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Dolphin Fleet Naturalist Notebook – September 26th

On September 26th, the Dolphin Fleet offered a 6 hour pelagic birdwatching trip.  Naturalist John Conlon describes the trip:

We left the dock at 9 AM with grey skies and a good but not harsh northeast wind. The usual eider duck raft was in the inner harbor. Moments later we had black-crowned night herons and several hundred double-crested cormorants on the breakwater. We also had our first surprise of the day; great cormorants have begun arriving for the winter season. Farther along there were great sightings of roseate and common terns from Long Point to Race Point. Along with the terns were good looks at tern-harassing parasitic jaegers. To the west was seen a small group of white-winged scoters; always a sign of autumn. Then around Race Point toward Peaked Hill with a quick stop on a humpback whale and then onward to the Highland. Plenty of great shearwaters as well as a sooty, manx and Cory’s shearwaters. Indeed the greats punctuated the remainder of the trip. We had no shortage of the obvious gulls but additionally we had black-legged kittiwakes, Bonaparte’s and one gull thought to be albino great black-backed gull. The big loop out around the “BD” bouy offered exceptional looks at northern fulmars; the first I’ve seen this year. The occasional small groups of Northern gannets are always a spectacular sight. All in all a spectacular day of seabirding!