Date: 9/4/19 6:50 am
From: Stephen Mirick <smirick...>
Subject: [MASSBIRD] MA offshore via cruise-ship: Barolo's White-faced, Brown Booby, Audubon's glut
Thanks to Paul Lehman for sharing this interesting trip.

Steve Mirick
Bradford, MA

We are finishing up a two-week Princess cruise-ship round-trip cruise
from New York to Greenland and back. Nine of those days were spent
traveling offshore, including a fair chunk of August 20 in MA waters
going north/eastbound and then again on 3 September returning
south/west. The route is along the outer edge of the shelf, some 10-15
nm short of, e.g., the shelf edge at Hydrographer Canyon, alas, but
still through interesting waters. On 20 August, there was an Audubon’s
Shearwater well south of Martha’s Vineyard, a White-faced Storm Petrel
95 km S of Nantucket, and a Barolo’s Shearwater 126 km SE of Nantucket.
(We then had another Barolo’s in Nova Scotia waters, where we also had a
Brown Booby; and a Great Skua in Newfoundland waters.) On our return on
Sep 3, we had several good things in MA waters, including an adult Brown
Booby which circled the boat several times a half-hour apart, as close
as 20 feet, some 105-110 km S of Nantucket (photos), and a surprising
total of 40 Audubon’s Shearwaters over a long stretch between 41.04,
-67.55 and 40.32, -70.05’including single flocks of 6 and 9 birds we
flushed up off the water. The water along that entire stretch of the
outer shelf was bluish, clear, and with periodic patches of sargassum,
so a warm-water eddy of some sort must have been involved. Also in MA
waters was a South Polar Skua and 2 juvenile Long-tailed Jaegers.

FYI, there is a five-day round-trip Princess cruise from New York to St
John NB and Halifax NS in late October which should be quite good for
Great Skua. A fair slug of daylight time is spent in MA waters.

--Paul Lehman & Barbara Carlson, San Diego

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