Pelagic Trip from Black Point Marina, 9/20/2014

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Sunrise over Miami
Canon Powershot G7 X
Sunday I went with some friends on a pelagic trip out to Miami.  I've never birded  in Miami-Dade County before, so I was hoping for some lifers.  We went out on Roberto Torres' boat, the Xenia V, out of the Black Point Marina, and he was fantastic.  He has a great boat, he knows what he's doing, and he's a birder who's as interested in the birds as we are.  It's a great combination. You can see his summary of our trip here.

Royal Terns Near the Jetty
We had west winds all day, though, so birds were sparse.  We didn't see a single shearwater the whole day, and we saw only a handful of Sooty Terns--no Bridled Terns, noddies or tropicbirds.  We did see a few jaegers though: one Pomarine Jaeger, one Long-tailed Jaeger, one other jaeger flying with it that was likely also a Long-tailed Jaeger (though we didn't get a good enough look to rule out Parasitic Jaeger definitively).

White-crowned Pigeon
A Lifer!
On the way out, we saw several White-crowned Pigeons flying over the mangroves.  These were the first I've ever seen.  The shot above was distant, but still identifiable.  When we got out to the lightouse tower, we saw many Magnificent Frigatebirds.  On the way back, there were 16 Brown Boobies resting at the tower.

Brown Booby
Brown Booby
Magnificent Frigatebird
Since there were so few birds to look at until we got out to 20 miles away from shore, and since we had little else to occupy ourselves, we had a little fun photographing what Bruce identified as a Common Yellowfloat. I suspect it was a lifer for all of us:

Common Yellowfloat
But it was a very good day nonetheless.  I had two lifers: White-crowned Pigeon and Long-tailed Jaeger, and I also saw my first ever Sperm Whales.  We likely saw 4 of them, and two of them came close enough for photos.  It's tough work getting photos that look remotely interesting of whales, but here's the best I got.

Sperm Whale
I was also excited that day to try out my new camera, the Canon Powershot G7 X.  My Canon Powershot S100HS was stolen, but the guy was caught, and I will receive restitution.  I had enough money saved up to upgrade it to the G7X.  I must say that so far I'm very impressed with this camera.

Here are some ID shots from the day.  I'm not a big fan of these shots, but I'm including them just for photo documentation.

Black Terns
We saw about 30 in flochs like this
Sooty Tern
Long-tailed Jaeger
We were moving at 20 knots, and the jaeger was even faster.
I couldn't get my camera to focus on the bird before it was just gone.