Sunday, June 12, 2011

Plymouth Whale Watch and Sea Birds

Wow....what a great birding weekend.  I started birding Friday and I finished today at 4PM.  I think I was dreaming about birds at night too.  Thinking about the adventures of the day.  I'd been planning today's trip for months.  It was a pelagic trip with several local clubs.  I was particularly nervous because typically I get dreadful sea sickness so I've been watching the maritime reports for weeks.  Hoping when today rolled around the seas would be less than 2 feet.  Unfortunately the weekend arrived with reports of rain and waves building to 7 feet.  I got a seasickness patch beforehand so I was determined to go. 

I awoke this morning to poring rain.  AUGH!  I packed my bags and headed to Plymouth still leery of meeting Ralph off the back of the boat.  We departed for the outer Cape Cod area at 8AM.   The trip started off great, but as soon as we exited the harbor the waves started increasing.  By 1030 there were 8 to 10 foot swells.  The wave action was crazy so were the birds and the whales.  We got great action on both accounts.  I was fortunate.  I didn't even get queasy.  I was one of the few people that didn't.   People were turning green everywhere. 

Here are a couple of the better pics for the day.  I can't believe they even came out.  The boat was bouncing with the waves.  I'm glad there were so many and they got close enough to photograph.

We saw 25 humpbacks, 20 minkies, and one fin back.  Numerous birds species too. Here are a few pics from the day.

Greater Shearwater

Northern Gannet (Immature bird-maybe 2 years)

Sooty Shearwater

South Polar Skua
(rare bird for New England waters.  They are around, but its a treat to see one. 
Lifer for me.  Wayne Peterson  of Mass Audubon made the captain chase this bird down so everyone could see it.  The boat did a 360 and was riding the waves fast). 

Humpback fluke

Humpback consuming food
I'm going on another one of these trips in September.  Great trip.....just hope the wave action is much less.

More later in the week from my Friday and Saturday trip to Burage Pond in Hanson, MA and Touisett WMA in Warren, RI.


Jen said...

Wow so awesome! I've yet to go on a pelagic trip but I'm definitely afraid of getting seasick... Congrats on the lifer and not getting sick!!

JRandSue said...

Superb captures,fantastic flight shots.