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SEP 30, 2006: STREAKED SHEARWATER

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  • Debi Shearwater
    HELLO, SEABIRDERS, Shearwater Journey s pelagic trip from Monterey Bay today produced an awesome megararity—a STREAKED SHEARWATER, spotted by Scott Terrill,
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 30 8:51 PM
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      HELLO, SEABIRDERS,

      Shearwater Journey's pelagic trip from Monterey Bay today produced an
      awesome megararity�a STREAKED SHEARWATER, spotted by Scott Terrill, as
      it was flying up the wake of our boat while I was chumming with
      anchovies. We were 8.2 n. miles wsw of Cypress Point and managed to
      follow the Streaked Shearwater for nearly45 minutes. Every single
      birder on board the boat saw the bird, and some excellent digital
      photographs were captured. You can look for these on our web site:
      www.shearwaterjourneys.com later this week. In addition, we found 8,000
      STORM-PETRELS, mostly ASHY STORM-PETRELS, along with 200 BLACK
      STORM-PETRELS, and 2-3 WILSON'S STORM-PETRELS. Steve Howell spotted a
      LEUCISTIC ASHY STORM-PETREL in amongst all of these birds. This Ashy
      Storm-Petrel had a white belly, dirty white rump, and some white
      feathers in the back. Brian Sullivan captured a good digital image of
      this individual, no easy task given the numbers of birds flying about!
      Lesser highlights included a single BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS (most have
      departed, as is usual at this time of year); a single TUFTED PUFFIN; 26
      SOUTH POLAR SKUAS; 96 JAEGERS; 21 SABINE'S GULLS; 4 CASSIN'S AUKLETS
      (very few around, and often not giving great views, but finally, we had
      great looks of some sitting on the water).

      This trip was scheduled as an "Offshore Monterey: Albacore Grounds"
      trip, but albacore did not show up in Monterey this year. (They are in
      Oregon). When some of the passengers asked me where I was going to go
      this morning, I replied, " I'm going where I think I will find the most
      seabirds." The reports that I have had offshore from Monterey were
      devoid of seabirds. With this in mind, I asked our captain, David
      Lemon, to head north to the canyons off Ano Nuevo, which we did. In the
      early morning hours, we saw many, many jaegers and skuas. They seemed
      to be falling from the sky. (In the late afternoon, we found a flock of
      8 POMARINE JAEGERS sitting on the water!) We encountered several small
      flocks of SABINE'S GULLS and the usual variety of shearwaters.

      The sea conditions were as absolutely perfect as they could be. It was
      so flat-calm, that it was nearly greasy-looking. Skies were high
      overcast. Just marvelous conditions.

      About 10 am, we began to encounter flocks of storm-petrels. We spent
      something like the next 3 hours sifting through all of the
      storm-petrels that were rafted in flocks on the water. We actually saw
      Ashy Storm-Petrels picking up very small fish, and carrying them in
      their beaks�eating them! I have never seen this before. Several
      WILSON'S were pointed out. Then, Steve Howell spotted the white-bellied
      ASHY STORM-PETREL It was refound two more times, and Brian Sullivan got
      some good photos of it. This was a leucistic individual. (Two other
      birding boats were out, and we made calls to them about where the
      storm-petrel flocks could be found). I have seen quite a few leucistic
      Ashys over the 31 years that I have been doing trips from Monterey�some
      with completely white heads, others with white bellies, one with a
      white collar, and one that was rusty-colored with translucent wings.
      I've also seen almost completely white Least Storm-Petrels (and have a
      photo of one of these types). In addition, this sort of thing happens
      fairly routinely in a variety of shearwaters, too.

      While we were working the storm-petrels, a BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS flew
      in for another photo op. Finally, we headed south to Cypress Point to
      check out for shearwaters again, since we were saturated with
      storm-petrels. Then, we received a report of two BLUE WHALES. So, I
      decided that we should head for them, but the folks who reported them,
      lost the sighting. Linda Terrill resighted the blue whales, and we were
      on track to see them. I was at the stern, chumming with popcorn and
      anchovies. Many gulls were following our boat, and sometimes flocks of
      BRANT'S CORMORANTS flew by, checking out the food situation. This is
      something that I see more commonly in the winter months.

      Scott Terrill came back to relieve me from chumming duties. Then,
      suddenly he just shouted, "STREAKED SHEARWATER!!" I didn't have any
      bins on at the time, so I just looked at this big, whitish shearwater,
      flying up our wake! Sure enough! I yelled several expletives, and
      everyone on board was now watching the shearwater as it flew very
      closely to the boat! The very white head, white underparts, pale bill,
      long, wedge-shaped tail, white face�all the field marks were just
      standing out. The shearwater flew off. Many of the leaders followed it
      for a long distance. It was thought to be lost, but Linda Terrill
      picked it up again, sitting in a small flock with other shearwaters. It
      was chased by a Pomarine Jaeger, and photos of this were captured, too!
      It flew, and again, we picked it up, sitting on the water. This
      continued for nearly 45 minutes. Not that many shearwaters were around
      at the time. This made it fairly easy to follow. Finally, we decided to
      head in the direction of the blue whales, but we never did really see
      them well. However, Brian Sullivan brought the boat to a halt with a
      TUFTED PUFFIN that he found, sitting on the water! What a day!!
      Exhausted and thrilled, we returned to the harbor with many thanks to
      the Shearwater Journey's leaders and our captain and first mate.

      The leaders for this trip were: Steve Howell, Brian Sullivan, Scott
      Terrill, Linda Terrill, & Debra Shearwater. Our captain was David
      Lemon; first mate was Larry. Many thanks to all of the birders who came
      on this trip. The complete species list follow.

      We do have some spaces open on our trip tomorrow, OCTOBER 1st from
      Monterey. Please call me until 10 pm this evening to make a reservation
      at 831/637-8527. There is a chance that we can refind the Streaked
      Shearwater. We will certainly be looking for it! We also have spaces
      available on all of the remaining trips on our schedule. Trips from
      Monterey include: Oct 6, 7, 8, 14, 15, 22, 28. Trips from Bodega Bay
      include: Oct 9 & 13. Please email me, if you would like to make a
      reservation for any of these trips: debi@....

      SEPTEMBER 30, 2006 OFFSHORE MONTEREY

      EARED GREBE-7
      BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS-1
      ****STREAKED SHEARWATER-1
      PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATER-245
      BULLER'S SHEARWATER-25
      SOOTY SHEARWATER-2000
      WILSON'S STORM-PETREL-2 OR 3
      ASHY STORM-PETREL-8000
      BLACK STORM-PETREL-1
      BROWN PELICAN-150
      BRANDT'S CORMORANT-900
      PELAGIC CORMORANT-1
      RED-NECKED PHALAROPE-125
      SOUTH POLAR SKUA-26
      POMARINE JAEGER-68
      POMARINE/PARASITIC-10
      PARASITIC JAEGER-6
      JAEGER sp.-12
      HEERMANN'S GULL-250+
      CALIFORNIA GULL-1000+
      WESTERN GULL-300
      WESTERN/GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL-1
      SABINE'S GULL-21
      ELEGANT TERN-48
      COMMON TERN-2
      COMMON/ARCTIC TERN/2
      COMMON MURRE-18
      PIGEON GUILLEMOT-1
      CASSIN'S AUKLET-4
      RHINOCEROS AUKLET-80
      TUFTED PUFFIN-1
      SEA OTTER-1
      CALIFORNIA SEA LION-400
      NORTHERN FUR SEAL-11
      NORTHERN ELEPHANT SEAL-3
      HARBOR SEAL-10
      BLUE WHALE-2
      HUMPBACK WHALE-22
      PACIFIC WHITE-SIDED DOLPHIN-80
      DALL'S PORPOISE-24
      OCEAN SUNFISH-2
      BLUE SHARK-2





      Debra Love Shearwater
      Shearwater Journeys
      www.shearwaterjourneys.com
      debi@...
      PO Box 190
      Hollister, CA 95024 USA
      831/637-8527

      "Real birds eat squid."�Tony Marr

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