Our first trips of the summer were scheduled for July 30 and 31 and while the weather was perfect leading up to the weekend, the wind breezed up on Friday causing us to cancel the departure on the 30th. We had a group from Buffalo, NY organized by our friend Alec Humann and we wanted to get them offshore for at least two days...so we planned to go on the 31st and the 1st. Again, the weather was just not cooperative for two days offshore! So we made it on one, Saturday, and it poured rain just as we were meeting for the safety briefing. Boarding was delayed, but finally we were underway by 0610.
A few Royal Terns accompanied us to the shelf break, hunting for flying fishes put up by the boat, but other than those, birds were scarce on our way offshore. Once we reached the shelf break we slowed and began to chum and the day really took off! We had Scopoli's, Great, and Audubon's Shearwaters right off the bat and some Wilson's began to gather in the slick. It seemed like they were hungry, so we began the day with a short drift to see what might come in. Black-capped Petrels were obliging and since many of our participants had never been offshore with us, there was some excitement when the first individual came in to the slick (Kate Sutherland).
Since we were only able to get offshore for one day, we were super lucky it was as seabird packed as it was! Thank you to Alec for garnering so much support for these first summer trips of 2021 and to Ed Corey and Andrew Rapp for helping us to lead the trip!
Species List for July 31, 2021
Black-capped Petrel - 23 to 25
Cory's Shearwater - 5
Scopoli's Shearwater - 37
Cory's / Scopoli's Shearwater - 37
Great Shearwater - 17
Audubon's Shearwater - 18 to 19
Wilson's Storm-Petrel - 220 to 250
Leach's Storm-Petrel - 2 to 3
Band-rumped Storm-Petrel - 5
White-faced Storm-Petrel - 1
Red-necked Phalarope - 5
Sooty Tern - 1
Sooty / Bridled Tern - 3
Royal Tern - 1
Whimbrel - 1
Semipalmated Sandpiper - 1
Semipalmated Plover - 1
shorebird sp - 3
peep sp - 1
Bottlenose Dolphin (offshore type) - about 40
Atlantic Spotted Dolphin - 6
green darner - 1
wandering glider - 1
Another angle on the White-faced Stormie (Kate Sutherland)
Another Black-capped Petrel image by Ed Corey showing the diagnostic white uppertail that makes them easy to identify at a distance.
Audubon's Shearwaters were also very obliging! These small black and white shearwaters can sometimes be difficult to see well offshore. (Kate Sutherland)