David Sonneborn and Norm Budnitz just completed a short repositioning cruise
from Vancouver to San Diego aboard a Holland America cruise ship. On 2
October they were in deep water well off southern Oregon and northern
California, and on 3 October they were off central/southern California.
southern Oregon they had an immature SHORT-TAILED ALBATROSS with a
Laysan and numbers of Black-foots. Will get exact location later.
Off Mendocino County CA, also on the 2nd, they had:
PTERODROMA SP.: this intriguing bird came right close to the boat for
over a minute, doing up-and-down rollercoaster arcing, with no flaps at
all for virtually the entire time. They noted a pale 'patch' on the
upperwing and a double light 'flash' on the underwing. They thought it
best fit KERMADEC Petrel, though a couple other species (Solander's??)
might also be a possibility. Unfortunately, they did not obtain photos,
so the bird will presumably remain an "intriguing dark pterodroma."
Written field notes are available. Location was 39 46.105 N, 124 44.824
BROWN BOOBY: an adult landed on the bow of the boat (!) also off Mendocino County on 2 Oct @ 39 41.270 N, 124 44.824 W.
CA waters they had lots of Buller's Shearwaters, one Flesh-foot, 5
South Polar Skuas off s. CA, very few storm-petrels, and a wayward
OSPREY that landed on the boat on 3 Oct far offshore between Santa Rosa
Island and the San Juan Seamount (33 23.415 N, 120 28.641 W). Birdlife
was "spotty," with some stretches with lots of birds and some stretches
with very few.
Next repositioning cruise from Vancouver to San Diego, also on Holland America, to be attended by Lehman and Carlson, is from 23-27 October.
--Paul Lehman, San Diego
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]