Spring 2007 Report


  Our 2007 spring trips were some of the most exciting ever.  Between May 19 and June 2, we ran 15 consecutive trips on the Stormy Petrel II, which has proved to be a great platform for birding- very comfortable in the rough conditions that provide some of the best birding.  We saw a record number of species in late May and several rarities.  Diversity was quite high for days on end.  An abundance of easterly wind off the southeast coast made it one of the best springs on record for jaegers, particularly Long-tailed and Parasitic.  We saw all of the gadfly petrels, although the lone Bermuda Petrel on May 29 was seen fleetingly.  Fea's Petrels were seen on six trips, and a new record count of SIX Trindade (Herald) Petrels was seen on May 23.   European Storm-Petrels were found on May 29 and 30, making this four out of five years that this species has been documented off Cape Hatteras.  A Magnificent Frigatebird on May 29 was perhaps our rarest sighting, and only our second spring record.   In addition to the world-class seabirding, we also had some great cetacean encounters.  We saw a number of Mesoplodon beaked whales and photographed a male Gervais' Beaked Whale, which was possibly the first time this has been done at sea.  We also got photos of the rarely seen Dwarf Sperm Whale.  Steve Howell, who was out with Kate Sutherland and myself for the entire 15 day stretch has graciously shared some of his photos from the trips for you to enjoy on the website.  It might be years before the weather allows us to run 15 days straight again, but we hope to offer several trips again next year during this time period.

Brian Patteson

click below for the 

Spring 2007 Photo Collection