Showing posts from August, 2016

BBC Overnight Pelagic - August 20-21, 2016

I'm just back from one of my favorite annual birding events, the Brookline Bird Club's August overnight deep-water pelagic, sold out per usual. Before sunrise on Saturday, August 20th, a boat full of excited participants boarded the Helen H in Hyannis, MA with Capt. Joe Huckemeyer at the helm. We set out for the canyons at the edge of the continental shelf some 100+ miles from the mainland under clear skies and light winds from the east. The seas were more comfortable than usual: calm inshore and a 2-3 foot chop on top of a hardly noticeable swell offshore. There was more than enough wind to get seabirds into the air, but not enough to make the ride uncomfortable. En route to the canyons we passed over the Nantucket Shoals, known for, among other things, intense upwelling of cold nutrient-rich water that can result in pockets of great fish and bird activity. The Shoals really delivered for us on Saturday morning. After a slow trickle of tubenoses along the northern shoals we

A week on the Vineyard

Just back from a week on Martha's Vineyard with the family. Birding was sporadic at best, but I did get out a couple times. On Monday, August 8th, I birded the Gay Head cliffs first thing for morning flight. Things were dreadfully slow, and warblers were almost nonexistent. Highlights were five species of swallow/martin including Cliff Swallow and Purple Martin, which interestingly the first reports from MV this year for either species...though I have no idea about the level of eBird participation on that island. A few Red-breasted Nuthatches were presumably migrants, but again I am unaware of their breeding status on the island. On August 11th I kayaked across Tisbury Great Pond to the flats on the south side of the pond, along the north side of the barrier beach. I was really impressed by the numbers, as ~1700 shorebirds covered the limited mudflats available there. Nothing unusual was seen, but a Red Knot, a solid count of 30 White-rumps, and four flyby Pec Sands were nice to