Viking Starship – Whale Watch/Pelagic Birding!

Matt and Karen during a quiet moment on board the Viking Starship.

Matt and Karen during a quiet moment on board the Viking Starship.

This morning a small group of us from Orange and Sullivan Counties headed to Montauk Point to join the Viking Starship Whale Watch. We had a super day, though there wasn’t a whale to be seen. We did have some great pelagic birds though! Lance Verderame, Karen Miller and Matt Zeitler joined me for a full day 4:30 am until 9:30 pm door to door! We didn’t get as many birds as they have been having recently, but we got our desired targets and a bonus bird as well! We headed out of port at 9:30 am to a bit rougher seas than had been predicted. Though a bit rough, it was nothing that we couldn’t handle without difficulty. Some of the other folks onboard weren’t so fortunate. That said, it wasn’t long before birds began to show. First, a raft of loafing Herring Gulls contained a single GREAT SHEARWATER! Definitely one of our targets we were pleased and encouraged by seeing it. Almost immediatley, this bird was followed by a flock RED-NECKED PHALAROPE! Shortly thereafter, the first of many WILSON’S STORM-PETRELS began to show. Though bird numbers were relatively low, there were few times that we didn’t have something to see. Next, a beautiful COREY’S SHEARWATER came into view and provided excellent looks. The next several shearwaters couldn’t actually be identified to species as they were quite distant. Later in the afternoon, two more Corey’s Shearwaters gave us a great show! All of the attached bird photos are courtesy of Matt Zeitler who did a great job of capturing many images and sharing them with the rest of us! Thanks again Matt! This was an exhausting but really enjoyable day with great birds and great friends! If you are interested in seeing more of Matt’s photos from the trip go to http://orangebirding.com and enjoy!
Here is the list of our target birds:
Great Shearwater – 1
Corey’s Shearwater – 3
Wilson’s Storm-petrel – 46
Red-necked Phalarope – 12

Shearwater sp. 3

Phalarope sp. 6

One of the dozen Red-necked Phalarope we saw today.

One of the dozen Red-necked Phalarope we saw today.

One of Matt's excellent shots of a Corey's Shearwater.

One of Matt’s excellent shots of a Corey’s Shearwater.

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2 Responses to Viking Starship – Whale Watch/Pelagic Birding!

  1. Thanks for a great day John! I’m so glad it worked out well for us birders, even if the the whale watchers left disappointed. I still felt like I was at sea going to bed last night, ha ha.

  2. I know exactly what you mean, I felt like I was moving while working on my post. I’m updating my post this morning to include a link to your blog so others can see the rest of your photos. Thanks again!

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