We offer pelagic trips from Hatteras, North Carolina to explore our near shore, dynamic ecosystem formed by the combination of the Continental Shelf edge & the Gulf Stream Current.
August 22nd is FULL (8/10/2015); the September 6 Discovery trip is FULL (8/17/2015)
Summer pelagic trips are a great way to break out of the summer birding doldrums. While the birds in the bushes are feeling spent and overheated, the seabirds in the Gulf Stream are out there zipping around and feeding in our chum slick. These include a variety of species from all over the Atlantic- gadfly petrels, shearwaters, storm-petrels, phalaropes, tropicbirds, boobies, jaegers, skuas, and terns. We expect the Gulf Stream’s super seabird on most of these trips- the Black-capped Petrel. Black-caps are done nesting, and having dispersed northward, should be here in force off Cape Hatteras. Summer has historically been time for some of our best counts of the species, which is unfortunately imperiled due to loss of nesting habitat- forests on Hispaniola. Bridled and Sooty Terns will also be dispersing here along with Audubon’s Shearwaters. The young of these species are quite beautiful and often come close enough for good photos. Non breeders and subadult seabirds from farther away join these Caribbean birds here off the Outer Banks. These include Cory’s and Great Shearwaters and Band-rumped and Wilson’s Storm-Petrels to name a few. There is always the chance to see a rarity: White-tailed Tropicbird, Masked Booby, Trindade Petrel and even Bermuda Petrel all have a history here in summer. In addition to these and other seabirds, there is a chance to see exotic marine mammals such as beaked whales if conditions are favorable. And whether it’s calm or choppy there should be the treat of seeing a variety of flyingfish. Summer is a great introduction to the seabirding here and it’s also a good time to rediscover it after a long hiatus. We wouldn’t keep doing these trips if they weren’t so awesome. There are sights to see in the summer that either don’t exist in spring or are exceedingly rare then. Summer is THE time to see shearwaters feeding naturally over tuna and those beehives are reason enough to go on a trip.
Our trips in late July on the Stormy Petrel II are sold out, but we have room on all of our trips next month. We will be running all of these on our own boats. We are going out on the Stormy Petrel II on August 7, 8, 21, and 22, and we have trips on our smaller boat- the Skua (5 participants max)- on August 1, 14, 15, and 16. We also have trips on the Skua on Sept. 5 and 6. We have three trips planned to run on the Stormy Petrel out of Wanchese (Oregon Inlet) on Aug. 28, 29, and 30. We’ve had some good luck up there in late August in past years and there is a small chance for White-faced Storm-Petrel, which almost never makes it to Hatteras. Wanchese is on Roanoke Island south of Manteo.
Subadult Brown Booby July 25, 2015 photo below by George Armistead
WOW – Bermuda Petrel May 25, 2015! Around the boat for long period of time! Photos & trip report for this, and other Spring Blitz trips, are on our blog – click on link above!!
2015 Schedule is up! Hover over “Schedule” above for a drop down list of trips we are offering next year. Also check the Calendar for specific information about each trip!
If you would like some help with birding on land while you are on the Outer Banks, try getting in touch with Jeff Lewis in Manteo. His email address is email@example.com and he would love to take you birding