Sunday, November 14, 2010

Pelagic trip to Nantucket Shoals

Well I have not posted to my blog a long time, so here is a new post.
On Saturday, November 13 I went on a pelagic trip to the Nantucket Shoals.  This is one of the yearly pelagic trips that the Brookline bird club sponsors.  We left Hyannis aboard the Helen H at seven in the morning and traveled Nantucket sound down past South Monomoy Island.  At this point the sun was shining the wind was minimal and the seas were basically calm.  On the beach  There were probably 100 gray seals present.  At this point we had our first exciting sighting, a juvenile little gul.  As we progressed further out we ran into tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of sea ducks.  I have never seen such a concentration of ducks in been my life.  It was magnificent.

As we continued out, the seas became higher.  They ranged from 3 to 5 feet with occasional 8 to 9 footers .  We encountered at least 30+ humpback whales, swimming, tail slapping to create bubble traps and feeding.  There were large number of gulls, both common varieties along with Icelandic gulls and lesser black backed gulls.  They were both Manx and great shearwaters present.

The next big sighting, was a Great Skua.

The little gull and great skua were life birds for me.

So it was an exciting day and returned about 3:30 back all safe and sound to the dock at Hyannis.