Belmar Paulagic – Jan. 2, 2015

Alex LamoreauxBirding, Featured, Trip ReportsLeave a Comment

Great Black-backed Gull (adult) at the docks. (Photo by Alex Lamoreax)

Great Black-backed Gull at the docks. (Photo by Alex Lamoreax)

See Life Paulagics kicked off it’s 2015 winter pelagic line-up with an 8 hour trip out of Belmar, New Jersey on January 2nd. This short trip stayed close to shore, and we had great weather, and fairly calm seas which helped to make this the perfect trip for birders new to the pelagic scene. A constant stream of chum behind the boat kept a large gull flock following us throughout most of the day including Great Black-backed Gulls and Herring Gulls, but on two occasions we were able to lure in adult Black-legged Kittiwakes for a closer look. Northern Gannets also put in a fantastic show, as always, by plunge-diving directly behind the boat and making extremely close passes for great photos! Winter pelagic birders are always eager to see alcids, and we were fortunate to encounter multiple Razorbills and Common Murre throughout the day. Red-throated and Common Loons, Great Cormorants, and various seaducks were also seen well from the boat.

Adult Northern Gannet making a close pass. (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Adult Northern Gannet making a close pass. (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Third year Northern Gannet cruising past. (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Second year Northern Gannet cruising past. (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Common Murre flushing ahead of the boat. (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Common Murre flushing ahead of the boat. (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Adult Black-legged Kittiwake headed towards out wake. (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Adult Black-legged Kittiwake headed towards our wake. (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Common Loon (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Common Loon (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Adult Great Cormorant (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Adult Great Cormorant (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

First winter Great Black-backed Gull (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

First winter Great Black-backed Gull (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Adult Northern Gannet (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Adult Northern Gannet (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Common Loon flying past the boat. (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Common Loon flying past the boat. (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

First winter Herring Gulls, like this guy, were nearly constantly following the Suzie Girl around trying to sample our chum. (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

First winter Herring Gulls, like this guy, were nearly constantly following the Suzie Girl around trying to sample our chum. (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Adult Great Cormorant taking flight alongside the boat. (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)

Adult Great Cormorant taking flight alongside the boat. (Photo by Alex Lamoreaux)