special three-day set on July 27, 28, and 29 was a great success.
Most participants did all three trips, and we also ran a special charter
trip for a Mass. Audubon group on Monday, July 30.
We had light winds and slight seas on all four days.
Many of the tubenoses appeared to be well fed and were resting on the
water. Calm weather made them easy
to spot. Trip totals for the four
days are posted below. Highlights
were large numbers of Black-capped Petrels each day (53 to 312) and some nice
rarities- a Trindade Petrel and White-tailed Tropicbird on Friday, a White-faced
Storm Petrel on Saturday, and a Red-billed Tropicbird on Monday. The White-faced Storm-Petrel was only my second off Hatteras
in many years. We had just slowed
down in about 1000 feet of water Saturday morning, and we jumped it off the
water. We were able to follow it
closely w/ the boat for several minutes, and Steve Howell got some nice photos
of it in the early morning light. This
was our sixth speies of storm-petrel for Hatteras trips in 2007!
We did not see many shearwaters but we did see three species each day
w/ nice looks at all, and we had some good views of perched Bridled Terns on
Friday and Monday. In addition to the birds, we had some nice views of
offshore Bottlenose Dolphins and Pilot Whales, and some more distant views of
beaked whales. And we were
able to catch enough wahoo and dolphin (mahi) for our people to have fresh fish
Trindade (Herald) Petrel 1 dark morph on 7/27
White-faced Storm-Petrel 1 on 7/28
Tropicbird 1 on 7/27
Tropicbird 1 on 7/30
Polar Skua 1 on 7/27
Beaked Whale 5-6
Whale species 2-3
Whale (prob Short-finned) 9-10
Bottlenose Dolphin (offshore) 153+