Sunday, May 22, 2022

22 May 2022 by Kate Sutherland

The day began with more of the same wind we've been having, south west, blowing a little bit more than it was yesterday morning...maybe 16 or 17 mph.  So it was a little choppy on our ride to the shelf break.  However, we crossed two nice current edges with the second a bit harder than the first with some smoother water offshore of it.  This was where we found our only Audubon's Shearwaters of the day, plus one flyby Red-necked Phalarope.  It took some time for the Wilson's Storm-Petrels to gather in the slick and the first larger tubenose of the morning was a nice Atlantic Cory's Shearwater! (photo Peter Flood) 
We had some excellent views of them today.  Not long after that we began to see some Black-capped Petrels.  They kept their distance today except for when they were expressing displeasure (yes, I know, anthropomorphizing!) at seeing Pomarine Jaegers in the slick! (photo Peter Flood) 
We had our first Pom in the 0930 period and then had two more visit us, the third following us for close to three hours.  The first Band-rumped Storm-Petrel appeared just after 1000 and we had excellent views of them for the rest of the day in the slick! (photo Kate Sutherland) 
All of the individuals except for maybe one, were molting, indicating the winter breeding population, presumably "Grant's" type.  At the end of the day, clouds rolled in and the wind picked up to about 20 to 23 mph and became more west south west.  The slick came alive and we had our Pomarine Jaeger (photo Kate Sutherland),
Black-cappeds, a couple of Cory's types, Wilson's, and Band-rumpeds all putting on a good show as we approached the shelf break.  Pomarine Jaeger was a new species for the Blitz and it was good to see a few out there today.  Tomorrow the wind will be a bit different, so we'll see how that translates offshore - west - maybe will blow the birds out?  Or perhaps carry our scent and lure them to us - regardless, we'll be out there to see.

Thanks so much to everyone who joined us today!  And thanks to our leaders, Peter Flood and Jason Denesevich, for helping Brian and I lead the trip.

Species List May 22, 2022
Red-necked Phalarope - 1
Pomarine Jaeger - 3
Common Tern - 1
Wilson's Storm-Petrel - 160 to 180
Band-rumped Storm-Petrel - 8 to 11
Black-capped Petrel - 26 to 30
Atlantic Cory's Shearwater - 9 
Cory's / Scopoli's - 5
Audubon's Shearwater - 2
Audubon's / Manx - 1
shorebird species - 3

A couple more Black-capped Petrel images (Kate Sutherland) - top a paler individual and a darker one below.
Another Band-rumped Storm-Petrel image by Peter Flood
A couple of Wilson's Storm-Petrels by Kate Sutherland - as I mentioned above, they were super cooperative at the end of the day!

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