Rhino auklets continue on today's Oceanside pelagic
The warm sun shone upon nearly 100 birders this morning as they
sailed out of Oceanside Harbor into calm waters for a 3-hour tour
sponsored by the Buena Vista Audubon. Almost immediately the call
of "Pom Jaeger!" went up as a morning began of witnessing the
interaction of jaegers, terns, shearwaters and gulls, i.e.
shearwaters, terns and gulls catching fish, jaegers chasing
shearwaters, terns and gulls.
This season's "invasion" of Rhinoceros Auklets was very much in
evidence as we totaled 45, in stark contrast with some years totaling
zero all season. Other alcids: 2 fairly close Cassin's Auklets were
seen with another 6 and one Common Murre too distant to be seen by
3 "dark" shearwaters were sighted (read: either Sooty or Short-
tailed). One was positively identified as a Short-tailed by its
uniform medium-grey underwings and a soaring, banking, erratic non-
sooty flight style; it banked within 100 feet of the boat. Other
tubenoses included 3 Northern Fulmar (2 dark and a light morph) that
came by to dine on our popcorn chum.
During the course of the morning we saw several small flocks of 6-10
Bonaparte's Gulls, and 8 Red Phalarope. Jaegers were seen well by
all, 6 Pomarine and 6 Parasitic, pretty much all engaged in chasing
prey or finding prey to chase.
A surprise was only one loon. A Pacific. Period.
Mammals included a pod of 20 Common Dolphin, a pod 6 Bottlenose
Dolphin and a spouting Gray Whale that surfaced 5 or 6 times within
several hundred feet of the boat for great looks by all aboard.
In short, a fun morning of birds, marine mammals, old friends and new
ones. A special thanks from all aboard and the Buena Vista Audubon
to Andy Mauro for organizing this whole affair.
1 Short-tailed Shearwater
331 Black-vented Shearwater
2 dark shearwater sp
3 Northern Fulmar
8 Red Phalarope
59 Bonaparte's Gull
15 Royal Tern
6 Parasitic Jaeger
6 Pomarine Jaeger
1 Common Murre
45 Rhino Auklet
8 Cassin's Auklet
The next pelagic trip out of San Diego with space available is March
15 on Grande. There are only 9 spots still available on that trip
from Point Loma to the 9-mile Bank, then to the Los Coronados Islands
to see the Brown Booby colony and check the status of the Masked
Booby (still there last week) and last year's Blue-footed Booby and
March 15 leaders include Guy McCaskie, Todd McGrath, Dave Povey, Matt
Sadowski, Jon Feenstra and Dave Pereksta. More details and a link to
the Point Loma Sportfishing reservations page at www.SoCalBirding.com
W. Terry Hunefeld, Leucadia
Life is short.
Pelagic Seabirding Trips From San Diego to:
Los Coronados Islands
Cortes & Tanner Banks