A few plastron bones and the upper beak are all that remain of a boat-killed Leatherback that washed up on the beach here. Identity is based on descriptions of witnesses who themselves asserted it was a leatherback and described it accurately. Most of the bones are gone. This isn't the first washed up leatherback I've seen. I recorded one on inat in 2012.
Single specimen collected on raft of mixed algae and eel grass. No Sargassum natans in sight. This guy was on Sargassum filipendula, the local native weed. He must have switched over at some point or settled out of the plankton earlier and caught a ride on whatever was available. Video at https://flic.kr/p/yE2vCo
Single cast moult recovered via dredge from RV Gemma while on an educational tour.
Floating mats with other plants provide refuge for small fish, isopods, etc. Collects in bunches in "slicks" in Vineyard Sound. Good place to look for juvenile fish, particularly tropical mahi mahi, sargassum frogfish, barrel fish and banded rudder fish. These mats were mostly Zostera marina but contained Sargassum filipendula, Fucus sp. and Ascophyllum.
Today we went out on Vineyard Sound under perfect sea conditions (flat with very light wind) to look for Sargassum nations mats. We did not find these but we did come across mats of mixed local plants consisting primarily of Ascophllum, Zostera and Sargassum filipendula. Many of these maps hosted small Coryphaena specimens (3-5 inches in length). Long and thin fish with dark mottled coloration, and bright yellow pelvic fins. They would be at the surface when we approached but would sound to 3-5 feet. Often would orient themselves vertically at this time and slowly drift back to surface. We tried to catch them with long hand nets but they were too fast. Familiar with them as we collected one in Eel Pond a couple of weeks ago and kept in aquarium for 5-6 days. The photo shows the mats but does not actually capture a specimen.
Specimen was found in a bucket floating in Lagoon Pond by Shelly Edmundson.
Today while following a plankton slick in 1-2 foot chop we came across a large leatherback sea turtle. I noticed it from approximately 50 m away as a large black, round object with a slight taper pointing up. As we approached it raised and lowered into the water as if taking breaths. The anterior, dorsal part of the shell was awash and the ridges that run along the dorsal side of the shell were visible. The specimen was large with a plastron approximately 5 feet or more in length. As we approached to within approx. 20 m the turtle started to sound. We got some clear views as it was completely submerged and Scott Bennett got some photos. My phone camera was completely unhelpful and I failed to get any decent video.
FOY at home
Four young bald eagles spotted on the ice off Stoney Beach. Tip from Anne J Densmore, who reported them as golden eagles. Seemed to be feeding at one point and a scan revealed what could be a dead seal and certain dead ducks out on ice.
Four specimens from Western Middle Ground. Caught by David Gadsby and Greg Hinkle
Spotted while returning from Menemsha. Smaller individual approx 1 meter (3 ft) in length. At surface. Sounded on approach and quickly re-appeared 10m away. Family all got a look and off we went.
Dock fisherman's catch.
C. album or berlandieri?