September 27 – 28: On this weekend I joined Massachusetts’ Brookline Bird Club for an overnight trip from Hyannis, over Nantucket Shoals near the resting place of the Andrea Doria, out to Hydrographer Canyon at the edge of the continental shelf and the warm waters that split off here from the gulf stream. The main target species was White-faced Storm-Petrel, and although one actually was briefly sighted, most of the more than fifty observers aboard the “Helen H” were disappointed in not having been able to catch even a fleeting glimpse.
Nonetheless, the weather was beautiful and there were some other good birds, including an unusually large number (well over 100) of Audubon’s Shearwaters over the warm 73 degree water, and a large float of over a hundred Phalaropes – mostly Red-necked, but with a few Red phalaropes mixed in. There were also numerous Storm-Petrels, but all were Wilson’s.
Over Nantucket Shoals species of note included a Parasitic Jaeger and several dark juvenile Long-tailed Jaegers, two Black-legged Kittiwakes, a few Lesser Black-backed Gulls, and scattered Cory’s and Great Shearwaters, as well as one large mixed shearwater flotilla that included at least four Manx Shearwaters.