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Monterey Seabirding

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  • Roger Wolfe
    The inaugural seabirding cruise with Monterey Bay Whalewatch was a resounding success today. Windy conditions somewhat limited our range but our skipper
    Message 1 of 3 , Aug 25, 2002
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      The inaugural seabirding cruise with Monterey Bay Whalewatch was a
      resounding success today. Windy conditions somewhat limited our range
      but our skipper Richard Ternullo utilized his formidable experience and
      we had some good birds.
      Aside form the wind skies were overcast with high fog, seas were at
      Beaufort 3-4, water temperature was 57.8 F.

      Highlights included two LONG-TAILED JAEGERS, one with a complete tail
      and another lacking one and a single SOUTH POLAR SKUA seen in Santa
      Cruz county waters. POMARINE and PARASITIC JAEGERS completed the Skua
      Slam. On the way back into the harbor a single TUFTED PUFFIN was a nice
      finishing touch.

      BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS numbered around 50. Numerous SABINE'S GULLS,
      ARTIC TERNS, RED-NECKED PHALAROPES and PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATERS. A
      single BULLER'S SHEARWATER, 3 ASHY STORM PETRELS, 3 COMMON TERNS, 1
      CASSIN'S AUKLET, SOOTY SHEARWATERS in the tens of thousands. 2 SURFBIRDS
      were seen on the coast guard jetty. In all we had 29 species total.

      Many thanks to our skipper Richard Ternullo, marine biologist Nancy
      Black and leaders Don Roberson and Jeff Davis. Our next trip will be on
      Sept. 14 and there are still a few open spaces.


      See you on the water,
      Roger Wolfe for Monterey Bay Whalewatch
      http://www.montereybaywhalewatch.com
    • Roger Wolfe
      Oct. 13 Trip Report Thick morning fog made for less than ideal seabirding on our Oct 13 seabirding cruise with Monterey Bay Whalewatch. Seas were calm and the
      Message 2 of 3 , Oct 14, 2002
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        Oct. 13 Trip Report

        Thick morning fog made for less than ideal seabirding on our Oct 13
        seabirding cruise with Monterey Bay Whalewatch. Seas were calm and the
        water temp at 56 F. We followed a different route than on our previous
        trips by heading south along Monterey County's Big Sur coastline
        towards Pt. Sur to the offshore waters in the vicinity of the Sur
        Ridge. Our skipper, Richard Ternullo, knew that albacore fishing had
        been good in this area and the odds good for some interesting seabirds.
        Our return route was via Carmel Bay and Cypress Point.

        The SURFBIRDS along the Coast Guard jetty were cooperative as we left
        the harbor. Today's group was comprised of mostly local birders but we
        did have a few from out of the area and a visitor from Sweden. The
        locals acting as hosts and helping the visitors and neophyte seabirders
        to get on the birds and sharing the marine sanctuary with them.

        BLACK-VENTED SHEARWATERS were seen inside the bay and as we passed out
        of the bay waters we came upon a nice mixed flock of shearwaters flying
        in and out of the fog but managed ot get everyone on our lone
        FLESH-FOOTED SHEARWATER of the day. Here we also had our first of many
        BULLER'S and PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATERS. SOOTY SHEARWATER numbers were way
        down with only 20 seen on the day.

        We had many NORTHERN FULMARS in fresh plumage and various morphs, a
        dozen CASSIN'S AUKLETS, one right next to the boat. POMARINE JAEGERS
        were numerous but only a few PARASITIC were seen. Many small flocks of
        RED PHALAROPES. A lone SABIN'ES GULL was seen in the distance as the fog
        relented around noon.

        We had one landbird that circled the boat but refused to land. It
        created a bit of excitement as we tried to identify it on the wing.
        There was mention of a rare bunting or two but the group consensus was
        that it was likely a very lost SWAMP SPARROW.

        The highlight of our trip was non avian. In his 28 years leading natural
        history trips almost daily out of Monterey this was only our skipper's
        third sighting of a SEI WHALE! We all had nice looks at this whale
        before it dove once and for all. On the way back in we spotted a pair of
        BLUE WHALES but before we got to them a pod of 4 KILLER WHALES/ORCAS
        appeared. The Blues wanted nothing to do with them and powered out of
        the area in a panic. The Orcas were cooperative and made for a great
        photo opportunity.

        In addition to the usual MOLA-MOLA SUNFISH we saw a BLUE SHARK and
        several leaping ALBACORE TUNA.

        Lastly, as we approached the harbor we spotted a single SHORT-TAILED
        SHEARWATER for our 6th species of shearwater on the day.

        Special thanks to our leaders Don Roberson and Todd Easterla

        Our next trip is next Sunday Oct. 20. Spaces are available. Cost is $65
        per person.

        See you on the water,
        Roger Wolfe for Monterey Bay Whalewatch
        http://montereyseabirds.com
      • Roger Wolfe
        Two weeks from today on April 13 Monterey Seabirds will embark on our first pelagic trip of the spring. In the last two weeks our skipper Richard Ternullo has
        Message 3 of 3 , Mar 30, 2003
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          Two weeks from today on April 13 Monterey Seabirds will embark on our
          first pelagic trip of the spring. In the last two weeks our skipper
          Richard Ternullo has seen a Laysan Albatross and a Manx Shearwater in
          the course of whale watching trips. Just think what may show up with a
          longer trip farther offshore, diligent chumming and the watchful eyes of
          experienced seabirders!

          . If you come on three trips the fourth is free. These trips are a great
          opportunity for birders to learn their seabirds not just tick them off a
          life list. The more time you spend out on the water observing these
          birds the better you will become at identifying them.. At $70 per person
          they may be the best pelagic birding trips in terms of value.

          For an excellent overview of the seabirds and marine mammals that can be
          seen off Monterey check out Don Roberson's site
          http://montereybay.com/creagrus/MtyBay.html

          Two of the six sightings of Short-tailed Albatross reported from
          Monterey have been in the spring. Todd Easterla will be leading.

          Go to http://www.montereyseabirds.com for more info. and online
          registration or call 831.375-4658

          Roger Wolfe for Monterey Seabirds
          Monterey Bay
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