Thursday, March 17, 2011

Pelagics on my mind!

Pelagic birding is on my mind right now, not least because I STILL haven't seen a Razorbill - or for that matter an auk of any kind - in Cape May County!! Tom Reed has been spending a lot of time down at Cape May Point of late and getting some good counts of birds that have ventured inadvertently into Delaware Bay, but if you really want a good chance of seeing these tricky birds, you really need to head out on a boat. As well as Tom's counts from dry land, I was sent the following information today - sounds like it's going to be a good trip to be in on!

As part of New Jersey Audubon’s week long celebration of CAPE MAYgration, an overnight  pelagic trip is planned for Thursday, May 19/Friday, May 20 departing from Wildwood Crest, NJ. Pelagic birds aren’t usually found close to land, spending much of their lives out at sea, which is the only way you’ll see many of them without a long haul to the Southern Hemisphere!  Target species for this trip include Greater, Sooty, Manx and Cory's Shearwaters, Northern Fulmar, Wilson's and Leach's Storm-petrels, South Polar Skua, Pomarine, Parasitic and Long-tailed Jaegers, Red and Red-necked Phalaropes and Arctic Tern.  Also Fin and Pilot Whale, and Risso's, Common and Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin.

If you are seaworthy and anxious to get these amazing open-ocean wanderers on your list, consider registering for the CAPE MAYgration Pelagic and bird with some of the area’s best pelagic leaders - Paul Guris, Mike Fritz, Tony Leukering, Tom Reed and Scott Barnes.

The 110 ft. Atlantic Star has a large enclosed cabin and restrooms for both ladies and gentlemen and a large sundeck with seating on the upper deck.  This is an overnight trip without bunks; be prepared to sleep on benches or the floor.  The boat leaves from the dock in Wildwood Crest, NJ at 11 PM on Thursday evening and plans to be off the edge of the Continental Shelf before daybreak, begin a chum slick and work on birds as it becomes light.  The boat will then proceed up the slick and work other shelf and canyon waters.  Plan on returning to dock around 5 PM on Friday, May 20.  Weather date is set for Sunday, May 22/Monday, May 23.

Cost is $225 per person; for more information and to register CLICK HERE.  Deadline for registration is April 30, 2011.  

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