When I saw an e-mail about the Sea life Pelagic Trip out of Freeport Long Island NY, I made some inquires with some of my birding friends on their thoughts about the trip. Specifically, I spoke with Shai Mitra and Pat Lindsay, who both recommended the trip. Unfortunately, neither of them came out with me on Sunday January 17th for the 8 hour trip in the Atlantic Ocean. Joining me on the trip was Corey of 10000birds. After picking up Corey, in Queens we made short work of the ride out to Freeport and were boarding the boat with about 15 minutes before departure. Good thing we got there when we did because once we boarded and entered the Cabin, it was obvious that we had a decent size group. I was immediately drawn to voices going over species count and espied members of the "Jones Beach Boys" (as they are fondly referred to), doing their usual wrangling on who had more species for their year list.
There were many familiar faces from the birding community; as well as, some that I met for the first time like Carrie, from Great or Greatest Auk. One thing was certain, there was a lot of talent on board and if there were birds around, these talented birders were going to spot them. After some announcements on how to properly get sick :) and other stuff like watching out for birders stampeding, we were off. As soon as we were a few miles off shore the "chumming" began. Chumming, involves the use of food such as tuna, popcorn or other bait to attract the target species near the boat. Watching from the back of the boat, I got to see how effective it was in bringing in birds.
Here are some teaser photos, that gives you an idea on the traffic following us. Check back for part II of the trip.
Tags: NY Pelagic, Gulls, Birding