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Shearwater Journeys Trip Reports

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  • toddamcgrath
    Calbirders, I am posting the following trip reports for Debi Shearwater Todd McGrath Skua@msn.com Marina Del Rey, CA Hello, Birders, Shearwater Journeys just
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 2, 2002
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      Calbirders,

      I am posting the following trip reports for Debi Shearwater

      Todd McGrath
      Skua@...
      Marina Del Rey, CA



      Hello, Birders,
      Shearwater Journeys just completed three more tremendously successful
      pelagic trips. The highlight was another STREAKED SHEARWATER! Trips
      were run on three consecutive days from three different ports along
      the central California coast: September 27 from Monterey Bay,
      September 28 from Santa Cruz on the north side of Monterey Bay, and
      September 29 from Bodega Bay to the Cordell Bank and beyond. Many
      birders from out-of-state travelled on all three trips, and they
      were not disappointed! Those who did so, recorded over 40 species of
      pelagic birds and fourteen species of marine mammals, in addition to
      seeing the mega-rarity, STREAKED SHEARWATER! Weather and sea
      conditions were excellent on all three days, averaging a Beaufort 1-
      2.5 andno fog.

      The STREAKED SHEARWATER was found in the late afternoon by world-
      class seabirder, Steve Howell on the September 28 trip from Bodega
      Bay. This is the first record of a Streaked Shearwater for Marin
      County, California. Some Pink-footed Shearwaters were flying nearby.
      Steve has seen 90% of the world's tubenoses, however, the Streaked
      Shearwater was a life bird for him! Few birders, worldwide can
      compare with his seabirding experience. (He recently completed a
      trip where he saw 57 species of tubenoses! Steve is a
      professional leader for the tour company, Wings.) He instantly
      called the shearwater's identification for all on board. Todd
      McGrath, a regular Shearwater Journeys' leader, was second on the
      bird. Unfortunately, the shearwater did not stay around for all on
      board to have excellent views, but flew off to destinations unknown.
      I tried to get a shot off with my camera,but I think the image of
      the bird will prove to be too distant. Todd dumped out the remainder
      of our cod liver oil, and we waited as long as we could, but the
      bird never returned. There are less than a dozen records of Streaked
      Shearwater for North America, and never more than one record in one
      year, but at this rate, who knows??

      This is the second STREAKED SHEARWATER found on a Shearwater
      Journeys' trip in the past 6 weeks, and third in a little less than
      12 months! Six weeks ago, Jon Dunn found a Streaked Shearwater on
      the August 17th trip from Fort Bragg. That individual stayed around
      our boat for 45 minutes. (see trip report on the web site for
      photos). This record, combined with a report of a Streaked
      Shearwater off of southern California a few weeks later, led us to
      believe that we had a good chance of finding another one this
      season. And, we correctly, predicted so! I dare say, we could still
      turn up yet another Streaked this fall. On October 6, 2001, Jim
      Danzenbaker turned up a Streaked Shearwater on an albacore trip from
      Monterey Bay. Interestingly, all three records were found between 2-
      3:30 pm‹a time when many of the mega-rarities have ocurred,just when
      everyone is thinking of dozing off! Another thing that we have noted
      is that Pink-footed Shearwaters have been in abundance when all of
      the Streaked Shearwaters have been found.

      BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSSES were found on 2 of 3 days, while 2 LAYSAN
      ALBATROSSES were found on only the Bodega Bay trip. The first BLACK-
      VENTED SHEARWATERS of the fall season from a boat trip were spotted
      on the Monterey trip. As they make their way north along the coast,
      we might expect increasing numbers of these coastal shearwaters. One
      FLESH-FOOTED SHEARWATER was found only on the Santa Cruz trip, while
      4 SHORT-TAILED SHEARWATERS were found only on the Monterey trip. As
      usual, SOOTY, PINK-FOOTED, and a sprinkling of BULLER'S SHEARWATERS
      were found on all three days. PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATERS numbered 200-
      417 on any one day. No storm-petrel flocks could be found on any of
      the trips. Eighty ASHY STORM-PETRELS and one WILSON'S STORM-PETREL
      made an excellent show at a cod liver oil slick on the Bodega
      Bay trip.

      RED PHALAROPES increased in numbers this past weekend, with 1460
      recorded on the Bodega Bay trip. All three days had a grand slam on
      the jaegers and SOUTH POLAR SKUA. LONG-TAILED JAEGERS were in the
      double digits every day, as were SOUTH POLAR SKUAS on 2 of the days.
      Eight species of gulls were recorded on the Bodega Bay trip:
      HEERMANN'S, MEW, CALIFORNIA, HERRING, WESTERN, GLAUCOUS-WINGED,
      BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE, and SABINE'S GULLS. The juvenile kittiwake,
      spotted by Steve Howell, was a surprise amidst the thousands of
      SABINE'S GULLS. Perhaps the most spectacular event of the entire set
      of trips was the migration of over 3,500 SABINE'S GULLS just
      outside of the Cordell Bank. We passed through 6 miles of non-stop,
      streaming by our boat SABINE'S GULLS. Accompanying the gulls were
      approximately 630 ARCTIC TERNS. A few COMMON TERNS were found, as
      well.

      Alcids put in a show with seven species recorded. As usual, MARBELED
      MURRELETS were found on only the Santa Cruz trip. Excellent views of
      XANTUS' MURRELETS sitting on the water and calling back and forth to
      each other were had on the Bodega Bay trip. The call is the
      best "field mark" for distinguishing this species from the similar
      Craveris' Murrelet. Five TUFTED PUFFINS were found on the Bodega Bay
      trip, while one was found on the Santa Cruz trip.

      The usual BLUE and HUMPBACK WHALES were found, with up to 47 Humps
      on the Bodega trip and 16 Blues on the Santa Cruz trip. FIN WHALES
      (9) on the Monterey trip were a rare find. An assortment of dolphins
      added to the trips, but one BOTTLENOSE DOLPHIN at Santa Cruz was
      unusual. BLUE SHARKS and OCEAN SUNFISH rounded out the day.

      The leader/birder ratios were: 1/5 on the Sep 27 trip, 1/7 on the
      Sep 28 trip, and 1/5 on the Sep 29 trip.

      Our next trips with spaces available are: Oct 4 from Monterey
      (leaders:
      Steve Howell, Jennifer Green, Jim Danzenbaker, & Debra Shearwater);
      Oct 5 albacore trip from Monterey-2 spaces recently opened up on
      this previously sold out trip (leaders: Steve Howell, Alan Hopkins,
      Jim Danzenbaker, & Debra Shearwater); Oct 6 from Monterey (leaders:
      Steve Howell, Clay Kempf, Jim Danzenbaker, John Sorensen, & Debi
      Shearwater); Oct 12 from Monterey (leaders: Todd McGrath, Clay
      Kempf, Denise Wight, Linda Terrill, & Debra Shearwater); Oct 13 from
      Santa Cruz (leaders: Todd McGrath, Clay Kempf, Scott Terrill,
      Jennifer Green, Ted Chandik, & Debra Shearwater); Oct 14 from
      Bodega Bay, only 2 spaces open (leaders: Todd McGrath, Alan Hopkins,
      Alvaro Jaramillo, Luke Cole, & Debra Shearwater); Oct 19 from
      Monterey (leaders: Clay Kempf, Mike Rogers, Linda Terrill, Scott
      Terrill, & Debra Shearwater); Dec 16 from Monterey, pelagic
      Christmas Bird Count (leaders: Steve Howell, Alan Hopkins, Luke
      Cole, Alvaro Jaramillo, & Debra Shearwater). For reservations,
      contact Debra Shearwater as soon as possible.
      Wishing you great seabirding,
      Debra Shearwater
      ---
      http://www.shearwaterjourneys.com
      Debi Shearwater <debiluv@...>
      Shearwater Journeys
      P.O. Box 190
      Hollister, CA 95024
      831-637-8527
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