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DVOC Field Trip Report
by Paul Guris
December 31, 2004 (Friday)
Pelagic Christmas Count
See Life Paulagics ran a pelagic CBC out of Belmar. The day was quite a success. While we had no real rarities, we did manage to see over 130 alcids. Most were Razorbills, including several sitting on the water at very close quarters. Two sat in our chum slick less than 100' from the boat. We also managed to find 9 Dovekies, including a bird sitting on the water within 30-40 yards of the boat.
Another nice show was given by the Kittiwakes. The birds were very cooperative, coming into the chum and very close to the boat, often flying a short distance right over our heads. The sad part was that we only saw 1 immature bird. Over 100 Bonaparte's Gulls were also seen. The only other noteworthy gull was an adult Iceland seen very well. Once again, we missed Lesser Black-backed. We had a brief and flying away Northern Fulmar, but unfortunately it never came back to investigate our slick.
The counts below are split between the transect we did for the CBC and the birds seen inshore of where we started the transect. Note that due to the shorter day, we did not spend much time in New York waters, but still managed to get Kittiwakes, Razorbills, and a Dovekie for New York.
Common Dolphins rounded out the trip.