October 4th trip report - Shearwater Journeys
I am posting the following trip report for Debi Shearwater.
Marina Del Rey,CA
Just arrived home from a wonderful day of seabirding on Monterey
Bay. We left the dock at our usual 7:30 am. and found 8 BLACK
TURNSTONES and 1 SURFBIRD along the Coast Guard jetty. Five PIGEON
GUILLEMOTS were along Cannery Row, along with 1 WESTERN GREBE and
several EARED GREBES. ELEGANT TERNS were sitting on the kelp beds
along the row. The usual alcids made their appearance: COMMON MURRE,
RHINOCEROS and CASSIN'S AUKLETS. We barely made it past Point Pinos
and the shearwaters came in a flurry: BLACK-VENTED, SOOTY, PINK-
FOOTED, and BULLER'S! We continued to motor offshore, leaving
behind the vast majority of the shearwaters, only to run into over
2,000 ASHY STORM-PETRELS. Although, we scanned the flocks
repeatedly, we could only turn up about 50 BLACK STORM-PETRELS. One
oddity was the same leucistic Ashy Storm-Petrel that I saw on the
September 1, 2002 trip. Two whales blew next to our vessel just as
we were leaving the storm-petrels! We did not have great views at
first, so we waited around in the area for them to come up again.
While waiting, our only BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS of the day
flew by the boat. The whales resurfaced, and proved to be BAIRD'S
BEAKED WHALES. Amazingly, they made a direct turn for our bow,
allowing us to see their distinctive beaks very well! Then, Jennifer
Green yelled, KILLER WHALES! Yes, 4-6 ORCAS were just off of our
stern. It was the usual "pandemonium all at once" situation!
NORTHERN FULMARS have begun to show up in very fresh plumage,
probably blown down by the recent strong winds earlier this week. As
we headed back to the harbor, we slammed on the breaks for knock out
views of our third SOUTH POLAR SKUA of the day, overhead.
(Complaints of "too close to focus"). A TUFTED PUFFIN spun through
the wake, and kept on going. Upon arriving back at the dock, several
birders spotted a HARLEQUIN DUCK that we had missed earlier. All in
all, it was a delightful day, calm seas, sunshine, terrific
seabirds, and marine mammals.
Our next trips are: Oct 6 from Monterey (see earlier post), Oct 12
from Monterey, Oct 13 from Santa Cruz, Oct 14 from Bodega Bay (only
2 spaces open), Oct 19 from Monterey; and the entirely pelagic
Christmas Bird Count on Dec 16 from Monterey. Call, or email for
Debi Shearwater <debiluv@...>
P.O. Box 190
Hollister, CA 95024