South Padre Island TEXAS PELAGIC September 17, 2005

Aboard  the Osprey II

Subject: WBC Pelagic Trip   Results- 17 Sept 2005 

Date:   Sun, 18 Sep 2005 09:16:48

From:   Sumita Prasad

Yesterday marked the 3rd WBC Pelagic trip of 2005. We have 2 more trips scheduled this   year- October 8th, (which is nearly full), and November 5th.

On behalf of the World Birding Center, I would like to thank our wonderful   pelagic trip leaders who make these trips exciting, adventurous, comfortable,   and fun for our participants. Our talented leaders yesterday were John Arvin,   Eric Carpenter, Petra Hockey, Brad McKinney, and Dwight Peake. Brad McKinney   has been gracious enough to send a summary of yesterday’s 12-hour excursion:

17 September WBC Pelagic Trip Summary- by Brad McKinney

The World Birding Center pelagic trips continue to turn up great birds. Although it was a slow day by September standards, the deepwater crew was treated to   excellent looks of s everal pelagic species, including a near adult Red-billed Tropicbird. Dawn broke with a steady coastal breeze and two to   four feet seas, which shortly gave way to one to two feet seas and light winds for most of the day. Blue water began at 25 miles offshore, well in   advance of the continental shelf dropoff (45-50 miles). Although we encountered quite a bit of sargassum, it was in small clumps, not the long   weedlines that often attract birds. At 9:00 am we watched two male Magnificant Frigatebirds with bright red throat pouches perched atop a shrimp   boat, occasionally displaying while making resonant knocking sounds.  Impressive birds. There were also several Atlantic Spotted and Bottlenose   dolphins around the shrimp boat.

We  passed several shrimp boats on the way to the edge of the shelf, which had only a handful of Royal Terns. At 10:00 am our boat passed a white bird   sitting on the water, which quickly took flight showing bold black primary coverts and a long white tail. The Red-billed Tropicbird then landed on the   ocean’s surface with tail cocked slightly upwards. It allowed us two passes, revealing an orange-red bill, bold black eyeline wrapping around the nape,   and barred mantle. Amazingly, this is the second tropicbird of the season (we had a full adult on the June 2005 trip). We also had good looks at two Cory’s Shearwaters and close views of five Bridled Terns perched on an assortment of flotsom.

At 1:30 pm, sharp-eyed leader Petra Hockey spotted a small shorebird in a small   clump of sargassum, which upon close inspection turned out to be a Red-necked Phalarope. Although Red-necked Phalarope is not unexpected during September pelagic, it is a species that had not previously been recorded on WBC pelagics. We also had a smattering of passerines including Eastern Kingbird,  Barn Swallow, and Yellow Warbler, and several flocks of egrets and a lone   flock of fifteen Blue-wing Teal. We are looking forward to the October and  November pelagics. There are still a few spots open on both of these trips.   Hope you can join us.

Pelagic species:

Cory’s Shearwater-2

Magnificent Frigatebird- 2 males

Red-billed Tropicbird- 1

Bridled Tern-5

Red-necked Phalarope-1

Many thanks again for your interest and participation in the WBC Pelagic Trips!

Good Birding,

Sumita  Prasad Director of Birding

Fermata, Inc. and World Birding Center

Link to Photo Gallery: All photography copyrighted ©Garett Hodne 2005

GOOGLE MAP OF PELAGIC TRIP GPS COURSE COORDINATES:

View 2005 Texas Pelagic Trip Tracks from SPI in a larger map

Click on the box in the upper left of the map to view the map legend.

Click on each Pelagic Course and the data label will appear with the date of the trip.

OCEANOGRAPHIC CONDITIONS for Sept. 17, 2005seasurface_20050917waveheight_20050917

 

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