Checklist S19459656

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Freeport Pelagic Trip 08122014- Hudson Canyon Mouth (chum slick)

Owner Doug Gochfeld

  • 60
  • 4.5 mi
Checklist Comments

See Life Paulagics overnight (August 11/12) pelagic trip out of Freeport, NY.
Checklist plotted at location of boat at 7:10 AM. The water temperature at 7:10 was 76.8° F. Boat stopped around 4 AM and started laying a chum slick and drifting. Entire time was spent drifting and observing our continuing chum slick.


  1. Number observed: 800

    Details: Difficult to quantify, but estimates ranged from 400 to 1600. 800 Seems to be pretty reasonable, given our more rigorous counts of large Storm-Petrels and the ratios of Wilson's to them that we were thinking of, as well as given the 5 mile long chum/oil slick we laid down over 4+ hours.

  2. Number observed: 32

    Details: *Uncommon but expected, probably in roughly these numbers, in deep, warm, water off the Northeast this time of year. Large storm-petrel, with noticeably forked tail, and warm brown overall tone. Long, slender wings, and erratic, nighthawk-like, flight. Photos by many: DG: Sean Sime:

  3. Number observed: 52

    Details: **Rare but regular in very deep, warm water off the northeast at this time of year. Not many records for New York because of a lack of coverage this far off shore.
    ***Very Hight Count. All-time New York State high count.

    All birds were coming into the chum slick that we started a couple of hours before sunrise, and most of the ones we counted were coming in from downwind (from the ~NW). Steady stream counted passing the boat and entering the slick. Most birds then continued down the slick and stayed a fair distance away from the boat. This count likely missed some birds entering the slick by passing off the stern, as the main movement seemed to be past the bow, and this is where the vast majority of the observer effort was during the first hour or two after it was light enough to see things well. Band-rumped numbers dropped off big time after the first hour or so of them coming in. They usually came in in singles, though some were in pairs, or groups as large as 4.

    Many photos, though the majority of the birds probably went unphotographed due to the low light (mostly cloudy) during the peak of their numbers passing close by the boat. Photos below aren't all the birds photographed, just a selection of the ones best photographed.

    DG photos:
    6:09 AM:

    7:11 AM:

    7:19 AM:

    8:19 AM:

    Sean Sime photos:

  4. Oceanodroma sp.

    Number observed: 10

    Details: Large, long-winged Storm-Petrels that, generally due to distance, eluded identification. Some of these were at night or in the dark very early dawn minutes.

  5. Number observed: 1

    Details: ****MEGA!! The first well documented Fea's Petrel in New York waters, and only the 2nd individual of the Fea's/Zino's complex to be reported in the state. Despite time seeming to slow down, the bird was in view at reasonable range for probably under a minute. Fairly large/thick Pterodroma Petrel, white bodied, mostly dark gray on the upperparts, with mostly dark/black underwings, except for the inner forewing, which had a triangle/wedge of obvious white. Wings appeared fairly long and the bird had a reasonably large feel to it. Didn't seem to fly with much urgency, nor an exceptional amount of speed or agility for a Pterodroma. Gray hood extended foreward to between the eye and bill, and down to the eye. Behind the eye, the gray dropped down in a half collar, not stretching onto the underside of the neck/chest. Upperparts were various shades of gray. Mantle and head/cap were fairly dark gray, and the lower back was even darker with a hint of brownish, contrasting obviously with a much paler rump and uppertail. Darker/browner color extended from the tertials out through the lesser/median coverts in a diagonal slash across both inner wings contrasting with paler silvery gray greater secondary coverts and inner forewing. Primaries, primary coverts, and secondaries were darker gray as well, though maybe not quite as dark/brown as the lesser/median covert bar. Bill was stout and quite noticeable in the field. Photos also show it to be reasonably thick, right in the range of Fea's, with a very small wedge-shaped gap between the bulbous bill tip and the nose tubes. Location was ~39.41, -72.166667 (~0.37 miles NW of the checklist location), but it was clearly attracted to and following the chum slick. Photos by several people on board. DG:

  6. Number observed: 1

    Details: *Expected in warm water off shore at this time of year.
    Very distant and just barely diagnostic photos. Seen by the majority of people on the boat.

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