Friday, July 15, 2011

Summer pelagics

As the summer pelagic season off the eastern US coast kicks into full gear, the early returns from NOAA research vessels are promising. This seems to be a good year for tropicbirds and Herald (Trindade) Petrels thus far. While most reports have come from the more expected southern portions of the Gulf Stream (i.e. off the Carolinas and Virginia), species seen as far north as New York/New Jersey have included White-tailed Tropicbirds, Herald (Trindade) Petrels, Black-capped Petrel, Fea's Petrel, and White-faced Storm-petrel.

Early tomorrow morning the first of two deep-water pelagics by the Brookline Bird Club departs from Hyannis, MA. Tomorrow's trip is one-day only, while their August trip is an overnighter.

I was a last-minute signup for tomorrow's trip, encouraged by the reports noted above. The key for me will be to avoid seasickness. I am rarely, if ever, seasick...but sleep deprivation is generally considered the #1 risk factor for sea sickness...even for those who, like me, are usually fine on the seas. I may have to sneak in a nap or two while onboard, which is fine as long as I don't miss a fast-flying pterodroma!

I'll post the highlights here, probably with few, if any, photos. I'm about to pull the trigger on a DLSR but haven't taken the plunge quite yet, so I have to rely on digibinning for birds in flight.

- NB

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