Date: 7/31/17 1:06 pm From: Kyle Lima <kylelemur21...> Subject: [Maine-birds] Gulf of Maine in July
I've been performing SeaScribe surveys for pelagic species on Bar Harbor Whale Watch trips over the course of July, going out on 1-2 trips one day per week. These trips, for the most part, have been very productive with both birds and non birds! Besides the typical terns, alcids, gulls, cormorants, and miscellaneous peeps, here's what I've seen so far:
Great Shearwater- high count was 440 on one trip, but I haven't had nearly that many on any others. Sooty Shearwater- a surprising number of 22 were seen on one trip, but typically 1-5 are seen. Manx Shearwater- 5 in total on all trips. Cory's Shearwater- just one bird back on the 21 July 2017. Northern Fulmar- 1-3 on almost every trip. Wilson's Storm-Petrel- very common and seen on every trip so far, but no Leach's yet. Northern Gannet- seen on every trip. Red-necked Phalarope- pretty common out there this month. Red Phalarope- less common but small groups have been seen. Parasitic Jaeger- had one individual in a flock of four jaegers on 21 July 2017. LONG-TAILED JAEGER- 2 individuals were also in this flock from 21 July 2017. This is a rare species and is considered a review species by the ME-BRC. Jaeger sp.- One bird was extremely distant from 15 July 2017 and another representing the fourth bird in the flock from 21 July 2017.
For non birds, I have encountered 3 Humpback Whales, an Ocean Sunfish (*Mola mola*), and a Basking Shark. However, they have had a really hard time finding whales this year, which is not typical for them. Nonetheless, If your looking to see some pelagics, I would recommend getting out there! The last trip I took on 28 July 2017 was much slower, lacking many of these species except Great Shearwater and Wilson's Storm-Petrel. But, we did go to the west of Mount Desert Rock instead of the typical East Bumps or Ballpark areas.