Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Pelagic Trip

Monday a small group from Southeastern Audubon did a "birding trip" with Newburyport Whalewatch. There were plenty of gulls, terns, and cormorants, but the hoped-for pelagic birds were an almost complete bust. No shearwaters of any kind!

Wilson's Storm-petrel were flying about - mostly at a considerable distance from the boat. Only this one was close enough to allow some reasonable photos ...

Wilson's Storm-petrel
Wilson's Storm-petrel
Wilson's Storm-petrel
Best guess from the naturalists on board was that the preferred food for these birds was in short supply and they were feeding somewhere else. Such is birding.

The whales, on the other hand, put on a good show for the first time this year. (Apparently, it has been a frustrating season for the whalewatchers.)

The highlight was a female humpback whale known as "Fulcrum" and her calf. The calf played in the seaweed, then received lessons from its mother about how to corral fish and feed ...

"Fulcrum" (foreground) and her calf

Calf beginning a deep dive
Close to the boat, the calf begins a deep dive (uncropped photo)

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