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.