since there were a number of posts about this upcoming trip, I
thought I would forward the results. You can check www.massbird.org
for pointers to the archives on the web for additional posts.
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>From: Ida Giriunas [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
>Sent: Sunday, July 22, 2007 6:59 PM
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: Brookline Bird Club Pelagic trip from Cape Cod to Hydrographer's
>Canyon and beyond.
>Since there has been some recent discussion recently about our Pelagic
>Trips, you may be interested in the report of our trip on 8/21/07 which
> (sent by Ida Giriunas)
>SATURDAY, 21 JULY 2007:
>BROOKLINE BIRD CLUB 'Extreme Pelagic' from HYANNIS, MA to VEATCH'S &
>Weather: Mostly overcast, N-NNW winds 5-10 knots, a few showers, 59-65 F.
>Seas: 3-6 feet in AM, subsiding to 2-4 feet in PM.
>Visibility: Generally good to excellent.
> Every trip to these waters is an adventure into the last true frontier of
>New England ornithology.
> Roughly seventy-seven participants plus the captain and crew of the
>"Helen H" departed Hyannis at 0400 hrs., crossing Nantucket Shoals (sea
>surface temperatures of 58 F) en route to the warm deep waters around
>Veatch's and Hydrographer Canyons. We cruised the east side of Veatch's and
>continued southeast well off the shelf edge into water more than 5000 feet
>deep and 75 degrees F for a couple of hours before working northeast
>recrossing the continental shelf edge to Hydrographer Canyon, then back NNW
>across Nantucket Shoals to Nantucket Sound, arriving back in port around
> Try as we might we did not come up with a Pterodroma or any rare
>storm-petrels ... this time, but we did encounter many of the expected warm
>water seabirds species, highlighted by three (!) Bridled Terns, tying the
>state single day high count for the species (from Martha's Vineyard during
>Hurricane Bob in 1991). We also enjoyed an outstanding cetacean show with
>no less than six species of whales and dolphins encountered.
>Common Loon (9): Nantucket Shoals.
>Cory's Shearwater (30): Southern Nantucket Shoals.
>'SCOPOLI'S SHEARWATER', C. d. diomedea (2-3): Southern edge Nantucket
>Shoals; smaller Mediterranean race of Cory's; mixed in roosting flocks of
>bulkier, bigger billed borealis Cory's; probably not rare in these waters as
>we are coming to realize. Smaller size, shorter and more slender bill, and
>white projecting onto underside of primaries (noted on at least one
>Greater Shearwater (110): Shoals and deep shelf/canyon waters.
>Sooty Shearwater (28): All Nantucket Shoals.
>Manx Shearwater (4+): Nantucket Shoals.
>Puffinus sp. (Manx/Audubon's) (2-3): A couple sitting (and flying) with
>Cory's on the southern shoals left some observers (including me) uncertain,
>while other observers thought them rather obvious Manx.
>AUDUBON'S SHEARWATER (3+): Shelf waters, vicinity Hydrographer Canyon; not
>at all rare here but is a specialty of these warm New England shelf waters.
>Wilson's Storm-Petrel (850): Roughly 90% molting adults, 10% 'clean'
>Leach's Storm-Petrel (1): Noted astern by a few experienced observers.
>Otherwise curiously absent; likely more numerous here in August.
>Northern Gannet (2 sub-ads.): N. Nantucket Shoals.
>Least Sandpiper (2): Nantucket Shoals.
>Laughing Gull (15+): Nantucket Shoals.
>Common Tern (20+): Nantucket Shoals.
>BRIDLED TERN (3): One 1st-year west of Hydrographer Canyon at 40 09 N, 69 11
>W, then later two (one adult or near adult, one 1st-yr.) together much
>farther north at the southern edge of Nantucket Shoals at 40 31 N, 69 18 W.
>The latter two were located roosting on a floating log and we were able to
>approach very closely for some great views and hopefully some nice
>photographs by those with cameras. The young bird appeared momentarily to
>be food begging from the adult. We last encountered this species here in
>August of 2004 and it probably occurs regularly in these waters in late
>summer and early fall, July through September.
>LONG-TAILED JAEGER (1-1S): Southern Nanucket Shoals. Also not rare here and
>seems to be the default jaeger in late summer far offshore from the
>Brown-headed Cowbird (1): One flew along with us for a time early morning
>near the exit of Nantucket Sound.
>Most all of the marine mammals were in warmer waters from the southern edge
>of the shoals south:
>Fin Whale (4)
>Humpback Whale (4)
>Long-finned Pilot Whale (15)
>Gray Grampus (6)
>Common (Saddleback) Dolphin (50)
>Bottlenose Dolphin (110)
>dolphin sp. (20+)
>seal sp. (1): southern Nantucket Shoals.
>Loggerhead Sea Turtle (1): Great views alongside the boat.
>sea turtle sp. (1)
>Ocean Sunfish, Mola mola (6)
>tuna sp. (6+): Seen jumping.
>Mako Shark (2)
> We encountered two inflated, drifting rubber/plastic rafts off the
>continental shelf edge, and recovered both - no bodies. One had a 'perfect'
>cut-out from a shark bite out of the floor.
> Thanks as always to Ida Giriunas who does the real work in organizing
>these trips, and to Steve Mirick, who despite a serious bout of 'mal de mer'
>man'd up and did the usual yeoman's job on the microphone.
>Richard S. Heil
>S. Peabody, MA
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