[CT Birds] Gloucester Cod boat Shearwaters
kmueller at ntplx.net
kmueller at ntplx.net
Sat Jul 12 08:08:35 EDT 2014
On the Yankee Clipper (from the Yankee Fleet) yesterday (Friday) to
Tillies Bank, it was the best Shearwater showing I have ever had on
this vessel while codfishing. The birds started appearing on the way
out at 7:00 am with Thatchers Island still visible in the distance and
continued steady all day long. The largest concentrations were seen a
mile or two before Tillies Bank with birds virtually covering the
water as far as you could see in every direction. Flying birds were
non-stop throughout the day often in continuous small groups. In the
late afternoon on the way back to port the fish-cleaning activities on
the stern attracted an unbelievable number of Shearwaters dropping in
among the frenzied Gulls in the boat's wake. At one point, a massive
amount of rafted Shearwaters were visible in every direction
surrounding the boat. The Shearwaters continued following the stern of
the Clipper until about two miles from the entrance to the harbor.
Whales were plentiful throughout the day often close to the anchored
vessel. Great Shearwaters were the prevalent species, much fewer
numbers of Sooty and Cory's. I only saw 1 Manx for the day. Wilson's
Storm-Petrels were sporadic, but all seen on Tillies Bank area while
fishing. The most unusual sighting I had for the day was a single
LEACH'S STORM-PETREL flying in the distance on Tillies heading west.
No Gannets seen.
Highlights: (These numbers are approx, not meticulously counted) Great
Shearwater- 4,350 (conservative count- probably higher, birds were
continuous throughout the day just about everywhere in every direction
sitting on the sea and flying in all directions- two very large rafts
seen quite spread out), Sooty Shearwater- 235, Cory's Shearwater- 165,
Manx Shearwater-1, Wilson's Storm-Petrels- 350, LEACH'S
STORM_PETREL-1, Common Tern-2, Laughing Gull-3, Humback Whale- 18,
Unidentified Whale species- 3, probable Pilot Whales- 3, Haddock and
Codfishing was excellent!
I will post photos in a few days on my Facebook page.
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