Seal Island Charter: The Search for "Troppy", Isle au Haut Boat Services, Saturday, 11. July 2020

After two successful stints (read: we saw Troppy!) as the Guest Naturalist aboard the Isle au Haut Ferry Services’s Otter outings to Seal Island National Wildlife Refuge, we have decided to take the boat over – at least for one special afternoon!
And make no doubt about it – our goal is “Troppy,” the world’s most famous Red-billed Tropicbird that has called the island home since 2005! SealIsland is the best place to see this West Indian vagrant in North America or the “ABA Area.” (See Derek’s article in the Nov/Dec 2019 issue of Birding magazine).
Our special charter will provide us with extended search time, covering the best window of the day to see Troppy. While calm seas and clear skies will be most helpful, we’ll at least have plenty of time to look around no matter what.
And if we don’t see this “target?’  Well, I guess we’ll have to suffer through hundreds of Atlantic Puffins and countless Black Guillemots!  Razorbills and Common Murres are expected, and we’ll visit Maine’s last remaining colony of Great Cormorants. Thousands of Arctic and Common Terns will be wheeling around adding to the impressive show at this amazing seabird breeding island. For those who don’t like to visit cold climates, here’s your chance to see all of these species at one time!   And where else in the world can you see Arctic alcids side-by-side with a bird that has “tropic” in its name?
It’s likely we’ll already be seeing some southbound migrant shorebirds, and depending on conditions, we have a chance to see Wilson’s Storm-Petrels, Northern Gannets, Great and Sooty Shearwaters, and, since it’s the open water – who knows what else!?  Our 2018 trip produced a single Manx Shearwater.
Time permitting, we’ll check Saddleback Ledge for immature Great Cormorants among the abundant Double-crested, a variety of gulls, and migrant shorebirds. Expect Harbor and perhaps Gray Seals, while Harbor Porpoise and whales – especially Minke – are possible, as are several very large fish like Mola Mola and Basking Shark.
The trip includes the boat charter and guiding fees. The Otter has ample seating and indoor space, as well as a head (bathroom). Parking is available at the dock for $12 on a first come, first serve basis. Alternatively, there are a variety of parking options in the town of Stonington.
**Payment in full is required to guarantee your space, and we are limiting the trip to 40 people to give us plenty of room to move about the boat. If the trip is cancelled due to sea conditions, there will be a full refund. If Troppy does not return for his 15th summer in Maine, everyone on the list will have the opportunity to cancel for a full refund. If you sign up and need to cancel, and we are able to fill your space, you will also receive a full refund. Unfortunately, refunds will not be given if the trip runs but we fail to make it to Seal Island for any reason, and this is at the sole discretion of the captain.**
For more information about our partner, the Isle au Haut Ferry Service, please visit:

Saturday, 11. July 2020, Isle au Haut Boat Services, Seal Island Charter: The Search for "Troppy"

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