On this particular trip, we didn't see anything especially rare on on the bird front - we saw the four 'expected' shearwater species for New England waters: Greater, Cory's, Manx and Sooty. Also we saw the two more common storm-petrels: the worldwide abundant Wilson's and the less common Leach's which we got really great looks at. I think that the avian highlight of the trip for many were actually the several close-up looks we had at the Leach's Storm-petrels, as we usually only get a few on a trip, and often times they are flying away from the boat. We had at least 6-7 on this trip, and a few actually flew pretty close to the boat, giving everybody really good comparative looks so that it was quite easy to differentiate them from the numerous Wilson's Storm-petrels.
And we encountered not one, but two Blue Whales - certainly not common for our New England waters, as well a single Sperm Whale, a few Pilot Whales, and Risso's Dolphins.
Another highlight, and another first for these trips, was a Green Sea Turtle.
One disadvantage of staying on the lower deck of these trips (which is great for bird photography) is that it's pretty difficult to see (or photograph) the cool things that are just below the surface. The folks on the second deck not only got great looks at the turtle, but also of a shark that apparently approached the turtle and took a bite out of it's carapace!! For some really excellent photos, check out these by one of the trip's guides.
Inasmuch as the birds went, even though there was not a lot of variety, I enjoyed my first pelagic trip using the new camera, and playing with the settings, trying to follow flying birds, etc. I think I did a lot better with it than I had with my mega-zoom in the past, and although maybe not as adept with it as many of the other fine photographers on board (thanks to those who had suggestions and tips for me) I'm pretty happy with the results.
*** ADDENDUM: For those that are interested, Steve Mirick (one of the great spotters/leaders of this trip) has posted some additional interesting info from the trip.
A map showing the route of the trip is here
A chart showing all the species that have been seen on these BBC pelagic trips can be found here