Pelagic Report - San Francisco and San Mateo, CA with Alvaro
- Hi folks
We had a fantastic trip out of Half Moon Bay, California today heading to
deep water in San Francisco County. Although a tad bumpy in the morning, it
turned out to be an amazingly diverse trip with some outstanding looks at
the birds. We had some great luck with chumming slicks to bring the stuff in
close and personal!
An outstanding bird we found was a Yellow-billed Loon (first spotted by
Logan Kahle) at least a mile offshore in Half Moon Bay. This is perhaps only
the third record in the county in the last 15 years or so! So a fantastic
Still in San Mateo County we came up with Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel, Marbled
Murrelet (close to shore), Pigeon Guillemot (in the harbor), lots of Common
Murres, Rhinoceros Auklet, Red-necked Phalarope and the first of many Sooty
Shearwaters and Pink-footed Shearwaters. We started seeing Ashy Storm-Petrel
here and they continued in small numbers throughout the day. Awesome
Steller's Sea Lions on the way out, and Harbor Porpoise.
In San Francisco waters the warm water that had been around seemed to have
pulled out farther than we could go. Still we wound up seeing a Leach's
Storm-Petrel, a rather difficult species to see in northern California and
particularly in San Francisco waters! Lots of smiles on the boat as it also
happened to be one of the storm petrels which gave the best view of all
today. We found a great group of foraging Humpback Whales doing synchronized
swimming, along with Pacific White-sided and Northern Right-Whale
Dolphins.The birds kept on rolling in, Red Phalarope, Sabine's Gull,
Pomarine Jaeger, Cassin's Auklet, Black-footed Albatross, Buller's
Shearwater and both Arctic and Common terns. As we turned back towards shore
and we didn't expect to see much more things heated up again! This time our
first Long-tailed Jaeger (we did not get into the migration line for them
today), and then a fantastic Laysan Albatross that flew by and a South Polar
Skua that came so close it practically landed on the boat! Oh my.
Returning back into San Mateo wouldn't you know it but a similar looking or
the same skua visited us again. And then a young Laysan Albatross joined a
sizeable group of Black-footed Albatross to give us point blank looks. Often
we had to look down on the Laysan it got so close! WOW. On the return there
was also a Tufted Puffin in the distance and lots of great conversation, and
feeling of satisfaction from a super day out on the ocean!!
Spots still open for Half Moon Bay trip later on this month, early Sept and
Oct. Also on the Monterey trip on Sept 15th. Come join the fun!
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