the day just improved from there.  Just before 1030 we were watching Sooty Shearwaters feed in the slick, one was darting around and we thought we saw a Trindade Petrel back there...Brian turned the boat around and sure enough, there was a light morph individual right in the slick! 

This bird was super cooperative and made a number of close passes by the boat.  Yes, everyone saw it well!  During the 1130 period participant Daniel Irons spotted a flock of terns feeding with some shearwaters in the distance - it turned out to be a flock of Arctic Terns that showed well near the boat.  They returned when I put out a fresh chum block just after noon and had a Roseate Tern with them - wow!  Our first Great Shearwater of the season turned up there as well, and we had another before the day was out.  Overall a nice start to the Blitz - looks like a bit more wind tomorrow so we'll see what we can find!
Thanks to everyone who joined us today and a big thank you to Jacob Farmer for helping us lead this trip!  Happy Birthday Jacob!!  Roseate Tern :)
*all photos today by Kate Sutherland

Species List for May 20, 2021
Trindade Petrel - 1 light morph
Black-capped Petrel - 18 to 20
Cory's Shearwater (Atlantic) - 48
Scopoli's Shearwater - 1
Great Shearwater - 2
Sooty Shearwater - 22 to 26
Manx Shearwater - 2
Audubon's Shearwater - 12
Wilson's Storm-Petrel - 300+
Leach's Storm-Petrel - 1
Band-rumped Storm-Petrel - 1
South Polar Skua - 4
Pomarine Jaeger - 8 to 9
Long-tailed Jaeger - 1
Arctic Tern - 11
Roseate Tern - 1
Baltimore Oriole - 1
Barn Swallow - 1
Bottlenose Dolphin (offshore population) - 15+

Trindade Petrel
Light form Black-capped Petrel with almost no black around the eye!
A more typical Black-capped Petrel
Sooty Shearwaters were very attentive in the slick
Wilson's Storm-Petrel in the slick
South Polar Skua on the water
One of our Pomarine Jaegers
Young Arctic Tern
Some of the offshore Bottlenose Dolphins we saw surfing the waves!

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