Photos from the Stormy Petrel II in August 2009
Images courtesy of Steve Howell; Do not use without permission
It's always a treat to find a feeding Black-capped Petrel, seen here with a Wilson's Storm-Petrel.
Most Black-capped Petrels we encountered mid August were the "dark faced" variety.
This "dark faced" individual allowed us to get closer than usual!
Earlier in the summer, most of the Black-capped Petrels we encountered were "intermediate" like this individual.
The least commonly observed are the "white-faced" Black-capped Petrels.
Greater Shearwaters have been present off of Hatteras in low to modest numbers all summer.
Unlike the Black-capped Petrel, Greater Shearwaters allow close approach!
Cory's Shearwaters were the most numerous seabird on the last few trips with over 400 seen on Friday August 21.
Most of the Cory's we see this time of year are ragged looking.
Late summer is a good time to find large flocks of shearwaters off Cape Hatteras.
By diligently checking all of the flocks we were able to find this Manx Shearwater on Sunday August 16.
Three species of shearwater ~ Manx, Greater, and Cory's
Audubon's Shearwaters seemed scarcer than usual this month.
Compared to the Manx Shearwater, Audubon's has a whiter face and longer tail.
Wilson's Storm-Petrels have mostly moved North to cooler water, but we were able to attract several with our chum.
Wilson's Storm-Petrels are easily told from Band-rumped and Leach's by their long legs and short wings.
The "Band-rumped" Storm-Petrel, now thought to comprise possibly four species in the North Atlantic, has longer wings and shorter legs than Wilson's.
Although the "Band-rumpeds" we observed occasionally fed in the slick, they did not linger nearly as long as the Wilson's Storm-Petrels.
This "Band-rumped" flushed from the water just ahead of the boat. The notched tail suggests it could be one of the summer breeding types, either Madeiran or Monteiro's.