Date: 9/4/19 10:20 am From: Robert Ross <plumisl...> Subject: [MASSBIRD] NH Audubon Pelagic Trip
The NH Audubon led a pelagic birding trip on September 3. The trip itinerary into the Gulf of Maine took birders to the Isle of Shoals and then beyond to Jeffreys Ledge. It was a beautiful early-fall day with calm seas and a gentle breeze. The trip departed from Rye Harbor for a nine-hour cruise. Massachusetts birders were well represented on the manifest and much time was spent in Massachusetts as well as New Hampshire and Maine waters.
Though the birds were not as cooperative as expected, a few notable species were seen. The marine mammals, however, were so plentiful, we might suppose they were not only curious, but friendly.
Two highlights of the day were a school of Atlantic White-sided dolphins and another of Common Dolphins. We were assured Common Dolphins are not common and the boat captain reported the large school, estimated at 75 individuals, was the first common dolphins seen this year. Both schools included babies dolphins and these could be seen jumping clear of the water and somersaulting in the waves and wake, chasing schools of bait fish that often cleared the water ahead of the darting dolphins.
The Fin Whales and at least one Humpback Whale made regular appearances as well, as did Mola Mola (Sunfish), and Blue Sharks on the surface.
I hope others will add to this list, yet here is mine (all numbers estimates):