Out to Sea

When planning a Big Year . . . it’s easy to forget the deep sea birds . . . these are the most mysterious and the hardest to find.  To have a shot at the Maine State Record (317), I’ll need to get almost all of of the deep sea birds . . . and I need to get them within 20 miles of the Maine Coast (rules, rules, and more rules).

On Saturday, Ingrid and I took our first Pelagic trip of the year (out of Bar Harbor) and although we saw plenty of puffins and razorbills (found on off-shore islands), the boat Captain wouldn’t go far out due to rough seas (such a wimp) so we didn’t get any of the deep sea birds.

So today I went on Pelagic trip #2 (this one out of Boothbay Harbor) and this time I had better luck.

We saw hundreds of tiny Wilson’s storm petrel . . . quite probably the most common seabird on the planet

A half dozen Northern Fulmars . . . a winter bird that should be in the arctic by now

A single Great Shearwater, the most common of the seabirds

And a handful of Red-necked Phalarope . . . a bird that nests in the arctic tundra but spends the rest of the year feeding in sea weed clumps far out to sea.


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