Aug 24, 2019 Port A – Kingfisher TRIP REPORT
With all the storm clouds out over the Gulf today you might have thought the seas would be rough, but the winds remained calm and the seas followed. All the cloud cover kept the temps on the cool side for August, so it was a pleasant day to be offshore. We were able to skirt many of the rain cells but had to punch through two of them for about 30 minutes of rain the whole day. Everyone was able to find shelter during the downpours until we emerged out the other side.
The first bird of the day was a curious adult masked booby that circled the boat a few times making sure we all got a good look. A nice smattering of Cory’s shearwater allowed for decent enough looks to determine that a few of them were the nominate subspecies Scopoli’s which is a potential future split.
The most abundant seabird of the day was Sooty Tern. They too apparently like to avoid the rain and fly just along the edges of downpours. We counted 57 in several flocks.
We don’t expect many storm-petrels by August but we did find 6, including a very unusual dark-rumped Leach’s Storm-Petrel. At first it appeared all dark to the eye, but examination of photos revealed a very thin white rump, barely visible.
Overall a very enjoyable day with 7 seabird species and 85 overall seabirds which is respectable.
Thanks to all our leaders and the captain and crew of the Kingfisher.
FINAL TRIP LIST :
TOTAL PELAGIC SPECIES – 7
TOTAL PELAGIC SEABIRDS = 85
Cory’s Shearwater – 4
Cory’s Shearwater (Scopoli’s) – 3
Audubon’s Shearwater – 11
Leach’s Storm-Petrel – 2
Band-rumped Storm-Petrel – 3
Magnificent Frigatebird – 1
Masked Booby – 1
Sooty Tern – 57
Shearwater sp – 2
NEARSHORE SEABIRDS 4 SP
Laughing Gull – 8
Black Tern – 9
Royal Tern – 4
Sandwich Tern (Cabot’s) – 34
LANDBIRD MIGRANTS – 5 SP
Passerine sp – 4
Barn Swallow (American) – 8
Cliff Swallow (pyrrhonota Group) – 2
Black-and-white Warbler – 2
Ovenbird – 2
Blue-winged Teal – 2
Here is a map of the trip track as recorded by my GPS.
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