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NC PELAGIC GADFLY GRANDSLAM & ABA #700
- To: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Subject: NC PELAGIC GADFLY GRANDSLAM & ABA #700
- From: "Brad Carlson" <email@example.com>
- Date: Sat, 24 May 2003 18:21:57 -0400
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I preface this email with an unrelated final thanks to Derb Carter and the
other CBC birders that attended the CBC trip to Colorado last month. This
fantastic trip allowed me to pick up all eight (8) of my possible Colorado
ABA life birds putting me at 699 species in the ABA. By design, I entered
this Memorial Day weekend with Bermuda Petrel on my radar screen for my only
remaining East Coast pelgaic species and potentially my #700 ABA species.
This morning I took the NC pelagic out of Manteo on the Country Girl. We
started the morning by picking up all the normal terns, shearwaters and
storm-petrels. The first thing of note was 100+ (I don't know the official
count) BRIDLED TERNS and RED-NECKED PHALAROPES in mixed flocks at the grass
line at the edge of the Gulf Stream. Soon after that we had our first
Pterodrama of the day. Of course, it was the one to be expected, a
BLACK-CAPPED PETREL. We also picked up a few LEACH'S STORM-PETRELS and a
couple of BAND-RUMPED STORM-PETRELS.
Then the real excitement of the day started. A light morph HERALD PETREL
came by the boat and made a few passes! Great looks for everyone. On
previous trips I had seen around seven or eight dark morph HERALD PETRELS,
but this was my first light morph of this species. Check, gadfly #2 of the
Not long after this excitement, things got even more interesting with a
fast, but close pass by the boat, of a FEA'S PETREL! Most everyone were
able to get on this bird, but unfortunately a few people could not pick it
up before it headed off into the horizon. A great bird! One of only three
I have ever seen. Gadfly #3!!!
It was around noon now, so I decided to take a short nap inside and get
rested up for the afternoon. After recharging, headed back out and took up
position at the stern. Around 1:00pm I spotted a small gadfly petrel pass
behind the boat, but way too far out to confirm id, and it was quickly out
of site. I did not speak up to anyone, but quite frankly, I prayed that I
would get one more look at it, and I promised that if I was given that
chance, I would not miss the opportunity. Sure enough, at 1:06pm, the bird
came back through the fish oil slick behind the boat. This time it was
closer, and I was able to confirm the id. As you can imagine, I screamed
BERMUDA PETREL!!!!!! I apologize, but I may have used a few other choice
#%$^*&@(*&#@!! words as well. Once I was able to get other folks on it, we
had great views as it worked around the boat for 5+ minutes. The BERMUDA
PETREL was a beautifully clean plumaged adult. A couple of us were able to
take a number of photos, so hopefully we will get some decent pictures. Our
fourth Pterodrama of the day! A GADFLY GRANDSLAM, and the 700th species in
the ABA for me!!! As you can tell, I am not excited at all!
As if all this was not enough, we had a young RED-BILLED TROPICBIRD fly low
to the water past the boat, then rise high up and off into the clouds. Wow,
a great bird and only the second ever for me!
FYI: Brian Patteson still has extra spaces on the pelagics over the next
couple of days. Call him at (252) 986-1363, or show up at the docks. I
have not heard about the Hatteras trip today, but hopefully they were
successful as well today.
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