Saturday, June 27, 2009

Petit Comité Pelagic

Mike Mulligan and Darién Montañez spent the morning of June 20 out beyond Islas Frailes hoping a pelagic bird or two would approach. A gorgeous, non-glary day with still waters and no wind provided excellent conditions, and allowed us to see floating shearwaters from far, far away. We must have had about 15 Galápagos Shearwater sightings, some floating obliviously about two meters away from our boat, but most flying around (we like to think attracted to our meager chumming efforts). The ones that definitely (perhaps) came in to our canned-tuna slick were the Wedge-rumped Storm-Petrels, of which we had about 30 different sightings throughout the morning. We also had a Pomarine Jaeger fly by, paying no attention whatsoever to us. No other species of shearwater, storm-petrel, or jaeger were seen.
Islas Frailes themselves were, as reported by our captain, full of birds. Two to three hundred Bridled Terns, about one hundred Sooty Terns, and about three hundred Brown Noddies stood in every nook and cranny, but we also had about fifty each Blue-footed and Brown Boobies.

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