[CT Birds] Provincetown Seabirding

kmueller at ntplx.net kmueller at ntplx.net
Sat Sep 15 21:01:51 EDT 2012

Saturday Sept 15, Had a wonderful morning seabirding off Provincetown,  
Mass. Jen and I took the 9:45 Whale Watch this morning on the Dolphin  
X from P'town. We were a little early so we stopped by Herring Cove  
Beach at 7:45. Within the first fifteen minutes we counted 13  
Parasitic Jaegers having a field day with the 250 Terns feeding from  
Race Point to out in front of Herring Cove Beach. I counted 13  
Forster's Terns in the group closest to shore. The Jaegers were  
relentless even bearing down on the Laughing Gulls.

On the Dolphin X- the Humpbacks put on a great show with many  
close-encounter breaching, flipper slapping, logging and fluking. In  
total we saw 11 differnt whales. The birding was excellent with over  
50 Shearwaters (mostly Cory's), 7 additional Jaegers (including 1 dark  
Pomarine), Gannets, Red-necked Phalaropes, Wilson's  
Storm-Petrels,Laughing Gulls and a few nice surprises.

Most of the concentrations of birds were just off Race Point in Race  
Rip, and the southern edge of Stellwagen near the tuna boats.

Highlights for the day(combined total- Herring Cove Beach and on the  
Dolphin X)-

Terns- 400 (rough estimate) (mostly Common- I didn't examine the small  
groups for other species)
Forster's Tern- 13
Black Tern- 1 (a single bird flying off Long Point)
Least Tern- 1 (a surprising single bird flying along the breakwater on  
the trip in to port)
Caspian Tern???- 1 (one very large slow flying Tern seen flying along  
the beach by Race Point Beach- only saw the bird for a few minutes  
through binoculars while the vessel was steaming back to port) Caspian  
would be my best guess?

Parasitic Jaegers- 19 (had a group of four fly over the bow on the way  
in just off Race Point Beach)
Pomarine Jaeger- 1 (dark morph- on Stellwagen)

Gannets- 40
Wilson's Storm-Petrels- 13 (all of Race Point in the rip)

Shearwaters- (most flying, but many sitting on the water)
Cory's Shearwater- 27 (spectacular close views)
Manx Shearwater- 15 (love these little shearwaters)!
Sooty Shearwater- 3 (all on Stellwagen Bank at a distance)
Greater Shearwater- 16

Red-necked Phalarope- 60 (all seen off Race Point in the rip- few  
singles and pairs- one large flock 50 birds)

Razorbill- 1 (sitting on the water with a small group of resting Manx  
and Cory's Shearwater on Stellwagen Bank).

I will have a complete report with many images on my blog in about a week:
New England Coastal Birds http://coastalbirds2.blogspot.com/

Keith Mueller   Killingworth, CT.

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