July Pelagic Results 1993 - 1998

As you will see by studying the following charts, each trip is different, and even consecutive trips may produce very different bird lists, even when they visit the same localities offshore. Where there were hundreds of birds one day, there may be only a handful the next. Birds follow food offshore, and when their food source disappears, they do too. With this in mind, we cannot overstress the value of signing up for more than one pelagic trip when you come to the Outer Banks, particularly if you do not have many opportunities to visit the area. While it is rare, we are occasionally weathered out, and a second trip is good insurance for getting offshore during your visit. But even when the weather is good, another trip means that you have a better chance to see the birds that you want to see, particularly if you are looking for the less common species. Remember also, when you look at the following charts, that just because one or two Band-rumped Storm-Petrels were seen on one day does not mean that everyone on the boat saw them to their satisfaction. We always do our best to get everyone onboard "onto the birds", but in some cases the birds fly away quickly. While we do use fast boats and, in some cases, we can successfully pursue fleeing birds, there are some days when the sea conditions limit our movements and ability to get closer. With these things in mind, don't be discouraged, but do have realistic expectations before you get on the boat. And don't forget to study beforehand; pelagic birds often fly by for a close look, but they may not stay long enough for the trip leaders to point out all of their field marks.

I feel confident in saying that we did not see as many gadfly petrels close to boat during the early to mid nineties as we do now because we had not refined our chumming techniques.

July 1 - July 26

Location MNC HNC HNC HNC MNC HNC MNC HNC MNC HNC HNC MNC HNC HNC
Date 7/17/93 7/18/98 7/19/97 7/20/96 7/20/98 7/21/96 7/21/97 7/22/95 7/22/96 7/23/95 7/24/94 7/24/95 7/25/98 7/26/97
Black-capped Petrel 134 113 89 131 137 180 66 65 55 14 9 50 73 115
Trinidade Petrel   1         2     1     1  
Fea's Petrel       1-2                    
Cory's Shearwater 522 244 27 474 51 299 87 240 52 65 170 385 58 45
Greater Shearwater 168 20 11 17 6 9 19 23 4 12 3 19 3 19
Audubon's Shearwater 12 81 37 347 6 459 39 260 63 90 82 115 44 65
Wilson's Storm-Petrel 160 152 47 63 137 161 36 175 123 28 23 30 40 123
Leach's Storm-Petrel 4 1 1                     1
Band-rumped Storm-Petrel 29 30 17 1 53 1 4 25 3 8 2 3 5 1
Oceanodroma sp. 2     5                    
White-tailed Tropicbird               1       1   2
Red-billed Tropicbird                     1      
Tropicbird sp. 1                          
Masked Booby                       1    
Brown Booby                     1      
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron   1                        
Night-Heron sp.                         1  
Sanderling   1                        
Red Knot                         7  
Red-necked Phalarope       1                    
Phalarope sp.                           9
Pomarine Jaeger 1 1         4 1            
Parasitic Jaeger       1                    
Long-tailed Jaeger                     1      
Jaeger sp.     1                      
Royal Tern   1 1                     2
Sandwich Tern             1              
Common Tern   11   9   19       10   2  
Least Tern   1     4                 1
Bridled Tern   2   2 1   4 14   4   11   3
Sooty Tern       3                 2  
Sterna sp. (dark)       1                    
Sterna sp. (white)       4   2                
Black Tern   3   20   2         17   7 4
Barn Swallow                         1  
Bottlenose Dolphin   38 3   62   50             77
Atlantic Spotted Dolphin   8                     3  
Pilot Whale                           4
Cuvier's Beaked Whale   5         1             6
Sperm Whale         4                  

July 27 - July 31

Location HNC HNC HNC HNC MNC HNC HNC MNC HNC HNC MNC HNC MNC
Date 7/27/96 7/27/97 7/27/98 7/28/96 7/28/97 7/29/94 7/29/95 7/29/96 7/30/94 7/30/95 7/31/93 7/31/94 7/31/95
Black-capped Petrel 363 593 39 198 43 32 67 141 60 17 212 85 90
Bermuda Petrel                     1    
Trinidade (Herald) Petrel           1   1 prob.     1    
Fea's Petrel         1                
Cory's Shearwater 133 19 164 155 87 19 145 69 295 137 479 677 234
Greater Shearwater 2 17 9 6 25 1 13   3 4 18 7 25
Audubon's Shearwater 181 46 65 115 30 135 175 58 607 115 162 320 13
Wilson's Storm-Petrel 328 169 84 166 16 14 56 126 56 57 147 64 195
White-faced Storm-Petrel                 1        
Leach's Storm-Petrel   9 1 12 11   5 3 1 1     4
Band-rumped Storm-Petrel 17 102 8 30 1 3 13 9 10 20 26 36 10
Oceanodroma sp.   12           1          
White-tailed Tropicbird     1     1 1   2 4   2  
Red-billed Tropicbird             1            
Masked Booby                   1   1  
Red-necked Phalarope   2       1 1   1 1 1 5 2
Pomarine Jaeger           1 1   1 1 1 5 2
Parasitic Jaeger   1                      
Long-tailed Jaeger                       3  
Jaeger sp.                   1   1  
South Polar Skua                   1      
Skua sp.                   1      
Royal Tern   3 1   2                
Common Tern 12 4   45 1   19 10   25    
Bridled Tern 2   5 1   1 2   12 2   7 7
Sooty Tern                 22 1   16  
Sterna sp. (dark)             2   6     3  
Sterna sp. (white) 1     3       2          
Black Tern 18     3       5 44     12  
Barn Swallow     1                    
Bottlenose Dolphin   21 10   12                
Atlantic Spotted Dolphin   15                      
Pilot Whale     16                    
Cuvier's Beaked Whale   4                      
Sperm Whale   1                      

= Seen but numbers not recorded.

Prob. = Probable, thought to be this species, but due to distance, lighting conditions, brevity of observation or a combination of these factors, not identified to species with 100% certainty (i.e., Trinidade Petrel prob. = dark Pterodroma, Fea's Petrel prob. = P. feae/madeira complex).

HNC= Hatteras, NC; MNC= Manteo,NC