Date: 5/1/18 3:39 am
From: Jon Woolf <jsw...>
Subject: [NHBirds] NH Audubon Spring Pelagic Trip

Spring is here, even the weather agrees, and that means the NH Spring
Pelagic Trip is getting closer...

How the time flies.... 2018 marks ten years we've been doing these
trips. This year we're going back to Memorial Day as the date; this
year, that's Monday, May 28th. Otherwise, the plan is pretty much the
same as in previous years:

WHAT: An all-day trip into the Gulf of Maine, looking for pelagic
birds (although we'll also check out any whales and other marine life
that we encounter). As always, we've chartered the whale-watching
boat Granite State for this day of birding along Jeffreys Ledge and
wherever else the birds may lead us. Steve Mirick will be on the
microphone, and our hosts will be the highly skilled and experienced
Captain Pete Reynolds and his crew. We'll leave dockside at 8am and
stay at sea the whole day. We should return to Rye Harbor around

WHEN: Monday, May 28th (Memorial Day).

WHERE: Meet dockside at Rye Harbor at 7:30AM for an 8:00AM departure.

WHAT TO BRING: Binoculars, of course. A lunch if you want to. A
digital camera if you have one -- these trips often produce excellent
photo opportunities for both whales and birds. Weather on the open
water is unpredictable, so dress warm, in multiple layers in case you
get too warm and need to take off a layer. Certainly bring sunscreen,
and either sunglasses or a hat. Bring motion-sickness pills if you're
vulnerable to seasickness. Granite State's seating is mostly wooden
benches, so a seat cushion is a good idea if you have trouble with
sitting on hard surfaces.

WHAT TO EXPECT: Hopefully, good weather and lots of interesting
birds! Every trip is different, of course, but past spring trips have
produced Northern Gannets, Wilson's Storm-petrels, Great and Sooty
shearwaters, Northern Fulmars, Red-necked Phalaropes in breeding
plumage (a rare sight indeed), a number of migrants, and a number of
near-shore species. We often get good looks at Common and Roseate
Terns from the White/Seavey Island tern colony, and Black Guillemots
also appear around the Isles of Shoals most years. We've also gotten
good looks at several whales of various species. Last year we got a
once-in-a-lifetime gem: a wandering BOWHEAD whale!

REGISTRATION: You must register in advance for this trip. We need a
minimum of 30 people to pay for the trip. We've set a maximum of 50
so that the boat doesn't get too crowded. Cost is $70 for NH Audubon
members, $90 for non-members. Contact Massabesic Audubon Center
(phone 603-668-2045, email <mac...>) to sign up. PLEASE NOTE
that you can now sign up ONLINE -- go to, and click the
"Register online" link.

Contact either MAC or me with any questions you might have. Please be
certain that you leave a phone number or email address where you can
be contacted on Sunday May 27th, in case we have to cancel due to
weather. There is no rain date; we go on the 28th, or not at all.

To go with the trip, I will be holding a 1-hour workshop at
Massabesic Center on Saturday May 26th, as a basic introduction to the
most common pelagic birds and how to identify them. Since we
generally see both whales and birds on these trips, the workshop also
includes information on the common whales of the Gulf of Maine.

My thanks go out to all who have made these trips a success in past
years, and I hope to see you again this year ... along with as many
new faces as we can fit! :-)

-- Jon Woolf
Manchester, NH
(Massabesic Audubon Center Volunteer)

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