Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Monday 3 June 2024 - Spring Blitz Day 13

The final day was a bit breezy from the west and southwest...not windy, but more breeze than we had yesterday. As we circled to check out a Band-rumped Storm-Petrel feeding in the slick a Manx Shearwater zipped in to check out the slick too!! It flew by quite close and everyone had great views and we were able to compare it with the smaller more commonly seen Audubon's Shearwaters. Pomarine and Parasitic Jaegers also paid us nice visits. Our Black-capped Petrels were around, though we didn't see as many as we have been seeing this spring, and we had great views of Band-rumped and Leach's Storm-Petrels in the slick with the smaller Wilson's. Check out our trip list and report here:

And here are a few images from our trip today by me, Kate Sutherland.
Gorgeous Manx Shearwater
Parasitic Jaeger, one of two individuals we saw over the course of the day
Scopoli's Shearwater - we had at least seven today
Band-rumped Storm-Petrels - one molting, Grant's type, and one that is not molting and definitely not a juvenile...so one of those we call "little Band-rumpeds"
Great Shearwater taking the bait! We have been pulling these rigged squid (no hooks of course, and we feed them squid and fish, so not too much teasing...) this spring just waiting for the Greats to arrive - they are tenacious shearwaters! You can only imagine what goes on with all of the fishing boats and baited hooks around this time of year...
One of the Offshore Bottlenose Dolphins we had out there as well

Sunday, June 2, 2024

Sunday 2 June 2024 - Spring Blitz Day 12

Well, it was a great day out there with a quick glimpse of a Bermuda Petrel out there this afternoon after a smashing success with storm-petrels and shearwaters plus our always gorgeous Black-capped Petrels in the slick and pretty much all around! Check our our public report and species list here:

Day 12 in a row is catching up to me so here are a few images from the day, minus the Cahow (Bermuda Petrel) since I was deploying a chum block at the time it came by... -Kate Sutherland

Black-capped Petrel - light form
Black-cappeds on the water
Scopoli's Shearwater, we haven't seen many of these this year, but today had nice views
Atlantic Cory's Shearwater
Great Shearwater in the slick
Band-rumped Storm-Petrel (Grant's type)
Leach's were out there in good numbers today
A Wilson's right after a quick dive for some chum!

Saturday, June 1, 2024

Saturday 1 June 2024 - Spring Blitz Day 11

And as Brian would say these are just the conditions we have been waiting for! Today was just one of those days that was filled to the brim with incredible experiences...winds were still from the north but not as strong as the past couple of days and the habitat was there. We found flocks of feeding shearwaters offshore, we even had Atlantic Cory's chasing flyingfish on the shelf this morning! It was a nice day to be out there. Just before 0930 a light morph Trindade Petrel flew in to see us for a short moment - it seemed to be moving with one of the feeding flocks we saw out there offshore. Leach's Storm-Petrels were around in good numbers and they came close to the boat for excellent views. We were sweating it with the Band-rumpeds...but they showed up on the inshore tack and everyone got to see them well also!
A Gervais' Beaked Whale breached right next to us while we were out there and we got to observe this one and another on the surface for almost ten minutes - definitely not something that happens regularly with these deep diving cetaceans. As we moved back on to the shelf Daniel hooked a Sailfish that he brought to the boat for some incredibly close views and then a release! 

Check out the list and eBird report here:

And a few images by Kate Sutherland 🙂
The Trindade Petrel!
Gervais' Beaked Whale!!! Wow!
The Sailfish as it was released by participant Pete Janzen - thanks Pete!!

Friday, May 31, 2024

Friday 31 May 2024 - Spring Blitz Day 10

It was another breezy day out there with winds from the north and north northeast at over 20 mph for most of our time offshore! And while that was great yesterday, this morning we had some lines of thunderstorms moving offshore that could have pushed some of the birds we were looking for a bit farther. We had a great day even with low diversity and the views of our "usual suspects" were incredible with the seabirds flying in the wind! On the shelf in the morning we had a distant Brown Booby which was a nice addition to our species list for the day, and offshore we had an incredible Black-capped Petrel show...not quite what we saw yesterday, but close! Wilson's Storm-Petrels were out there in good numbers with over 200 counted for the day and we were lucky to have close views of both Leach's and Band-rumpeds. Cory's and Audubon's Shearwaters were also seen well and it seems the shearwater numbers are hopefully increasing as we move into June tomorrow. We have three more days of this run so we'll make the rest of the trips and have our first full daily blitz in a few years.

Check out our trip list and short report here:

And here are a few images from today by Kate Sutherland
Black-capped Petrel with a squid we fed it again today!! Wow!
Band-rumped Storm-Petrel coming in and over the slick
One of the offshore Bottlenose Dolphins as it re-entered the water
And a sampling of flyingfishes!

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Thursday 30 May 2024 - Spring Blitz Day 9

Oh what a little wind from another direction will do for us! We had a great day out there with winds about 20 to 25 mph from the north and some nice current in the Gulf Stream. Black-capped Petrels were incredible and very responsive to the chum making awesome passes by the boat on the two drifts we spent time on with our chum blocks. We had a surprise pass by a Brown Booby on one drift then found our first young Great Shearwater of the season and decided to spend some time with it on the chum...Black-cappeds were definitely interested as well and repeatedly swooped down to investigate. All the while our Wilson's Storm-Petrels were chatting and feeding close to the boat as Captain Brian maneuvered so we could stay with the block. On our inshore tack a curious Fea's Petrel zipped into the slick and made some passes for everyone to have a great look - then it came back for a second pass! Overall a great day! Check out our list at the link below:

Here are a few images I captured of some of the highlights (Kate Sutherland)
Fea's Petrel
Brown Booby
Black-capped Petrel picking up a squid we decided to feed it
Band-rumped Storm-Petrels
And some of our really cooperative Wilson's!