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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.