News & Notes


Trip Report: 2013 Bar Harbor Pelagic

Friday, September 20th, 2013
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The basic description we have used for this trip humbly states “great boat, great camaraderie, and, of course, great sightings of birds and marine mammals” – this is an understatement on many counts! We were very pleased to have about 100 guests aboard this annual trip. Below you will find a short video from the boat including a short look at some dolphins we saw, an official species list compiled by Doug Hitchcox, links to the eBird checklists and a photo gallery from the trip.

If you have photos you would like to share from this trip please leave a link in the comments or send us an email.

The Friendship V of the Bar Harbor Whale Watch Co. is the “most luxurious and fastest active catamaran whale watcher in the USA” according to their website. No kidding, not only is she fast but stable and comfortable for our near 130 mile round trip on the open water. This video shows us cruising past Acadia and a bonus view of one of the pods of Atlantic White-sided Dolphins we watched.

Another great aspect of this trip is the camaraderie on the boat. It was great to have a strong group of experienced birders along to share identification tips, discreet differences and behaviors among the species we saw with those who were new to pelagic birds or birding in general.

As for the species list, well that’s always up to the birds and we were fortunate to see some significant birds. Even some of the most experienced birders on board saw at least one lifer!

Here are the compiled checklists as submitted by Doug Hitchcox to eBird. If you are new to eBird it is simply an online database of bird observations which helps provide scientists, researchers and amateur naturalists with data about bird distribution and abundance. All species are listed beneath the photos.

The checklists are split up by region – Maine Audubon Pelagic 2013:

Species list and approximate totals:

  • Mallard – 24
  • American Black Duck – 10
  • Blue-winged Teal – 9
  • Common Eider – 384
  • Surf Scoter – 2
  • Common Loon – 3
  • Northern Fulmar – 7
  • Great Shearwater – 370
  • Sooty Shearwater – 84
  • Manx Shearwater – 1
  • Wilson’s Storm-pretrel – 40
  • Leach’s Storm-petrel – 120
  • Northern Gannet – ~100
  • Double-crested Cormorant – 52
  • Great Cormorant – 8
  • Great Blue Heron – 1
  • Bald Eagle – 1
  • Black-bellied Plover – 1
  • Least Sandpiper – 1
  • Red-necked Phalarope – 110
  • Red Phalarope – 200
  • GREAT SKUA – 3
  • SOUTH POLAR SKUA – 2
  • Pomarine Jaeger – 21+
  • Parasitic Jaeger – 2
  • Razorbill – 16
  • Black Guillemot – 2+
  • Atlantic Puffin – 9
  • Bonaparte’s Gull – 1+
  • Laughing Gull – 7
  • Herring Gull – ~200
  • Lesser Black-backed Gull – 10
  • Great Black-backed Gull – ~250
  • Common Tern – 8
  • Ruby-throated Hummingbird – 6-7
  • Merlin – 2
  • American Crow – 4+
  • Northern Parula – 1

Mammals:

  • Fin Whale
  • Humpback Whale
  • Atlantic White-sided Dolphin
  • Harbor Porpoise
  • Gray Seal
  • Harbor Seal
  • Red Bat

Odes:

  • Wandering Glider