- There are still spaces available for our Sun. Feb. 9 seabirding trip.
Don Roberson and Stephen F. Bailey will be our leaders. Cost is $70 per
person and if you come on 3 trips your 4th is free. It would be helpful
if you could make reservations by this Sun. This year there are a good
number of Ancient Murrelets in the bay and atypically Marbled Murrlets
are being seen in the Monterey area. Harlequin Ducks are frequenting the
harbor as well. Last Jan. there was a Horned Puffin sighted. In 2001 a
Greater Shearwater and last month a Manx Shearwater was reported on a
whale watch excursion. There is a good chance for Laysan Albatross at
this time of year. Register online at http://www.montereyseabirds.com or
Rarities being seen in the Monterey Bay area currently:
Santa Cruz county:
Nutting's Flycatcher -1425 and 1433 Laurel St.
Least Flycatcher- Moore Creek across Delaware Ave. from Antonelli Pond
Red-naped Sapsucker - end of Felix St. off Laurel St. follow sign to
natural area behind Cypress Apts. look in willows in lawn area upstream.
Tufted Duck-exit on Buena Vista off Highway 1 near Watsonville proceed W
and turn L on Harkins Slough Rd. Scope the NE part of slough from above
the abandoned house on the L across from the landfill.
Black-throated Green Warbler - Laguna Grande Park behind the Russian
Orthodox church near the footbridge
Summer Tanager- same location listed above
Williamson's Sapsucker Del Monte forest off Highway 68
Hope to see you out on the bay,
Roger Wolfe for Monterey Seabirds
- When I realized we had a trip scheduled for the weekend of the AT&T
Pro Am Golf Championship my heart sank. There is typically a phenomenon
that as a kid growing up in the area we referred to as "Crosby weather".
The former name of the tournament as in Bing Crosby. Invariably the
weather would turn foul for the tourney, in '62 there was even a blizzard!
Ah but my worries were all for naught. On Sunday's seabirding trip
conditions were about as nice as you could hope for and the Pacific
lived up to its name. We hosted an experienced group of hardy
seabirders, many up from southern CA and several armed with long lenses.
Inside the harbor we enjoyed close up views of a wintering pair of
HARLEQUIN DUCKS. We were close enough to hear the male's high squeaky
call. On the coast guard jetty we spotted 2 SURFBIRDS and 6 BLACK
Before we even got to Cannery Row we spotted a RED-NECKED GREBE and out
first of 10 ANCIENT MURRELETS. Our skipper Richard maneuvered the boat
into favorable light for the photographers on board and we spent a fair
amount of time trying to get some shots in during the bird's brief time
on the surface. In this same area we began seeing PACIFIC LOONS and
We headed out into the bay where we could see a lot of bird activity. En
route Richard pointed out a POMARINE JAEGER. We came upon good numbers
of alcids; RHINOCEROS and CASSIN'S AUKLETS, COMMON MURRES along with a
sizable flock of BLACK-VENTED SHEARWATERS both in flight and on the
water. Here we also had our first NORTHERN FULMAR.
Our route headed south past the galleries at Pebble Beach which we could
see, past Carmel Bay to Soberanes Rocks. A report of Killer Whales came
in on the radio from this area but the only sign we saw of them were the
two GRAY WHALES we saw heading north instead of south. Here we also
came across the marine mammal of the day. A NORTHERN FUR SEAL was caught
napping in its distinctive way.
From Soberanes Rock we turned back toward deeper water and a fishing
vessel we saw in the distance. A single dark shearwater sp. landed on
the water and we motored over to check it out. It was very obliging,
allowing us to get fairly close and get some photos. There was some
spirited discussion on this bird. Leaders Don Roberson and Steve Bailey
declared it a SHORT-TAILED SHEARWATER. Another sooty type shearwater
sp. seen later in the day went unidentified.
THAYER'S GULL was called from the stern and came right up to the boat
in pursuit of popcorn. All on board were able to get photos of this
juvenal plumaged bird and and a thorough going over of the
characteristics to look for. Later in the day we did the same with an
adult THGU. BLACK-LEGGED KITTWAKES put in several appearances, 15 were
seen on the day.
We headed back toward the harbor down the middle of the bay. Along the
way CASSIN'S and RHINO AUKLETS were abundant. Estimated numbers were
for 3,000 CAAU and 1,500 RHAU!
Near shore we cruised the beach and were rewarded with our bird of the
day a MARBLED MURRELET which is rarely seen on the Monterey side of the
Our next trip is on March 9. Hope to see you then.
Monterey Bay, CA
- There are still plenty of spaces for left for this Sunday's Monterey
Seabirds trip. There are still good numbers of Ancient Murrelets and
other interesting alcids in the bay. Gray Whales are still in migration
and there have been a number of recent Killer Whale sightings too. There
is still a good chance for Laysan Albatross at this time. Call
831.375-4658 or go to http://www.montereyseabirds.com to sign up. The
Creagrus himself, Don Roberson, will have some quality help leading this
Other rarities and birds of interest in the Monterey Bay area at this time:
Santa Cruz area:
Least Flycatcher at Natural Bridges State Park across Delaware Ave from
Red-naped Sapsucker- follow sign to natural area behind apartments at
the end of Felix St. off Laurel St.
Zone-tailed Hawk-very elusive, seen mostly from the W side of Carmel
Middle School just W of the intersection of Highway 1 and Carmel Valley Rd.
California Condors-released birds- at the 40 mile marker on Highway 1
south of Big Sur. Use the pullout and look up.
Williamson's Sapsucker- Del Monte forest off Highway 68
Black-throated Green Warbler in Laguna Grande park in Seaside.Near the
footbridge behind the Russian Orthodox church.
- Monterey Seabirds 3/9/03
The weather service forecasted rain but what do they know?. We enjoyed a
beautiful sunny day on the water with calm seas. No one on board ever
looked the least bit green.
Going out on a pelagic seabirding trip once a month is quite interesting
in that you can witness the changes in avifauna that occurs in a four
week period. Our trips are scheduled for the most part for the second
Sunday of every month. Whereas last month we saw no Black-footed
Albatross this trip had around 60!
The trip highlight was a MANX SHEARWATER in a group of BLACK-VENTED
SHEARWATERS spotted sitting on the water initially by our skipper
Richard Ternullo.The bird took flight before he could get on the PA and
leader Don Roberson caught sight of it from the bow and got others on
the bird as it was flying away.
Several wintering PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATERS were seen on the day and a
distant SOOTY and a SHORT-TAILED made for 5 species of sheawaters for
the day. Not bad for March!
The pair of HARLEQUIN DUCKS wintering in the harbor were found thanks to
the sharp eyes of local bird guide Rick Fournier who spotted them on the
rip rap at the back of the harbor. Richard skillfully manuevered the 70'
Sea Wolf II into a place where all on board could see the pair.
2 BRANT were seen on the little pocket beach near the radio tower on
Cannery Row. In this same area we also found a few PIGEON GUILLEMOTS
A notable change from last month was with alcids, CASSIN'S AUKLET and
COMMON MURRE numbers were small compared to what we saw last month.
RHINOCEROS AUKLETS were seen in nearly all plumage variations and still
in good numbers.
The GRAY WHALES are now all on their northbound migration as opposed to
last month when we spotted the first north migrating pair. About 25
miles offshore we were somewhat surprised to find the first HUMPBACK
WHALE of the season. A curiously small and solitary one.
A good deal of excitement was generated by a Gull that we initially
thought was a GLAUCOUS but after some study was deemed a hybrid with
some GLAUCOUS-WINGED characterstics that leader Dan Singer pointed out.
We had several very cooperative BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES.
Late in the day a dark POMARINE JAEGER was called out by apprentice
leader Ryan DiGaudio.
Back in the harbor as the boat was tied up a RED-NECKED GREBE was
spotted providing one last tick for some of our participants.
We had only 16 participants on board which was below the minimum. Whale
watching tourists would have provided 55 just for the morning and a
second boatload in the afternnoon and a nice profit. We need to see more
support from the birding community on these trips!
Our next trip is on April 13, cost is $70 per person. Pterodroma Todd
Easterla will be leading. Conditions permitting we will bird both Santa
Cruz and Monterey county waters.
See you on the water,
- Our Mother's Day seabird trip was downsized. A small number of
participants(14) resulted in us taking out the ol' Point Sur Clipper
instead of the larger Sea Wolf II. Admittedly we've grown spoiled with
the larger, more spacious boat. You'd think some of us would wax
nostalgic in going out on the Clipper which is the boat many of us
pelagiphiles cut our teeth on but I did hear some moaning. It was
preferable by far to not going out at all(although I think my mom would
have preferred we canceled).
I had entertained some serious fantasy seabirds in that we'd had a few
days of good onshore winds after a long period of having none at all.
Our skipper Richard Ternullo's sighting of a Dark-rumped (presumably
Hawaiian) Petrel the week before(photos at
http://montereybay.com/creagrus/MTY_2003.html ) added fuel to the fire
of my hopes of finding some outrageous pelagic vagrant but alas such was
not the case. But hey, you got to keep at it to see the truly good
pelagic birds right?
It has been really interesting seabirding on a monthly basis and
witnessing the changes. I've always been big on patch birding and the
Monterey sea canyon is on helluva patch to work.
When Big Sur Ornithology Lab interns Robin Honywell and Jessica Griffith
showed up as volunteer chummers they said they were hoping to see an
albatross and they weren't disappointed as we had 80 BLACK-FOOTED
ALBATROSS for the day with as many as 15 at the stern at one time.
SOOTY SHEARWATERS numbers were way up from last month's trip with birds
visible almost continuously during our trip. PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATERS
were also numerous (80) with many showing signs of molt.
4 NORTHERN FULMARS, and 5 RHINOCEROS AUKLETS were spring holdouts.
Migrant gulls and terns were sparse with only a few BONPARTE'S and a
single SABINE'S GULL. I have this theory that if there is a Brit on
board and a Sabine's Gull in the vicinity that they will find it. Such
was the case this time.
We had several flocks of RED-NECKED PHALAROPES including a particularly
large one at an area of convergent water but only a smattering of
beautiful alternate plumaged RED PHALAROPES.
HUMPBACK WHALES have returned and they were seen feeding off of Ft. Ord.
Our only other cetacean being widely scattered PACIFIC WHITE-SIDED
It was a good group on board. Special thanks to our regulars for their
support and our leaders Don Roberson and Dan Singer. Our next trip is
scheduled for June 8, hope you can make it. 831 375-4658
- Monterey Seabirds will feature two consecutive days of pelagic birding
this Sept. 21 and 22. The first trip will be a 12 hour outing to the
Albacore Grounds and the subsequent trip will focus on the Monterey
Seavalley and the storm-petrel flocks. Costs are $110 and $70
respectively. Details are at
Hope to see you on the water,
- There are a few spaces still available for tomorrow's Monterey Seabirds
outing. We will make an effort to relocate the YELLOW-BILLED LOON that
has been present all week off Otter Point. Killer Whales have been seen
6 out of the last 7 days so there is an excellent chance of seeing them
as well. Cost is $80 per person. 831-375-4658
Roger Wolfe for Monterey Seabirds
Soquel Canyon, CA
- A trip report with photos by Jeff Poklen for the Monterey Seabirds
voyage to Sur Ridge on Aug. 13 is online at
Roger Wolfe for Monterey Seabirds
Soquel Canyon, CA
- Just a follow up to my earlier announcement about pelagic trips with Monterey Seabirds for this fall. Our August 24th trip is fully booked, but we do have spaces on our September 7 (half day), 21, 28, October 5 and 12th, and November 7 (half day) trips.As usual, we have great leaders including the incomparable Todd Easterla, and the best boat captain of all, Richard Ternullo--a trained biologist and seasoned captain for many decades. We are the friendliest boat in the Monterey area, no stress, no yelling, no problems.As others have mentioned, this is already a very interesting fall for pelagic seabirds and is the best opportunity to see Craveri's Murrelets in many, many years off Monterey. With Alvaro's recent sighting of the Salvin's Albatross off San Mateo, who knows what else is out there.We at Monterey Seabirds are proud to partner with Alvaro Jaramillo's "Alvaro's Adventures", and there is an opportunity to go on our boat on his chartered trip and our regular trip on back-to-back days--Oct 11 & 12. The more time you spend on the water, the more likely you'll be on the boat when a mega rarity shows up. Also everyday on the water is different!Reservations are required. Reservations can be made using our online reservation form or by calling (831) 375-4658 with a credit card number to hold your spot. Go to Whale Watch Trip Information Page for further details (trip preparation, directions, etc.). For the Seabird trips we have a 2-week cancellation policy.John Sterling
VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV26 Palm Ave
Woodland, CA 95695
- Howdy, CalBirders,Monterey's seabirds are really putting on a show this week. Upwards of 2000 SABINE'S GULLS, 90,000 Sooty Shearwaters, and more have been seen from shore. I've been asked by a number of photographers about the Shearwater Journeys' trip this Friday, July 31. Spaces are available. Seems like this could be a good opportunity to photograph these masses of seabirds, although video might be best. Such a large migrating flock of Sabine's Gulls is very rarely recorded, although I once saw 3000+ at the Cordell Bank, Bodega Bay.See the most recent Point Pinos eBird report: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S24410856Leaders on the July 31 Monterey trip include: Steve Howell, Scott Terrill, Brian Sullivan, Nick Levendosky, Jennifer Green, David Pavlik, and Debi Shearwater.View the leader line up for all of our upcoming trips at:Shearwater Journeys' has some 26 pelagic trips on offer this fall season with departures from Monterey Bay, Half Moon Bay, Bodega Bay and Sausalito to the Farallon Islands. A few trips are sold out, but spaces are available on many others. The complete trip schedule is here:There is only one Albacore trip, September 12, which departs from Monterey:Certainly looking like a very interesting year — but, aren't they all — one way or another! Help us kick off our 40th year of Monterey seabird trips this week!Shearwaters Forever,Debi Shearwater