Naturalists Notes 11-1-18
November 1, 2018
Happy November! We traveled to the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary today in unbelievable flat calm seas for the 1st of November! The glass water allowed us to easily spot wild life, such as harbor seals hauled out in banana pose off of George’s Island, a small pod of harbor porpoise, and two large pods of Atlantic White Sided Dolphins! (fellow naturalist Kelsey even spotted a common dolphin snuck into the pod of white-sided dolphins. As we appreciated the glass seas and dolphin dorsals, we spotted several calves and saw a few dolphin breaches!
We had quite a few bird enthusiasts on board today, and fall is always a great time to see a variety of birds. We spotted razorbills, surf scoters, northern gannets (a few diving), great shearwaters, common loons, black backed gulls, and jaeger attacking a herring gull. Jaegers are parasitic – often stealing food from other birds, sometimes by making them throw up! (such as the parasitic Jaeger).
As we arrived to the SW corner of the bank, we spotted an elusive solitary humpback. While searching waiting for this whale to come back up, we luckily found a great trio of female humpbacks, Ursa, Echo, and Entropy. This trio has interesting surface patterns and appeared to be traveling randomly, but our captain observed that that the group was actually making a linear trip SW the entire time. One of the females, Entropy, was a bit more scarred-up from fishing-gear entanglement then from the last time I saw her, and was a reminder of the threats humpbacks face.
We wrapped up our trip with a beautiful close approach by Echo!