September 18th

Headed out with Jack, Dan, Brandon, Mike, Shane, and Steve with almost flat calm conditions. I know flat seas make for a comfortable ride, but they make pelagic birding tough at times since some species are not as active. As soon as we hit the reef we saw planty of activity with lots of Black Terns and a few tropical terns over schools of small tuna and bonito. A small flock of Red-necked Phalaropes flew off before we could chase. After checking this area out for a while we headed offshore. There was little until we hit the dropoff from 700′-1000′. There we found a few feeding flocks with plenty of Brown Noddy, Sooty and Bridled Tern, more Black Terns, a couple of Common Terns, Brown Booby, and Cory’s Shearwater. We also got our best bird with a Long-tailed Jaeger, dark morph juvie come it. We continued as far as 2100′ but there wasn’t much out there except for a pod of Bottlenose Dolphin that played with our wake. On the wasy back we found some weedlines with more of the same and added another Long-taile Jaeger and Audubon’s Shearwater. We also had another flock of Red-necked Phalaropes fly by. As we watched one of the feeding flocks two jaegers came in fast. One flew off before I could get on it, but distant shots of the other one showed it to be a Pomarine. On the way in we stopped at an artificial reef and had 5 Blacktip Sharks around the boat as we fed them chunks of skipjack tuna. A great trip with a great crew. Here is the trip list:

Cory’s Shearwater, 8
Audubon’s Shearwater, 1
Brown Booby, 15
Magnificent Frigatebird, 20
Red-necked Phalarope, 7
Long-tailed Jaeger, 2
Pomarine Jaeger, 1
Brown Noddy, 35
Sooty Tern, 50
Bridled Tern, 15
Black Tern 35
Common Tern, 2

The photos of the Long-tailed Jaeger are courtesy of Dan O’Malley.

dsc_0714 dsc_0816 lt-jaeger-1-d-omalley lt-jaeger-1-d-omalleya lt-jaeger-1-d-omalleyb lt-jaeger-2-d-omalley lt-jaeger-2-d-omalleya

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