Mammal watching in North Carolina

Hey folks

Last May I hit up North Carolina for birding and Salamandering, but also saw a few interesting mammals, particulary pelagic species

I had two trips with Patteson Pelagics

These are largely pelagic birding trips (all day) in the gulf stream, targeting gulf stream specialties and rare Pterodroma petrels.  But to be honest for the two trips the whale watching was much better.

Over 2 days we had Humpback Whale (unusual for this season), Risso’s Dolphin (rare) 2 Sperm Whales (uncommon but regular), and multiple encounters with Offshore Bottlenose and Atlantic Spotted Dolphin, as well as Short-finned Pilot Whale (all three common).

Not seen on this trip but also regularly seen are Cuvier’s Beaked Whale and less regularly Gervais Beaked Whale.  Past trips have also encountered False Killer Whale, Clymene Dolphin, Fin Whale and others.

On land, I encountered Nutria and Raccoon at Pea Island NWR, although in general the land mammals were fairly poor on this trip (although I managed my first Black Bear earlier that week at Smoky Mountains NP

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