June 20-22, 1999; Freeport; TRIP REPORT
Aboard the M/V Fling
Subject: Texas Pelagic Birding Trips
Date: Tue, 17 Aug 1999
From: Dwight Peake TEXBIRDS:
I am late getting this note out regarding the June 20-22 Texas pelagic from Freeport, but you are not too late to sign-up for the last trip this year on September 12-14! Several spots are available. If you have been hesitating about going on a TEXAS pelagic trip, please try to go on this one. The trips are being run on the premise that if a trip is canceled due to lack of participants, the preceding one will have been the last public TX pelagic trip for the foreseeable future.
Considering the enormous amount of sargassum present in the western Gulf, I would have expected more birds, especially Bridled Terns. Perhaps the birds had so much habitat that they were spread out more than usual. The total of 4 definite pelagic bird species is below average, but good numbers of Band-rumped Storm-Petrels were present.
We had a chance to test the M/V Fling in rough waters and she did quite well-it is so nice to stay dry!
FINAL TRIP LIST :
TOTAL PELAGIC SPECIES – 4
TOTAL PELAGIC SEABIRDS – 26
Band-rumped Storm-Petrel: 14 sightings of 34 birds; the water depth where the birds were sighted ranged from 75-1282 meters with an average of 843 meters. The 75 meter depth is the most shallow water sighting in 6 seasons of these trips.
Leach’s Storm-Petrel: 1 sighting of 1 bird
Probable Leach’s Storm-Petrel: 1 sighting of 1 bird
Possible Leach’s Storm-Petrel: 1 sighting of 1 bird
unidentified Storm-Petrel: 2 sightings of 2 individuals
Possible Tropicbird: one sighting. “You should have seen the one that got away”
Masked Booby: 3 sightings of 3 individuals seen in 450 to 992 meter water depth. Very cooperative.
Bridled Tern: 4 sightings of 6 birds at sites with bottom depth 378 to 856 meters average 811 meters.
Very good looks close-up of basic and alternate plumaged birds.
Royal Tern 1
Clymene dolphin 12 offshore
Bottlenosed dolphin 70
unidentified Stenella dolphin 50
unidentified dolphin 2
Map of the trip track is unavailable.
OCEANOGRAPHIC AND WEATHER CONDITIONS:
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