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1986Monterey Seabirds

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  • Roger Wolfe
    Mar 10, 2003
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      Monterey Seabirds 3/9/03

      The weather service forecasted rain but what do they know?. We enjoyed a
      beautiful sunny day on the water with calm seas. No one on board ever
      looked the least bit green.

      Going out on a pelagic seabirding trip once a month is quite interesting
      in that you can witness the changes in avifauna that occurs in a four
      week period. Our trips are scheduled for the most part for the second
      Sunday of every month. Whereas last month we saw no Black-footed
      Albatross this trip had around 60!

      The trip highlight was a MANX SHEARWATER in a group of BLACK-VENTED
      SHEARWATERS spotted sitting on the water initially by our skipper
      Richard Ternullo.The bird took flight before he could get on the PA and
      leader Don Roberson caught sight of it from the bow and got others on
      the bird as it was flying away.

      Several wintering PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATERS were seen on the day and a
      distant SOOTY and a SHORT-TAILED made for 5 species of sheawaters for
      the day. Not bad for March!

      The pair of HARLEQUIN DUCKS wintering in the harbor were found thanks to
      the sharp eyes of local bird guide Rick Fournier who spotted them on the
      rip rap at the back of the harbor. Richard skillfully manuevered the 70'
      Sea Wolf II into a place where all on board could see the pair.

      2 BRANT were seen on the little pocket beach near the radio tower on
      Cannery Row. In this same area we also found a few PIGEON GUILLEMOTS

      A notable change from last month was with alcids, CASSIN'S AUKLET and
      COMMON MURRE numbers were small compared to what we saw last month.
      RHINOCEROS AUKLETS were seen in nearly all plumage variations and still
      in good numbers.

      The GRAY WHALES are now all on their northbound migration as opposed to
      last month when we spotted the first north migrating pair. About 25
      miles offshore we were somewhat surprised to find the first HUMPBACK
      WHALE of the season. A curiously small and solitary one.

      A good deal of excitement was generated by a Gull that we initially
      thought was a GLAUCOUS but after some study was deemed a hybrid with
      some GLAUCOUS-WINGED characterstics that leader Dan Singer pointed out.
      We had several very cooperative BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES.

      Late in the day a dark POMARINE JAEGER was called out by apprentice
      leader Ryan DiGaudio.

      Back in the harbor as the boat was tied up a RED-NECKED GREBE was
      spotted providing one last tick for some of our participants.

      We had only 16 participants on board which was below the minimum. Whale
      watching tourists would have provided 55 just for the morning and a
      second boatload in the afternnoon and a nice profit. We need to see more
      support from the birding community on these trips!

      Our next trip is on April 13, cost is $70 per person. Pterodroma Todd
      Easterla will be leading. Conditions permitting we will bird both Santa
      Cruz and Monterey county waters.


      See you on the water,
      Roger Wolfe
      Monterey Bay
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