Pelagic Trip from Black Point Marina, 9/20/2014

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Sunday I went with some friends on a pelagic trip out to Miami. I’ve never birded in Miami-Dade County before, so I was hoping for some lifers.

We had west winds all day, though, so birds were sparse. We didn’t see a single shearwater the whole day, and we saw only a handful of Sooty Terns–no Bridled Terns, noddies or tropicbirds.

We did see a few jaegers though: one Pomarine Jaeger, one Long-tailed Jaeger, one other jaeger flying with it that was likely also a Long-tailed Jaeger (though we didn’t get a good enough look to rule out Parasitic Jaeger definitively).

Sunrise over MiamiCanon Powershot G7 X
White-crowned PigeonA Lifer!

On the way out, we saw several White-crowned Pigeons flying over the mangroves. These were the first I’ve ever seen. The shot above was distant, but still identifiable. When we got out to the lightouse tower, we saw many Magnificent Frigatebirds. On the way back, there were 16 Brown Boobies resting at the tower.

Brown Booby
Brown Booby
Magnificent Frigatebird

Since there were so little birds to look at 20 miles away from shore, and had little else to occupy ourselves, we had a little fun photographing my lifer Common Yellowfloat.

Common Yellowfloat

But it was a very good day nonetheless. I had two lifers: White-crowned Pigeon and Long-tailed Jaeger, and I also saw my first ever Sperm Whales. We likely saw 4 of them, and two of them came close enough for photos. It’s tough work getting photos that look remotely interesting of whales, but here’s the best I got.

Sperm Whale

We came back a little earlier than we had planned. There just wasn’t much reason to stay out more with the west winds. As we approached the marina, a couple Royal Terns perched by the jetty and posed for a picture.

Royal Terns.

I was also excited that day to try out my new camera, the Canon Powershot G7 X. My Canon Powershot S100HS was stolen, but the guy was caught, and I will receive restitution. I had enough money saved up to upgrade it to the G7X. I must say that so far I’m very impressed with this camera.

Here are some ID shots from the day. I’m not a big fan of these shots, but I’m including them just for photo documentation.

Black TernsWe saw about 30 in flochs like this
Sooty Tern
Long-tailed JaegerWe were moving at 20 knots, and the jaeger was even faster. I just couldn’t get my camera to focus on the bird before it was just gone.

 

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Scott Simmons

Scott Simmons

Scott Simmons, based in Florida, is a lover of nature, landscape, and wildlife photography. Scott became interested in photography in 2001 when he was given his first SLR camera. When he acquired a telephoto lens, he became progressively more interested in birds and other wildlife. Scott enjoys learning about bird habitats and behavior, striving always to take images that are both beautiful and interpretive. Scott believes photography is a great vehicle to help others to appreciate the wonder for the stuff of earth.

Scott Simmons

Scott Simmons

Scott Simmons, based in Florida, is a lover of nature, landscape, and wildlife photography. Scott became interested in photography in 2001 when he was given his first SLR camera. When he acquired a telephoto lens, he became progressively more interested in birds and other wildlife. Scott enjoys learning about bird habitats and behavior, striving always to take images that are both beautiful and interpretive. Scott believes photography is a great vehicle to help others to appreciate the wonder for the stuff of earth.

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