Common Name Count

Saturday, December 07, 2002 - Virginia Beach, VA

Red-throated Loon 1 +

Common Loon 1 +

Manx Shearwater 9

Northern Gannet 100 's

Canada Goose 1 +

Red-breasted Merganser 4

Red Phalarope 180 +

Pomarine Jaeger 1

Laughing Gull 12

Bonaparte's Gull 1 +

Lesser Black-backed Gull 2

Black-legged Kittiwake 100 -

Thick-billed Murre 1

murre sp. 1

Razorbill 9

Fin Whale 1

Humpback Whale 1

whale sp. 1

Ocean Sunfish 2



Saturday, February 15, 2003 - Hatteras, NC

Common Loon 5 offshore, many

more inshore.

Manx Shearwater 1

Northern Gannet 1,000 's

Red Phalarope 3

Great Skua 3

Little Gull 1

Bonaparte's Gull 3,000 +

Lesser Black-backed Gull 3

Dovekie 8

Razorbill 59

Humpback Whale 1

Common Dolphin 100

Bottlenose Dolphin 24 +

Loggerhead Turtle 1

ray sp. 5

March 1, 2003 Trip from Virginia Beach

After being unable to get offshore from Virginia Beach on either Feb. 22
or 23 on account of gale force winds, we steamed to the Norfolk Canyon
on March 1 over surprisingly calm seas, and scarcely a whitecap was seen
as we made our way over 70 miles offshore.  The morning was disturbingly
uneventful, and I was beginning to worry that perhaps we were too late
in the season, and maybe most of the alcids had gone north except for
the occasional Razorbill.  Everything changed, however, when we neared
the shelf edge.  In about 200 feet of water, we saw our first puffins
and soon thereafter we happened upon our first Dovekies.  Fulmars, which
had been absent off Hatteras just two weeks prior, began to show among
the gulls and gannets, and a single Red Phalarope allowed us several
close approaches. 
Dovekies, however, stole the show.  As we worked our way to deeper water
in the mouth of the canyon, these diminutive alcids appeared in
abundance.  Though we had just a couple of hours to spend in the deep
water, we tallied over 300 Dovekies, the most I had seen here in several
years.  After that, a couple of Sperm Whales at the mouth of the canyon
was icing on the cake, and we enjoyed a smooth ride home on a gentle
following swell, arriving back at the marina just before dark.

Numbers of birds and mammals seen well offshore-

Common Loon 65
Red-throated Loon- 9
Northern Fulmar- 54
White-winged Scoter- 4
scoter sp.- 26
Red Phalarope- 1
Great Skua- 0 (seen on the majority of winter trips here)
Bonaparte's Gull- 3
Herring Gull- 300+
Lesser Black-backed Gull- 2
Herring x Lesser ?- 1
Iceland Gull- 1 ad.
Great Black-backed Gull- 75+
Black-legged Kittiwake- 3 (low, but not unprecedented in late winter)
Dovekie- 309
Atlantic Puffin- 25+
Razorbill- 32

Sperm Whale- 2

I would like to thank Butch Pearce for the keeping the chum going all
day, Todd Day for keeping tally, George Wheaton for helping with
spotting and assisting newcomers, Capt. Kevin Seldon for providing a
safe and comfortable passage on his boat, the Nancy Anne, and our
deckhand Brian for mincing up the chum.  And of course, thanks to all
who participated and who make it for us possible to do these trips year
after year.