Saturday 8 August 2015

August 8th Pelagic

On my first day back in Newfoundland I had the opportunity to join Ian Jones on a sea birding excursion between Petty Harbour & Cape Race. After doing the 6 hour round trip and getting great views of many seabirds, we made short time of catching our limit of 15 cod for our 3 person group.

Here's our route:

The day started off slow with very little action most of the way towards Cape Race. As soon as we passed Cappahayden the shearwater numbers quickly picked up. We never found any feeding frenzies, or massive flocks. But there were regular flocks of 50-100 sitting on the water.

Great Shearwater was the most common species of shearwater we saw. In total we probably saw 1000.

One of the main highlights was having a Northern Fulmar investigating our boat and begging for handouts: 

Manx Shearwaters were the least common of the 3 shearwater species that we saw - we probably saw between 8 & 12. But they seem to be the most wary of approaching boats. They often flew away before we could slow down and train our cameras on them, while the Great & Sooty Shearwaters remained.

Sooty Shearwaters were not nearly as common as Great Shearwaters - totalling probably about 50 birds.

Most of the shearwaters were sitting on the water in the area of Cape Race.

The light house with the usual skeets loitering around back:

Gray Seal:

Our 2nd biggest cod:

These fillets are 50cm long!