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pelagic cruise: 9 Cook's Petrels, Parakeet Auklets, Flesh-foot, Skuas, Sperm Whales

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  • Barbara Carlson
    During the past three days, several birders rode the Holland America cruise ship Zaandam from Vancouver/Victoria non-stop to San Diego. On 25 October we were
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 27, 2012
      During the past three days, several birders rode the Holland America cruise ship "Zaandam" from Vancouver/Victoria non-stop to San Diego. On 25 October we were off from about Eugene OR to Cape Mendocino, and on 26 October we were from off Monterey to sw of San Miguel Island. Typically between 30-53 miles offshore. Unfortunately we traversed the very productive waters off WA and northern OR and between Mendocino and Santa Cruz at NIGHT. Boo hoo!  Here's a list of what was seen.  Abbreviations:  DN=Del Norte, HUM=Humboldt, MTY=Monterey, SLO=San Luis Obispo, SBA=Santa Barbara.

      Greater Scaup: 5  (2 were 27 miles off s. OR and 3 were 37 miles off DN)

      Pacific Loon:  1  (40 mi off s. DN)

      Common Loon:  1  (off OR)

      LAYSAN ALBATROSS: 1  (off Douglas Co., OR)
      Black-footed Albatross:  33
      Northern Fulmar:  580  (clearly, it is a good year for fulmars!)
      COOK'S PETREL:  9 (flock of 8 ca. 48 mi. off Trinidad, HUM @ 41 12.28, 125 01.49; one ca. 47 mi. WSW of Pt. Piedras Blancas, SLO--unless MTY wants to claim these waters! @ 35 33.52, 122 11.33)
      Pink-footed Shearwater:  88
      FLESH-FOOTED SHEARWATER:  1  (MTY; 36 02.32, 122 32.19)
      Buller's Shearwater:  41  (20 off OR; 18 off DN and HUM; 3 off SBA)
      SHORT-TAILED SHEARWATER:  1  (SBA; 34 35.00, 121 30.32)
      Sooty Shearwater:  145  (also 2700 off WA in previous days, which is lots for so late in season)
      Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel:  3  (OR; low)

      Leach's Storm-Petrel:  2  (SLO/SBA; low)
      storm-petrel sp.:  2
      Brown Pelican:  3  (up to 41 mi offshore in SBA) 

      Red-necked Phalarope:  1  (SLO)
      Red Phalarope:  285
      SABINE'S GULL:  1 (MTY;  getting late)
      Bonaparte's Gull:  1  (40 mi off Pt St. George, DN)

      Western Gull:  2

      Herring Gull:  3

      California Gull:  615
      ARCTIC TERN:  2  (single adults in MTY and SBA; getting late)
      SOUTH POLAR SKUA:  6  (3 DN, 1 HUM, 2 MTY)
      Pomarine Jaeger:  61
      LONG-TAILED JAEGER:  5  (MTY; single flock 45 mi offshore; getting late)

      Common Murre:  9
      PARAKEET AUKLET:  7  (flock of 6 off s. OR; 1 seen 27.5 mi W of Cape Mendocino, HUM @ 40 25.52, 124 58.52)

      Cassin's Auklet:  120
      Rhinoceros Auklet:  39
      Merlin:  1  (SBA; 34 mi W of San Miguel Island)
      Cedar Waxwing:  1  (SBA; 45 mi W of Point Conception)
      European Starling:  15  (SBA;  single flock 39 mi W of San Miguel Island!)
      American Pipit and Western Meadowlark:  1, 1  (off MTY)

      "Brewer's-type" Blackbird:  1 (MTY; would have liked to have seen better, as Rusty a possibility....)

      All three such spring and fall cruises we've taken on the same route have also been excellent for marine mammals, with--on each--good numbers of Humpback Whales, smaller numbers of Blue and Fin Whales, several beaked whales on each trip, Orcas, lots of various species of porpoises and dolphins, and, on this trip, great looks at 15+ SPERM WHALES off HUM @ 41 07.00, 125 02.10.

      --Paul Lehman and Barbara Carlson,  San Diego

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