Thursday, May 26, 2022

A Day to the East ~ 26 May 2022 by Kate Sutherland

Winds were forecast to be light southeast today, but instead we had more westerly wind as we headed out this morning.  Brian decided to head a bit more to the east and it was a good choice!  We had nice diversity all day and while Black-cappeds were not as hungry as they were yesterday, a few still made some stops to pick up some chum!  Shearwaters were a big feature in the slick today, especially hungry Greats (Kate Sutherland).
They were not easy on the Pomarine Jaeger who joined us to grab some pieces of Menhaden from the frozen chum and there was a lot of vocalizing going on behind us!  I fed them some fish and it was really cool to see how quickly the shearwaters could get a piece of chum on the water (much faster than the Pom!), but when it came to trying to capture a piece in the air the Pom ruled! (Peter Flood) 
At one point a nice Scopoli's Shearwater came to visit the slick and spent some time behind us with the Greats giving everyone ample time to study this smaller relative of the Atlantic Cory's.  Sooty Shearwaters were around and we had some in the slick for most of the day then a nice flight as we approached Hatteras Inlet in the afternoon. (Kate Sutherland) 
In addition to the Pomarine Jaegers we had a smaller jaeger fly in to the boat during the 1030 period that turned out to be an immature Long-tailed Jaeger, the first for the Blitz this year.  It made a nice pass by the stern and then went to harass some storm-petrels in the slick for a bit! (Kyle Kittelberger) 
Band-rumped Storm-Petrels were cooperative towards the end of the day and we finally had some nice passes in the slick during the 1230 to 1330 period.  On our way back to the inlet we found some slicks with some phalaropes on them - they turned out to be Red-necked Phalaropes with one Red and we all enjoyed watching these small shorebirds feeding next to the boat - a nice end to a full day offshore here! (Peter Flood)

Thanks so much to everyone who joined us and to Peter Flood and Kyle Kittelberger for helping us lead the trip!  Tomorrow the winds will be different and who knows what the Gulf Stream will bring!  We'll keep you posted...

Species List for 26 May
Red-necked Phalarope - 65
Red Phalarope - 1
Pomarine Jaeger - 2 to 3
Long-tailed Jaeger - 1
Laughing Gull - 1
Common Tern - 2
Wilson's Storm-Petrel - 220 to 240
Band-rumped Storm-Petrel - 12
Black-capped Petrel - 50 to 52
Scopoli's Shearwater - 3
Atlantic Cory's Shearwater - 11
Cory's / Scopoli's - 64
Great Shearwater - 5 to 7
Sooty Shearwater - 52
Manx Shearwater - 1
Audubon's Shearwater - 25 to 26

Risso's Dolphins - 6 to 7
Loggerhead Turtle - 1
Portuguese Man of War - 1

Black-capped Petrel - this one looked like it could perhaps be a recently fledged individual (Kate Sutherland) 
Shearwaters (Peter Flood) Scopoli's, Great, and Sooty
One of the cooperative Band-rumped Storm-Petrels (Kate Sutherland)
Pomarine Jaeger (top Peter Flood, bottom Kate Sutherland)
And a shot of one of the Risso's Dolphins (Kate Sutherland), it was great to see them out there today!  First time we have seen them this spring, though we did have a few on our winter trips from Oregon Inlet this year! 

No comments:

Post a Comment