Large Cassin's Auklet movement off SCI, and other migrants...
Yesterday, 5/17, was another good fallout of neotropical migrants here on San
Clemente Island. The local conditions were as follows; midlevel heavy marine
layer, starting at about 1000 feet, calm winds at sea level changing to light
east just under the marine layer. Warblers were raining from the sky until
about 2:00 pm, the bulk of which were Wilson's Warblers with fair numbers of
Yellows, Townsend's, Hermits, and Orange-crowneds mixed in. A smattering of
other migrants was also noted but nothing unusual, and nothing in truly
Off China Point, at the southwestern tip of the island, a large movement of
Cassin's Auklets took place during the AM, and possibly throughout the day.
Myself and three other observers counted a conservative total of 125 passing
to the north in 45 minutes between 900 and 945. In addition to the Auklets
were dozens of both Pink-footed and Sooty shearwaters, a single Black
Storm-Petrel and one Xantus's Murrelet. 4 Phalarope sp. were seen, as well
as 10 Pacific Loons and one Red-throated Loon. Interestingly, no jaegers
were seen. My intent was to find a Sabine's Gull but no dice!
Lastly, John Brollini phoned from the north end of the island in the early AM
after having located the island's 4th American Avocet, a first for spring
The fallout of passerines was island-wide and no one location seemed to
contain a high concentration of migrants. Every bush seemed to have
something though. I checked several of the usual vagrant/migrant traps with
mediocre results, but still a great day to be out on the island.
Institute for Wildlife Studies
PO Box 357054
San Diego, CA
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