Date: 1/5/20 8:03 am
From: Barbara Volkle <barb620...>
Subject: [MASSBIRD] Two boat trips yesterday offshore (Dovekies, puffins, and Jaegers)
Thanks to Steve Mirick for this report.

Barbara Volkle
Northborough, MA


From: Stephen Mirick <smirick...>
Subject: Two boat trips yesterday offshore (Dovekies, puffins, and Jaegers)
Date: Sun, 5 Jan 2020 10:34:56 -0500

Remarkably, there were two different offshore boat trips yesterday.
Becky Suomala summarized her trip in a previous email. They traveled on
an "Eastman's"  fishing boat out of Hampton, NH roughly due east to an
area on the inner edge of Jeffrey's Ledge near "New Scantum" where they
stopped to fish. Jane and I, along with Ben Griffith and Leo McKillop
traveled aboard the UNH research boat "Gulf Challenger". We went east
from New Castle, NH crossing over "Jeffrey's Basin", "Jeffrey's Ledge",
and then to a spot on the western part of "Wilkinson's Basin" (deep
water).  The two trips were similar but separated by roughly 5 miles and
likely represent different birds.  Neither trip had any opportunity to
chase birds. Both trips had remarkably similar lists.

Our trip totals represent one-way totals (mostly outbound) with
discussion related to Becky's trip.
POMARINE JAEGER   2.  We had a dark morph and light morph.  Both
adults/subadults with one chasing a kittwake in the wake of the boat. 
Becky also had 2 Pomarine Jaegers.  All 4 were in NH waters and appear
to be first January records for New Hampshire.

DOVEKIE  2,273+.  Fascinating that only 1/10 of this total was counted
on the return trip as most of count was of flying birds. Dovekies seem
to be flying east in morning hours flying further offshore.  Apparently
this has been seen on other boat trips out of Hampton this winter. 
Dovekies were in view continuously as we headed offshore; at times
flying in small flocks all across the horizon.  On the return trip over
the precisely same route, the Dovekies were NOT flying, but sitting on
the water as the boat ran over/by them. 1,980+ we counted in NH appears
to be a record high count for the State.  Becky reported a very similar
count of 1,715 birds.  Clearly a lot of Dovekies offshore!!!

Common Murre  33.  Remarkable how digital photography has allowed
birders to ID fast flying alcids on bumpy boats!!  Becky reported 67 as
well as higher counts of Razorbills and large alcids.

Razorbill  20

Atlantic Puffin 2. Surprisingly only 2.  Both adults or sub-adults. 
Becky had 2 also.

Black-legged Kittiwake  46.  Mostly scattered individuals.  Becky
reported 132.  No doubt this is due to an increase in gull activity
around the fishing boat vs. our research boat.

Herring Gull  17  We didn't have many large gulls offshore.  When we
stopped for water samples, gulls and fulmar flew in to investigate, but
very few.

Great Black-backed Gull  9

Northern Fulmar 7.  Only 7 well offshore when we stopped for water
samples.  Some dark morphs.  Surprisingly ZERO on Becky's trip.

Northern Gannet  7

Steve Mirick
Bradford, MA
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