Hurricane Sam was passing to the east of Bermuda over the weekend giving us just a bit of uncertainty about how much swell would reach us here in Hatteras and if it would cause any trouble for us getting across the bar and to the sea via Hatteras Inlet. We were very happy to find things were quite nice for us to get out on Saturday with a long period easterly swell and north easterly winds setting us up for some good conditions for seabirding! Reports of shearwaters on the shelf had us searching the horizon as we headed offshore. Around 0830 we found a nice flock of over a hundred shearwaters giving us the opportunity to show everyone Cory's, Scopoli's, Great,
It was interesting to see the Black-cappeds exhibiting this behavior for a fulmar, because we typically see them harassing dark jaegers and skuas in this fashion. A few petrels flying up behind the target bird and coming close, but not making contact, before veering away. As many as six or seven Black-cappeds would work together to chase the fulmar, seeming to harass it and encourage it to leave the area.
Once we got back to the shelf in the afternoon activity died down a bit so we picked up some speed to head back to the inlet. As we were running along some of our participants saw what looked like a jaeger back at 0500, some distance from the boat. Brian turned around to check it out and we found quite a nice little condition with some Sargassum and a number of birds!! A young Long-tailed Jaeger was the bird that got our attention first and as we watched it it flew up into the sky in pursuit of something...
Thank you to everyone who joined us this weekend and thanks to Ed Corey for helping us to lead the trip! Always a joy! Photos in the post today are all mine - we might add some from Ed next week.
Species List for October 2, 2021
Northern Fulmar - 1
Black-capped Petrel - 58 to 71
Cory's Shearwater - 11
Scopoli's Shearwater - 11
Cory's / Scopoli's Shearwater - 216
Great Shearwater - 24
Audubon's Shearwater - 34
Wilson's Storm-Petrel - 60
Red-necked Phalarope - 7
Sabine's Gull - 1 immature
Long-tailed Jaeger - 1 immature
jaeger species - 1
Herring Gull - 3
Bottlenose Dolphin (Offshore population) - 11 to 12
Also seen on the shelf:
Lesser Black-backed Gull - 1
Laughing Gull - 24 to 26
Common Tern - 103
Atlantic Spotted Dolphin - 7
First, a few more images of the Black-capped Petrels and Northern Fulmar...
Black-capped Petrels were looking pretty sharp out there!
One of the flyingfish that we encountered! This individual doesn't seem to show dark pectoral fins like a blackwing flyer (Hirundichthys rondeletii), but otherwise looks quite similar to one. Always interesting to see, photograph, and attempt to identify these awesome fishes!