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Dolphin Fleet Birdwatching Notes – June 2010

John C. Conlon is a naturalist aboard the Dolphin Fleet and will be posting regular updates about bird sightings on Stellwagen Bank and the surrounding waters. Below is the first for the season.

We are now well into our 2010 whalewatching season. Whales have been great and the weather has, for the most part, been great as well. Along with the whales come the seabirds. And with the seabirds come the pelagic birdwatchers: well dressed for the weather and binoculars in hand.

As we usher in the new pelagic birding season we welcome our birding volunteers as well. Bill Low has returned, with his photographic experience, for a second season. Diane Robertson will be joining us for her first year on the Dolphin Fleet as will Ellie Burke. They come along to join us on my Wednesday morning and afternoon trips to help seabirders during our whalewatch trips. They also collect seabird count data for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology / National Audubon Society eBird program. So join us in our introduction to pelagic birding on Wednesdays.

Looking ahead to the autumn that rapidly approaches once July 4th has passed… the Cape Cod Bird Club is gearing up for a six-hour pelagic trip on September 26th as part of its Cape Cod Birding Weekend. As an introduction to the trip Blair Nikula will be presenting “Birding the Bank: The Birds of Stellwagen Bank” on September 13th. More details on both will follow as the summer progresses.

As for birding over this past month… We had well over 1000 Sooty Shearwaters outside the Peaked Hill Bars on 14 June. One very late RAZORBILL on 16 June. Two Bonaparte’s Gulls seen somewhat regularly between the two Provincetown piers until June 17th. Steady sightings of Least Terns and irregular sightings of jaegers outside Race Point over this past week. And we’ve had steady sightings of small flocks of Sooty and Greater Shearwaters and disperse flocks of Wilson’s Storm-Petrels north of Peaked Hill over this past week as well.
So join us for a look at some pelagic birds… Peter Trull, loads of fun to go birding with, works as naturalist on Fridays, Saturdays and Wednesdays. And I work as naturalist on Sundays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. So, come along and don’t forget your binoculars…