The volunteers of the San Diego Audubon put on another successful
bird festival with wonderful trips, great leaders and nearly 400
registrants, capped off Saturday evening by a fun banquet with an
entertaining keynote talk by Kenn Kaufman entitled Thirteen Ways of
Looking at a Sparrow.
The Saturday and Sunday pelagic boat trips to the 9-mile Bank and Los
Coronados Islands were both resounding successes with well
photographed highlights like MASKED BOOBY, MANX SHEARWATER (#480 San
Diego for Guy McCaskie), multiple SHORT-TAILED SHEARWATER, BLACK-
LEGGED KITTIWAKE, and more than FIFTEEN HUNDRED CASSIN'S AUKLET.
Mammals included several close Gray Whales each day, an enormous pod
of 500 - 1000 Risso's Dolphin (the largest Todd McGrath has ever seen
in the SoCal Bight), bow-riding Pacific White-Sided Dolphin plus
Common and Bottlenose Dolphin.
The Coronados Islands high count of BROWN BOOBIES was Saturday with
20 on Middle Rock and one in flight several miles north of the
islands for a total of 21. Not seen on Middle Rock Saturday, but
present Sunday, was a MASKED BOOBY.
The Coronados Islands high count of oystercatchers was Sunday with 18
Black, 2 "American" and 4 hybrids.
Two-day totals of species of interest (to us):
5-7 Northern Fulmar
2-3 Short-tailed Shearwater (Mexico)
1 Manx Shearwater (US)
1 Pink-footed Shearwater (Mexico)
7-8 Black-vented Shearwater
38 Bonaparte's Gull
3 Mew Gull
2 Herring Gull
1 Thayer's Gull
4 Glaucous-winged Gull
1 Black-legged Kittiwake (Mexico)
7 Pom Jaeger
1 Jaeger sp
19 Xantus's Murrelet (scrippsi) (Mexico & US)
1,530 Cassin's Auklet
29 Rhino Auklet
Both trips were 6.5 hours in duration. The most productive life-zone
was over Coronado Canyon, a deep submarine canyon south of the 9-mile
The March 15 pelagic trips into these waters is sold out. The next
available trips are the weekend of May 10 with two trips back-to-back
(we call it the "double-header"). You may book one trip, the other,
or both: Trip #1 is an eight-hour trip to the 9-mile bank and the
Los Coronados Islands. Trip #2 is an overnight trip to deep water to
search for albatross and pterodroma petrels at the Cortes and Tanner
Tickets are $75 for the 8-hour trip but if you sign up early you can
get tickets for $55. The overnight trip is $200, but if you sign up
early the cost is only $150. Leaders include Guy McCaskie, Paul
Lehman, Todd McGrath, Jon Feenstra, Matt Sadowski, Mark Billings,
Dave Povey and Dave Pereksta.
Life is short.
Terry Hunefeld, Leucadia
Pelagic Seabirding Trips From San Diego to:
Los Coronados Islands
Cortes & Tanner Banks