On September 16th I went on my first trip out into the Atlantic Ocean to find pelagic birds. Yes, pelagic birds--those are birds that are normally out at sea, and some of them you haven't much of a prayer of seeing unless you go out there. I went on a boat with about 50 other people, and we had a great time. From what I've been told, we didn't see as many birds as are normally seen in September, but most everything I saw was new to me, and I went home with 9 life birds--birds I've never seen before in my entire life. I'm still learning about these birds, but I think I have all the identifications right.
The first birds we saw were Shearwaters. We saw three species: Audubon's, Cory's and Great Shearwaters. Most of what we saw were Cory's. In fact they were the stars of the day. We saw at least 30 of them, but only two Audubon's and one Great Shearwater.
Next we saw Terns. We saw both Black and Common Terns, which I've seen on shore before, but we also saw Sooty and Bridled Terns (mostly Sooty), which were completely new to me. Sooty and Bridled Terns look similar, but the Bridled has a white collar on the back of the neck. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a white collar on any of my presentable tern photos, so it looks like I only have photos of Sooty Terns.
We also saw Pomarine Jaegers. We found only one group of them, to my memory, around 8am, and there were about 5 of them.
We also saw several Black-capped Petrels and one Band-rumped Storm Petrel. I didn't get any usable photos of the Storm Petrel, but there were several Black-capped Petrels that came near the boat.
And lastly, we saw one shorebird, a Red-necked Phalarope, and several migrants, including several American Redstarts, one Prairie Warbler, and an Eastern Kingbird.
Awesome Scott! I need to go on a Pelagic. I think my favorite shot is that bullet Prairie Warbler though : ) That's how they migrate so far...ReplyDelete
Wow, it looks like you had a great trip!ReplyDelete
Beautiful series, Scott. The pelagic trips are addictive I would imagine. So I expect to see you on the boat during my first trip in the future.ReplyDelete