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Jan 24, 2004 Trip Report

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  • Debi Shearwater
    Hello, Birders, The January 24th pelagic trip from Monterey began auspicously as every one of the boat trip leaders was awakened by a pounding rain at 3 am. We
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 27, 2004
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      Hello, Birders,
      The January 24th pelagic trip from Monterey began auspicously as every one
      of the boat trip leaders was awakened by a pounding rain at 3 am. We all
      thought, "Uh, oh, is that rain?" We drove to Fisherman's Wharf in Monterey
      in the pouring rain! Miraculously, as the boat departed from the dock at
      7:30 am, the rain stopped. The day turned out to be one of glorious
      weather‹flat, calm seas, and even sunshine in the afternoon! The lack of any
      wind kept the tubenoses down on the water, and we might not have found any
      albatrosses if it were not for the fact that they were hanging around two
      drag boats. NORTHERN FULMARS were still plentiful, but shearwaters were
      very scarce, as they have been since mid-October. The highlights of the day
      were over a thousand RHINOCEROS AUKLETS, knock-out views of an ANCIENT
      MURRELET, sitting off the bow, 3 FLESH-FOOTED SHEARWATERS, 3 BLACK-FOOTED
      ALBATROSSES, and 9 species of gulls (including a Ring-billed Gull which was
      photographed). The sea surface temperature was averaging 54F, slightly above
      average for this time of year. We went about 7 miles off Pt. Pinos.

      The PEREGRINE FALCON was on top of one of the stacks at the Monterey Bay
      Aquarium along Cannery Row. The normal handful of BLACK TURNSTONES were on
      the Coast Guard Jetty. NORTHERN FULMARS were close in the bay, as were many
      RHINOCEROS AUKLETS. This is the highest count of rhinos that I have seen for
      many months. They sported their facial breeding plumes and horns were
      obvious on many. Almost immediately, we spotted a huge herd of RISSO'S
      DOLPHINS with some PACIFIC WHITE-SIDED DOLPHINS mixed in over a range of
      several miles! Most of the tubenoses were concentrated around two commercial
      fishing vessels that had already pulled their nets. It was here that the
      SHORT-TAILED SHEARWATERS and many PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATERS flew into the chum
      of our boat. Shortly, leader Jennifer Green was shouting out the first of
      three FLESH-FOOTED SHEARWATERS! This species is not easily seen in the
      winter. It was lifer #713 for one of the participants!! All on board had
      excellent views. Chumming brought many gulls to our wake, including
      BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE and several POMARINE JAEGERS. Mid-day, we were
      treated to outstanding views of PACIFIC WHITE-SIDED DOLPHINS riding with
      groups of GRAY WHALES. The photo-ops were wonderful. On the way home, we
      checked the inner shoreline and tallied RED-NECKED GREBE, WHITE-WINGED
      SCOTERS, PIGEON GUILLEMOT, and the male HARLEQUIN DUCK in the harbor. All in
      all, just a wonderful day at sea. Beats winter in most of the country, right
      now!

      The leaders for this successful trip were Clay Kempf, Jennifer Green, Steve
      Howell, Don Doolittle, David Vander Plymn, and Debra Shearwater. Partipants
      hailed from 11 different states and the UK. Our complete list follows:
      RED-THROATED LOON-2
      PACIFIC LOON-110
      COMMON LOON-16
      RED-NECKED GREBE-8
      EARED GREBE-60
      WESTERN GREBE-55
      BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS-3
      NORTHERN FULMAR-250
      PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATER-20
      FLESH-FOOTED SHEARWATER-3
      SOOTY SHEARWATER-2
      SOOTY/SHORT-TAILED SHEARWATER-2-3
      SHORT-TAILED SHEARWATER-2
      BROWN PELICAN-+
      BRANDT'S COROMORANT-+
      DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT-3
      PELAGIC CORMORANT-+
      RED PHALAROPE-1
      POMARINE JAEGER-2
      HEERMANN'S GULL-150
      MEW GULL-30
      RING-BILLED GULL-1
      CALIFORNIA GULL-400
      HERRING GULL-30
      THAYER'S GULL-5
      WESTERN GULL-1000
      GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL-20
      BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE-12
      COMMON MURRE-15
      PIGEON GUILLEMOT-1
      ANCIENT MURRELET-8
      CASSIN'S AUKLET-4
      RHINOCEROS AUKLET-1000+
      BLACK TURNSTONE-4
      PEREGRINE FALCON-1
      BUFFLEHEAD-4
      HARLEQUIN DUCK-1
      SURF SCOTER-250
      WHITE-WINGED SCOTER-5
      SEA OTTER-20+
      CALIFORNIA SEA LION-+
      GRAY WHALE-40
      PACIFIC WHITE-SIDED DOLPHIN-125


      Shearwaters forever,
      Debi
      ---
      http://www.shearwaterjourneys.com
      Debi Shearwater <debiluv@...>
      Shearwater Journeys
      P.O. Box 190
      Hollister, CA 95024
      831-637-8527


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