Sunday, July 10, 2016

Whale and Seabird Watch July 9, 2016

Twelve hardy birders braved gray skies and choppy seas for the the club's annual Bird and Seabird watch on the Captain John boat out of Plymouth. Despite the conditions, the trip out was worth the wait once we reached Stellwagon bank.

It was decided to not bring the camera this trip, as showers were predicted.

So you will have to imagine as the birds flew from whale pod to whale pod in search food. While several mixed rafts of shearwaters were seen, most were at a distance, with the birds taking off as we approached. With all the activity, it is always challenging (at least for me), to keep some type of tally on the number and species of birds.

We did however get good looks at all four species of shearwater as individuals flew along side the boat at various times.

Here is the best I could come up with for numbers.

Mallard                    3  
Cory's Shearwater          103      
Great Shearwater           129      
Sooty Shearwater           177      
Manx Shearwater            5  
Shearwater Sp.             100-200       
Wilson's Storm-Petrel      171      
Northern Gannet            1 
Double-crested Cormorant   8        
Great Blue Heron           3        
Black-crowned Night-Heron  1        
Piping Plover              1        
Willet                     1
Short_billed Dowitcher     1            
Laughing Gull              10       
Herring Gull               X      
Great Black-backed Gull    X      
Least Tern                 5        
Common Tern                25       
Black Skimmer              2        
Rock Pigeon                10       
Eastern Kingbird           1        
Tree Swallow               X        
Barn Swallow               X      
Red-winged Blackbird       3        
Common Grackle             5  
Mike Emmons