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Rhino auklets continue on today's Oceanside pelagic

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  • Terry Hunefeld
    Greetings, 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
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 26, 2008
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      Greetings,

      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
      many.

      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.

      Totals:

      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
      Cory's Shearwater.

      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.
      Bird often.

      www.SoCalBirding.com
      Pelagic Seabirding Trips From San Diego to:
      9-mile Bank
      Los Coronados Islands
      Cortes & Tanner Banks
      Channel Islands
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