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May 23, 2009 Toelagic trip from Black Point Marina.

When we left the marina, the weather was looking pretty rough with large thunderstorms to our south and north.  Roberto was able to squeeze us by one very large storm to our south as we went through Caesar's Creek.  Once passed that storm we had one to the northeast which we also avoided.  We did get rained on but it was not too bad.  Miranda and Philip both did extremely well and did not get seasick!
 

Trey and Roberto/Toe


Two very hardy kids who were able to take the large seas up to 6-7 feet (near the storms) plus some rain!



Weather that you don't like to see while boating.  This storm had a waterspout a little later.



Miranda and Philip showing off their catch.

We had some pretty good birds for basically a half day of birding and fishing.  I even got an A.B.A. lifer which was really nice.  Roberto spotted a white bird flying fast and low to the water to our southwest.  It flew with shallow fast wing beats similar to an Amazon parrot.  We tried to head it off at the pass as it flew very quickly to the southeast.  As we were getting near, the bird alighted on the water, as soon as I saw it in the binoculars I knew that it was a tropicbird!  We eased the boat closer not wanting to scare the bird, we needed to know which species.  As we got closer I knew that it was a RED-BILLED TROPICBIRD!  The large red bill really stands out at a distance.  Not a lifer for Trey or Toe but an A.B.A. lifer for Miranda, Philip and me!

RED-BILLED TROPICBIRD

The photo above is what we saw in the distance.

RED-BILLED TROPICBIRD




We had some other pretty good birds as well, Bridled Terns, Wilson's Storm-Petrel, Pomarine Jaeger, Brown Booby and Sooty Tern.

Pomarine Jaeger an immature bird that flew over the boat several times looking for food.




Bridled Tern was the most common pelagic species seen on this trip.  Sooty Terns were not as common.

Bridled Tern, notice the white collar, white in the tail and grayish color.  Also look at how far the white stripe over the eye goes back behind the eye.



Brown Boobies on Pacific Light as well as Magnificent Frigatebirds and Double-crested Coromorants.


I can't wait for the TAS trip this weekend May 30, 2009.  Perhaps we will see another tropicbird!

 

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