Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Canada Cruise, Day 4 - 24 Sep 2012
Today was an all-day at sea. Almost from first light I was able to spot seabirds soaring low over the water from our 9th deck balcony. As soon as breakfast was done I grabbed the scope and cameras and headed for the mid-ship deck.
Your bird looks like a dark Pomarine Jaeger to me. Skuas are even bulkier, darker, and show more white on the upper primaries, among other field marks.
Looks like a dark subadult Pomarine Jaeger.
I think this is a Pomarine Jaeger. The prominent double flash on the underwings created by the white bases of the primaries and primary coverts are evident in at least four of the images. This argues against Parasitic Jaeger (aka Arctic Skua). Also the bill looks bicolored and not heavy enough for any of the skuas. The white flash on the upper wing should also be more extensive on true skuas. Lastly, the dark cap extends right down around the base of bill. I'd like to hear the thoughts of others on the aging of this bird.
A small pod of dolphins appeared next to the ship, and I managed to grab several images of the jumping 'fish' as they made their way toward the ship.
As I fired away at the dolphins a single Cory's Shearwater appeared, and I managed a single capture of the yellow-billed seabird as it sped by.
Northern Gannets were also seen today, with several birds (2-3 at a time) making relatively close passes to the ship.
The surprise sightings of the day, however, went to a Mourning Dove and Baltimore Oriole that were seen flying alongside the ship 10 miles from the closest shore (halfway between Halifax and Prince Edward Island). I'm guessing that they may have stowed away prior to leaving port, but its also possible that the field guides will need to be modified to include these two new seabirds...