[CT Birds] HAS seabirding trip Sunday Sept 8th

Thomas Robben robben99 at gmail.com
Mon Sep 9 14:13:47 EDT 2013

The stunning and very atypical low numbers of late summer seabirds in some
of the waters off the Massachusetts coast continues, despite several cold
fronts in the last week. Hopefully this marine abnormality is just a
natural cyclical fluctuation and will correct itself soon and not become a

The ten-hour (10am-8pm) HAS Hartford Audubon Society seabirds trip on Sept
8th piggy-backed on the always good NECWA trip (this is not a report for
that MA-based trip), but the birds were missing in key areas this year,
although the boat included many experienced seabirders and we did
everything we could to find these birds. They just were not there, even
around Race Point and other areas where they are seen every September. Here
is the first draft bird list, in ad hoc order, subject to more revisions,
which will be posted at   trips33.blogspot.com

Manx Shearwater, 3
Sooty Shearwater, 1
Great Shearwater, 20+
Leach's Storm-petrel, 1
Jaeger spp, 3
Forster's Tern, 3
Common Tern, 30
Northern Gannet, 20+
Phalarope, probably Red-necked, 3
Black-bellied Plover, 50 in a flock of 200 small shorebirds
Common Loon, 2
Laughing Gull, 20
Herring Gull, 100+
Gr. Black-backed Gull, 50
Mourning Dove, 1  (20 miles east of Chatham, flying toward Spain).

Sabine's Gull, zero, and none reported along the US East Coast since 8/26,
although on the same day 9/8 there were 9 SAGU just north of Maine, and 4
more in Ontario near Buffalo NY. Where are those gulls heading next?

Most of the birds we saw (and the non-birds below) were in the area 20miles
east of Chatham MA, and most seemed to be in response to chumming a
continual slow drip of menhaden fish oil.

4-7 humpback whales (Nine and calf Tongs, Lava and unknowns)
4 - 5 minke whales
10 - 12 Atlantic white-sided dolphins
50 - 60 common dolphins
1 harbor seal
1 ocean sunfish

Tom Robben

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