Tuesday, September 10, 2013

September 7 - Overnight Pelagic trip

After several years of trying to get on this trip I finally was able to set the date and make it !   This trip departs the marina at 10 pm and then powers out over 6 hours to reach the Continental Shelf just before dawn.
At first light we had several Wilson's Storm Petrels, and a Band-Rumped Storm Petrel that I missed.  Fortunately I was able to get a fair view of this species later in the morning, thanks to trip leader Paul Guris showing us the bird.    We also got brief, but definitive, views of three of the Leach's Storm Petrels.   We came across some small flocks of Red-Necked Phalaropes in their basic plumage.

The day was filled with Cory's Shearwaters & Audubon's Shearwaters, but unfortunately we didn't come across any of the Great Shearwater.   The bird of the day has to be the adult Pomarine Jaeger that came very close to our boat.  Here's a fantastic pic taken by Larry Scacchetti.  It captures the bird's eye looking in our direction, as if it were viewing our boat.

click to enlarge
credit:  Larry Scacchetti

Another highlight occurred with the juvenile Long-Tailed Jaeger that also made a close pass at the boat.  This was ABA Lifer# 627 for me !

Finally, a huge treat was seeing several Bridled Terns.  I had not seen this species since a brief view back in 2003, so it was great to see a handful of these birds and to see them at close range while in flight, as well as, perched on some flotsam.

click to enlarge

credit: Larry Scacchetti