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Pelagic Report - San Francisco and San Mateo, CA with Alvaro

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  • Alvaro Jaramillo
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 11, 2012
      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!


      Good biding


      Alvaro Jaramillo



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