The last hurrah for the summer holiday was a pelagic trip out of Brooklyn with See Life Paulagics. We apparently got out about 120 miles or so to the continental shelf. The weather was fantastically calm, with low winds and minimal waves, great for avoiding seasickness, not so great for finding seabirds. Overall numbers were quite low, with the exception of a few rafts of mainly Cory's Shearwater on the way back. Diversity was pretty good though, with crippling views of White-faced Storm Petrel being the highlight. Other birds were: Band-rumped, Wilson's and Leach's Storm Petrels, Great, Audubon and Cory's Shearwaters (both diomedae and borealis), Black-capped Petrel and American Black Tern.
Cetaceans were well represented with great views of pods of Spotted Dolphin and Striped Dolphin, along with hundreds of (Short-finned) Pilot Whales.
A large Hammerhead Shark came close, as well as at least 3 Loggerhead Turtles, 2 Oceanic Sunfish and several Portuguese Men-of-war.
Two ssp. breed in the North/ Central Atlantic, Pelagodroma marina eadesi (Cape Verde I.), and P. m. hypoleuca (Canary and Selvagen Islands). They breed at different times of year.
P. m . eadesi : Nov - May
P. m. hypoleuca : Mar - Sep
The fresh plumage and thin white trailing edge to the wing indicate this is a juvenile, probably P. m. eadesi, hatched on Cape Verde early this year.
P. m. eadesi : Jul - Sep
P. m. hypoleuca : Oct - Feb.
This bird is clearly in the middle of a heavy moult, indicating it is almost certainly P. m. eadesi. This ties in with all previous records of this species off the coast of the US. Interesting to imagine this tiny bird hopping to New York all the way from the coast of Africa!