Date: 5/1/18 3:48 am
From: Jon Woolf <jswoolf01...>
Subject: [MASSBIRD] NH Audubon Spring Pelagic Birding 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 5pm.

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. When you
register, 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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