John C. Conlon
As always June starts off slow in certain regards: not high numbers but high diversity. While the Iceland, Glaucous and Bonaparte’s gulls are pretty much gone, there are still regular sights of gannets. Small groups are regularly seen. Once or twice a week we’ve seen flocks of 100-150 or more.
Scattered individuals of Wilson’s storm petrels were regular over the past several weeks but these and other summer pelagic birds are starting to arrive in higher numbers. On June 15th there were hundreds scattered over southern Stellwagen for a couple miles. We are also getting steady mixed flocks of 20 to 40 sooty and greater shearwaters.
Our first good looks at Parasitic jaegers came on June 11th and some great looks at Pomarine jaeger on the 18th. Both jaegers are mostly readily spotted off Race Point. Unlike the shearwaters and storm petrels, we have to really look for the jaegers. They are nowhere near as numerous and they can be difficult to spot as they move through groups of gulls and terns.
Winds from the eastern quarter brought northern fulmars toward Stellwagen. Several offered steady looks as they flew long narrow loops around the boat on June 15th.
Don’t forget to bring your guidebooks and binoculars!