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ELEVEN Hawaiian Petrels on July 18

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  • lehman.paul@verizon.net
    On Thursday, July 18, I was heading south on the final leg of my San Francisco to se. Alaska and back round-trip cruise and sailed the daylight stretch between
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 19, 2013
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      On Thursday, July 18, I was heading south on the final leg of my San
      Francisco to se. Alaska and back round-trip cruise and sailed the daylight
      stretch between central Oregon and northern Mendocino County just beyond
      the 125W longitude line (also the typical cruise ship route taken during
      most repositioning cruises in spring and fall), which is about 50-80 km
      offshore. It started out calm and flat seas and few birds, but the winds
      picked up in southern OR, and by the time we were off Del Norte, Humboldt,
      and northern Mendocino Counties it was blowing 25-35 knots from the
      northwest--a wonderful following wind, so we were flat steady (typical on
      these large cruise ships) and dead calm while birding right at the bow and
      watching a nasty wind-waved sea--just perfect for pterodroma watching. Sea
      temps were between 61-62 degrees.

      We ended up with an amazing (or perhaps not so amazing if these offshore
      waters were covered more regularly in spring and summer??) ELEVEN
      Hawaiian/Dark-rumped Petrels, with 1 Hawaiian and 2 "Dark-rumped" off s.
      Oregon and 4 Hawaiian and 4 "Dark-rumped" off n. CA (1 Del Norte, ca. 6
      Humboldt, 1+ Mendocino). We also had a single unseasonal Murphy's Petrel
      off s. Oregon. No Cook's.

      Also seen was a South Polar Skua off Humboldt, and fair numbers of early
      southbound migrant seabirds including numbers of Red Phalaropes, Sabine's
      Gulls, Arctic Terns, and Long-tailed Jaegers. A flock of 22 Marbled Godwits
      was 60 km off the Mendocino coast. About 15 Fulmars, hundreds of Leach's,
      but very low numbers of Black-footed Albatrosses and Fork-tailed
      Storm-Petrels. (A couple days earlier off BC, we had 3 Manx, 1
      Flesh-footed, and 5 unseasonal Short-tailed Shearwaters.)

      Will do a similar sailing again at the end of this month and early August.

      --Paul Lehman, San Diego


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