The See Life Paulagics trip on The Voyager targeting deep water off the continental shelf (in NY and NJ waters) sailed in calm conditions August 17th/18th out of Pt. Pleasant NJ. The extended 32 hour trip encountered a broad mix of birds, cetaceans, turtles and other sea life. The trip got off to a great start before we even reached the shelf edge with close flyby's of Audubon's Shearwater and White-faced Storm-Petrel amongst flocks of Wilson's Storm-Petrels. Multiple Fin Whales were seen in this area as well. Once in the deep we started to see Band-rumped and Leach's Storm-Petrels and small numbers of Great and Cory's Shearwaters, with one of the Cory's being of the Scopoli's subspecies. The evening chum slick in NY waters brought extended views of these species while a large pod of Striped Dolphin cavorted near the boat. Spotted Dolphin and Cuvier's Beaked Whales investigated the slick as well. We headed south overnight and set another slick in NJ waters where activity started well before sun up. A White-faced Storm-Petrel came to the slick under the lights of the boat while a few leaders were fishing around 2am. As it became light enough to see it quickly became apparent there were dozens of Wilson's Storm-Petrels in the slick and Band-rumpeds, and to a lesser extent Leach's, were flying in regularly. A close pass of Audubon's Shearwater and Black-capped Petrel coincided with a stunning sunrise. Both Barn and Cliff Swallows were seen 100 and 80 miles from shore, respectively. Another extremely confiding White-faced Storm-Petrel was in view for over 15 minutes as we worked the shelf edge near the Tom's Canyon. A brief query of a few photographers on board revealed a range of photographs of this individual bird between 500 and 1100 per person.
The rarest sighting of the trip was was a well documented Band-rumped Storm-Petrel inshore along the 30 fathom line (180ft of water) in NJ. Our understanding of this species' distribution in NY/NJ waters has increased tremendously over the last 5 years. The bedrock of that understanding was that it occurs in deep, blue water at or off the continental shelf edge. Outside of tropic storms, this record appears to be the only photo documented record of the species in inshore waters of NY/NJ in eBird and goes to show how the only way we can add to our understanding is by being out there! We can also help protect these and other species while at home with choices we make. The running trip tally of mylar balloons floating on the surface was 47. These, in addition to other floating debris were in areas where sea turtle and cetacean numbers were highest. A few hourly checklists with notable sightings and photos can be seen here: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S59102580 https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S59102617 https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S59102735 https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S59102768 https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S59102645 https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S59102676 https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S59102811 https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S59102859 Species totals: Wilson's Storm Petrel 1451 Band-rumped Storm Petrel 42 Leach's Storm Petrel 7 White-faced Storm Petrel 4 Black-capped Petrel 1 Great Shearwater 13 Cory's Shearwater 31 Cory's/Scopoli's 1 Audubon's Shearwater 2 Black Tern 5 Common/Arctic Tern 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull 1 Great Black-backed Gull 3 Laughing Gull 4 Red-necked Phalarope 1 Barn Swallow 1 Cliff Swallow 1 Other sea life: Loggerhead Sea Turtle 9 Inshore Bottlenose Dolphin 12 Common Dolphin 35 Striped Dolphin 80 Spotted Dolphin 9 Risso's Dolphin 3 Fin Whale 5 Cuvier's Beaked Whale 4 Pilot Whale 70 Ocean Sunfish Cow-nosed Rays 30 Marlin 2 Hammerhead Shark Sp. Shark Sp. Mahi Mahi Flying Fish (numerous) Painted Lady Cloudless Sulphur Moth sp. Wandering Glider Cheers, Sean Sime Brooklyn, NY -- NYSbirds-L List Info: http://www.NortheastBirding.com/NYSbirdsWELCOME.htm http://www.NortheastBirding.com/NYSbirdsRULES.htm http://www.NortheastBirding.com/NYSbirdsSubscribeConfigurationLeave.htm ARCHIVES: 1) http://email@example.com/maillist.html 2) http://www.surfbirds.com/birdingmail/Group/NYSBirds-L 3) http://birding.aba.org/maillist/NY01 Please submit your observations to eBird: http://ebird.org/content/ebird/ --