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What a difference a day can make: Trip Reports for Monterey Bay: October 5, 6, & 7, 2007

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  • Debra Shearwater
    Hello, Seabirders, Shearwater Journey s pelagic trips departing from Monterey Bay on October 5, 6, & 7 were about as different as could be. On the morning of
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 9, 2007
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      Hello, Seabirders,

      Shearwater Journey's pelagic trips departing from Monterey Bay on
      October 5, 6, & 7 were about as different as could be. On the morning
      of October 5th, a light rain was falling! Rain, at this time of year
      on the central coast of California is very unusual. A front was
      passing through, and although the rain ended shortly, the sea
      conditions were somewhat choppy. The two PEREGRINE FALCONS returned
      to the Cannery Row area, mostly sitting on the radio tower, or the
      stacks at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. October 6th, we departed the
      dock at 5:30 am, as this was our offshore trip to the albacore
      grounds. No albacore were within reach of a day trip (or anywhere
      around), so we elected to head west northwest. A good movement of
      seabirds was noted throughout the day: 128 NORTHERN FULMARS seemed to
      move into the region, overnight; 1 FLESH-FOOTED SHEARWATER was in San
      Mateo County, while 2 others were in Monterey County; 54 ASHY STORM-
      PETRELS were found, but the large flocks could not be relocated; a
      great passage of 19 SOUTH POLAR SKUAS, 44 POMARINE JAEGERS; 6
      PARASITIC JAEGERS; and one late LONG-TAILED JAEGER put on a great
      show; 6 SABINE'S GULLS were late stragglers. The early light of
      morning hours began with 300 NORTHERN RIGHT WHALE DOLPHINS. Seas were
      great on the 6th, as well as on the 7th. On October 7th, we wondered
      where the heck all those skuas and jaegers went, as we were hard
      pressed to find one South Polar Skua for the day! It is important to
      remember that this is migration, and each day is different.
      Seabirding at this time of year could be compared to birding at High
      Island, Texas, or Cape May, New Jersey during migration. Each and
      every day is different. Folks who come a long distance really add the
      ticks to their list by participating in more than one trip, as the
      species list below will show. The morning's highlight was over 50
      BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSSES feeding on the remains tossed over by a
      fishing boat. It was a delight to hear them whistling and arguing
      over the bits of fish at the surface. HERRING GULLS and ANCIENT
      MURRELETS continued their winter arrival on October 7th. We found
      some large HUMBOLDT SQUID TENTACLES floating on the surface of the
      water. We do not know how these tentacles came to be separated from
      the squids. Perhaps, the BAIRD'S BEAKED WHALE that made a brief
      appearance on October 6th was eating these very large squids. In any
      case, we brought the tentacles on board, and chopped them up as chum
      for the eager gulls and albatrosses. When a large BLUE SHARK showed
      up, our skipper followed it with the boat so that everyone on board
      could have great views of this large predator. Suddenly, the shark
      made a swift and precise lunge for a piece of the tossed over squid,
      lifting its head about a foot out of the water!! We were shocked and
      awed. As we continued to throw over pieces of squid, the shark deftly
      managed to snatch up each piece, as the photographers on board were
      having a field day! No one was volunteering to test the waters with
      this known man eater on the hunt!

      We thank all of the participants and the leaders of the trips.
      Leaders for October 5th were: Luke Cole, Don Doolittle, Jennifer
      Green, Mike Danzenbaker, & Debra Shearwater. Leaders for October 6th
      were: Scott Terrill, Linda Terrill, Don Doolittle, Brian Sullivan, &
      Debra Shearwater. Leaders for the October 7th trip were: Clay Kempf,
      Luke Cole, Don Doolittle, Scott Terrill, Linda Terrill, & Debra
      Shearwater.

      Spaces are still available on the following trips from Monterey:

      OCTOBER 12 (7 am-3 pm) with Clay Kempf, Jennifer Green, David Vander
      Pluym, Oscar Johnson, & Debra Shearwater
      OCTOBER 13 (7 am-3 pm) with Linda Terrill, Clay Kempf, Luke Cole, Jon
      Dunn, David Vander Pluym, Oscar Johnson, & Debra Shearwater
      OCTOBER 14 (5:30 am-5:30 pm) with Brian Sullivan, Alan Hopkins,
      Jennifer Green, David Vander Pluym, Oscar Johnson, & Debra Shearwater
      OCTOBER 20 (7 am-3 pm) with Clay Kempf, Linda Terrill, Scott Terrill,
      & Debra Shearwater

      Our last trip of the season from Bodega Bay is OCTOBER 19 with Lisa
      Hug, Jennifer Green, & Debra Shearwater. A limited number of spaces
      are available. Please contact Debra Shearwater for reservations at
      debi@..., or 831-637-8527.

      The complete species list for OCTOBER 5/6/7, 2007 follows:

      PACIFIC LOON-3/2/3
      COMMON LOON-1/3/0
      EARED GREBE-5/0/5
      BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS-13/31/58
      NORTHERN FULMAR-0/128/215
      PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATER-38/150/128
      FLESH-FOOTED SHEARWATER-0/3/2
      BULLER'S SHEARWATER-9/43/35
      SOOTY SHEARWATER-16/53/47
      BROWN PELICAN-72/18/40
      BRANDT'S CORMORANT-340/40/420
      PELAGIC CORMORANT-2/0/10
      SURF SCOTER-2/5/105
      MARBLED GODWIT-0/0/1
      BLACK TURNSTONE-7/0/6
      RED-NECKED PHALAROPE-16/32/18
      RED-NECKED/RED PHALAROPE-0/0/6
      RED PHALAROPE-0/06/0
      SOUTH POLAR SKUA-3/19/1
      POMARINE JAEGER-9/44/4
      POMARINE/PARASITIC JAEGER-0/0/1
      PARASITIC JAEGER-3/6/1
      LONG-TAILED JAEGER-0/1/0
      JAEGER sp.-2/0/0
      BONAPARTE'S GULL-0/0/1
      HEERMANN'S GULL-75/60/60
      CALIFORNIA GULL-150/240/120
      HERRING GULL-0/3/3
      WESTERN GULL-300/200/320
      GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL-0/2/0
      WESTERN/GLAUCOUS-WINGED HYBRID-0/15/0
      SABINE'S GULL-1 juv/6/0
      ELEGANT TERN-5/8/6
      COMMON TERN-0/0/1
      COMMON MURRE-28/13/80
      ANCIENT MURRELET-0/0/2
      CASSIN'S AUKLET-0/2/2
      RHINOCEROS AUKLET-2/12/38
      PEREGRINE FALCON-2/0/2
      SEA OTTER-17/0/8
      CALIFORNIA SEA LION-150/30/250
      NORTHERN FUR SEAL-0/1/0
      HARBOR SEAL-11/0/12
      HUMPBACK WHALE-3/5/6
      BAIRD'S BEAKED WHALE-0/1/0
      NORTHERN RIGHT WHALE DOLPHIN-0/300/0
      RISSO'S DOLPHIN-0/15/20 with newborn calves
      PACIFIC WHITE-SIDED DOLPHIN-45/0/0
      DALL'S PORPOISE-0/3/0
      OCEAN SUNFISH-2/2/1
      BLUE SHARK-0/0/2, eating squid
      HUMBOLDT SQUID-tentacles found and used as chum

      Shearwaters forever,

      Debi Shearwater

      Debra Shearwater
      PO Box 190
      Hollister, CA 95024
      831.637.8527
      debi@...
      www.shearwaterjourneys.com





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