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SEP 7, 2007 BODEGA BAY PELAGIC TRIP

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  • Debra Shearwater
    Hello, Seabirders, By any stretch of the imagination, today s Shearwater Journey s pelagic trip from Bodega Bay was spectacular, exceeding all expectations
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 8, 2007
      Hello, Seabirders,

      By any stretch of the imagination, today's Shearwater Journey's
      pelagic trip from Bodega Bay was spectacular, exceeding all
      expectations with excellent sea conditions, tens of thousands of
      migrating seabirds, including 12 species of tubenoses, and a
      magnificent whale show! HIghlights included: a light morph WEDGE-
      TAILED SHEARWATER, a LAYSAN ALBATROSS, thousands of storm-petrels,
      including; 4000 ASHY STORM-PETRELS, the first BLACK STORM-PETRELS of
      the season (6), FORK-TAILED STORM-PETRELS (4), and amazingly, at
      least 20 WILSON'S STORM-PETRELS. Other highlights included 2 or 3
      FLESH-FOOTED SHEARWATERS, nearly 2000 PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATERS, 700
      SOOTY SHEARWATERS, and 40 BULLER'S SHEARWATERS. The alcid show was no
      less spectacular, with 3 adult TUFTED PUFFINS (1 in Sonoma County and
      2 in Marin County). CASSIN'S AUKLETS were found in good numbers—30
      with many sitting on the water, offering great views of an alcid that
      has been scarce the past two years. The jaeger show was fantastic,
      with multiple SOUTH POLAR SKUAS overhead. In fact, POMARINE,
      PARASITIC, and LONG-TAILED JAEGERS, and SOUTH POLAR SKUAS were in
      view all at the same time! Over 3500 RED-NECKED PHALAROPES were
      tallied, and the first of the season RED PHALAROPES were found.
      HUMPBACK WHALES were in view throughout the day, sometimes being
      detected by the smelly blows, or constant breachings, or pectoral
      flipper slappings. DALL'S PORPOISES joined our wake for a ride.
      NORTHERN FUR SEALS were extremely abundant. The crowning jewel of the
      cetacean display was a BLUE WHALE spotted by Jennifer Green off the
      bow of our boat! It even raised its tail flukes as it sounded! It was
      a show of marine life o that few birders ever experience!

      We enjoyed uniformly high overcast skies throughout the day— perfect
      conditions, with relatively low swells, and no whitecaps at all. By
      9:30 am, I had already exclaimed that the day was a success, as we
      had tallied so many birds, including a beautiful tufted puffin. About
      10:00 am, Steve Howell spotted the wedge-tailed shearwater off the
      stern of the boat. Both Steve and Brian Sullivan managed to snap a
      "record" image of the bird as is was flying away. It did not stay
      long, and many of the birders on board missed this mega-rarity. Few
      were disappointed, though. We soon encountered thousands of storm-
      petrels, rafted up on the water, as they do. We could even smell
      their musky odor. After sifting through these flocks, we easily
      picked out many Wilson's, and a few blacks and fork-tails. While we
      were in the process of studying the storm-petrel flocks, a single
      Laysan Albatross made repeated passes. Finally, after everyone on
      board had satisfactory views, we moved on to other birds. Soon, we
      found the first of many Cassin's Auklets, the Blue Whales, and
      several Blue Sharks. All three of these animals feed on krill. So, we
      must be having a krill bloom near the Cordell Bank! There has been
      precious little krill along the nearshores of central California for
      the past two fall seasons. We can only hope that this krill bloom
      continues.

      We thank all of the particpants and the leaders: Steve Howell, Brian
      Sullivan, Lisa Hug, Jennifer Green, Luke Cole, John Luther, & Debra
      Shearwater. The complete species list follows. We still have spaces
      open on the following trips from Bodega Bay: SEP 14 & 30; OCT 19. The
      September 14th trip can be combined with a trip from Fort Bragg on
      SEP 16th, with coastal land birding on September 15th along Highway
      1. Trips from Monterey with spaces available are: SEP 22, 23, 24; OCT
      5, 7, 12, 13, & 20. Spaces are still available on our Albacore trips
      from Monterey on SEP 29 & OCT 6. For reservations, please contact
      Debra Shearwater (below).


      SEPTEMBER 7, 2007 BODEGA BAY PELAGIC TRIP:

      PACIFIC LOON-1
      WESTERN GREBE-1
      LAYSAN ALBATROSS-1
      BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS-70
      NORTHERN FULMAR-85
      PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATER-1980
      FLESH-FOOTED SHEARWATER- 2 or 3
      *WEDGE-TAILED SHEARWATER-1 light morph
      BULLER'S SHEARWATER-40
      SOOTY SHEARWATER-700
      WILSON'S STORM-PETREL-20+
      FORK-TAILED STORM-PETREL-4
      ASHY STORM-PETREL-4000
      BLACK STORM-PETREL-6
      BROWN PELICAN-2
      BRANDT'S CORMORANT-1000+
      RED-NECKED PHALAROPE-3500
      RED PHALAROPE-500
      SOUTH POLAR SKUA-6
      POMARINE JAEGER-22
      PARASITIC JAEGER-8
      LONG-TAILED JAEGER-16
      JAEGER sp.-4
      BONAPARTE'S GULL-1 juv.
      HEERMANN'S GULL-40
      MEW GULL-1 in harbor
      CALIFORNIA GULL-120
      WESTERN GULL-300
      SABINE'S GULL-160
      COMMON/ARCTIC TERN-2
      ARCTIC TERN-1
      COMMON MURRE-500
      PIGEON GUILLEMOT-10
      CASSIN'S AUKLET-80
      RHINOCEROS AUKLET-62
      TUFTED PUFFIN-3
      CALIFORNIA SEA LION-150
      STELLER'S SEA LION-1
      NORTHERN FUR SEAL-33
      *BLUE WHALE-1
      HUMPBACK WHALE-27
      DALL'S PORPOISE-33
      OCEAN SUNFISH-1
      BLUE SHARK-7
      MOON JELLIES-++
      WESTERN SANDPIPER-1
      SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER-8
      BLACK OYSTERCATCHER-1
      SANDERLING-8

      What a day!
      Shearwaters forever,

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