Sunday, August 3, 2008

Greater Shearwater

Greater Shearwater (c)2008 ShootingMyUniverse

On yesterday’s whale watching trip, I came across a few birds. Cory’s Shearwater, Greater Shearwater, Sooty Shearwater, Manx Shearwater, Wilson’s Storm Petrel, Leach’s Storm Petra and Masked Booby. In addition, Common Tern, Herring Gull and Great Black-backed Gull. Oddities that I didn’t expect to see at sea…Four Purple Martins, and a lost Yellow Warbler.

Greater Shearwater (c)2008 ShootingMyUniverse

Song Birds that get blown off shore and lost at sea seek out ships to rest on. I was tapped on the shoulder by a fellow passenger and pointed to a little tiny yellow blob fluttering like crazy trying to catch up with the boat. We finally reached Stellwagen Bank and slowed down for to view some whales. The little guy made it to the top of the cabin and hid between the life rafts. The crowd went wild with applause, relived that our little lost friend could rest.

When out on pelagic bird trips, it is challenging to identify birds on boats. Keeping the binoculars on the bird requires great skill and I’m at the point where I need reading glasses. Swapping between binocs and glasses is not an option for me when I’m pitching and rolling and fumbling for field guides. When you come up to a raft of pelagic birds, take a couple of high resolution shots. You can inspect them later for birds that you were too preoccupied to fully identify.

Click to enlarge.

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