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3795Jan 30. 2005 Trip Report

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  • Debi Shearwater
    Jan 31, 2005
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      Hello, Seabirders!

      Shearwater Journey's January 30, 2005 pelagic trip from Monterey was a
      resounding success! It was a beautiful day, with the seas flattening out to
      a Beaufort 0. Highlights included five species of shearwaters, awesome views
      of 19 ANCIENT MURRELETS, eight species of gulls, and thousands of RHINOCEROS
      AUKLETS in alternate plumage.

      A MERLIN flew over the dock, as I was giving the introductory announcements.
      This was soon followed by a MALE HARLEQUIN DUCK in the harbor, and a
      PEREGRINE FALCON on top of one of the stacks at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
      Lots of SURF SCOTERS, EARED GREBES, BRAND'TS and PELAGIC CORMORANTS, and
      loons were along Cannery Row. Two PIGEON GUILLEMOTS were off China Point. At
      Point Pinos, the first three ANCIENT MURRELETS were spotted, along with a
      few BLACK-VENTED SHEARWATERS. We headed out to the North Rim of the Monterey
      Submarine Canyon, where thousands of mixed species flocks of seabirds were
      feeding on schools of fish that were being chased by mackeral and sardines.
      I could even smell the mackeral! Great clouds of gulls were in hot pursuit
      of these balls of fish. Mixed in with the gulls we found a scattering of
      shearwaters, including two different FLESH-FOOTS (unusual at this time of
      year, although we did see three on the January 2004 trip, as well),
      SHORT-TAILEDS, SOOTYS, and PINK-FOOTEDS. The day seemed to be eclipsed by
      the sheer numbers of Rhinoceros Auklets ‹4500-5000+. Several BLACK-FOOTED
      ALBATROSSES made passes at the boat, and ate chum that we threw over
      (anchovies). It does not appear to be a big winter, at least so far, for
      either NORTHERN FULMAR or BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE, although we did see a few
      of each. Again, CASSIN'S AUKLETS were nearly absent from Monterey Bay, as
      had been the case for the entire fall season. I wonder if they are still
      concentrated at the Cordell Bank. Humboldt Squid had been reported in the
      bay, but we did not see any.

      The sea surface temperature was 56-57F, slightly warmer than normal. The
      seas were calm for the day. The sun was out, and most of the "regulars"
      remarked that this January trip was much warmer than some August trips! The
      usual marine mammals filled in the day, along with a Blue Shark and some
      Moon Jellies. It was truly a wonderful day to be at sea.

      Leaders for this trip were Sophie Webb, Jennifer Green, Alvaro Jaramillo,
      and Debi Shearwater. Chummers were Matt Brady and John Hiles. A darn good
      time was had by all.

      Upcoming Shearwater Journeys' pelagic trips from Monterey include: April 15;
      May 27; August 12, 21, and 28; from Fort Bragg: May 29; August 14, 26, and
      27; from Bodega Bay: August 16, and 29. You can make reservations by
      contacting Debi Shearwater, see below.

      The Trip List for January 30, 2005 follows:
      RED-THROATED LOON-3
      PACIFIC LOON-70
      COMMON LOON-22
      EARED GREBE-23
      BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS-8
      NORTHERN FULMAR-9
      PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATER-5
      FLESH-FOOTED SHEARWATER-2
      SOOTY SHEARWATER-2
      SOOTY/SHORT-TAILED SHEARWATER-3
      SHORT-TAILED SHEARWATER-5
      BLACK-VENTED SHEARWATER-9
      BROWN PELICAN-32
      BRANDT'S CORMORANT-275
      PELAGIC CORMORANT-10
      HARLEQUIN DUCK-1 MALE
      SURF SCOTER-37
      RED-BREASTED MERGANSER-3
      CANADA GOOSE-6
      NORTHEREN PINTAIL-8
      BLACK TURNSTONE-4
      RED PHALAROPE-3
      WILLET-25
      POMARINE JAEGER-6
      HEERMANN'S GULL-36
      MEW GULL-2
      CALIFORNIA GULL-500
      HERRING GULL-80
      THAYER'S GULL-9
      WESTERN GULL-2000+
      GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL-145
      WESTERN/GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL-+
      BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE-3
      COMMON MURRE-14
      PIGEON GUILLEMOT-2
      ANCIENT MURRELET-19
      CASSIN'S AUKLET-2
      RHINOCEROS AUKLET-4500-5000+
      MERLIN-1
      PEREGRINE FALCON-1
      SEA OTTER-14 +2 PUPS
      CALIFORNIA SEA LION +
      NORTHERN FUR SEAL-1
      HARBOR SEAL +
      GRAY WHALE-9 + 1 CALF
      BLUE SHARK-1
      MOON JELLIES +

      Shearwaters forever,
      Debi Shearwater
      ---
      http://www.shearwaterjourneys.com
      Debi Shearwater <debiluv@...>
      Shearwater Journeys
      P.O. Box 190
      Hollister, CA 95024
      831-637-8527