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San Diego Pelagic Trip Report - Los Coronados Islands

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  • Terry Hunefeld
    Greetings No sooner were we out of San Diego harbor than 60 participants watched a Parasitic Jaeger pursue a tern up, down , sideways and upside down in an
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 16, 2008

      No sooner were we out of San Diego harbor than 60 participants
      watched a Parasitic Jaeger pursue a tern up, down , sideways and
      upside down in an amazing display of aerial acrobatics.

      By all accounts, Saturday's maiden pelagic-birding charter on Grande
      was a smashing success featuring 5 flavors of tubenoses, 3 species of
      alcids, nearly two-dozen boobies, 14 Gray Whales, 8 species of gulls,
      both jaegers (putting on shows), hundreds of Common Dolphin and
      dozens of Pacific White-sided Dolphin.

      No sooner did we pull away from the Point Loma Sportfishing landing
      than – holy cow! – a White-winged Scoter.

      Grande zig-zagged eleven miles out to sea to the Nine-mile Bank,
      following feeding frenzies along the way. Throughout the morning we
      enjoyed close-up looks at multiple Northern Fulmar, Pink-footed,
      Sooty, Black-vented and Short-tailed Shearwaters. Full-spooned
      Pomarine Jaegers were in abundance.

      Following the bank down into Mexico and south across Coronado Canyon
      we found our first Xantus's Murrelets. The aromatic scents of the
      Chum-O-Matic coaxed more shearwater, fulmar and a booby to the boat
      even before we reached the Coronados Islands where we found 20 more
      Brown Boobies and 22 oystercatchers (including one hybrid).

      On the return trip from the islands, the popcorn-gorging gull flock
      lured a Brown Booby to within 3 miles of the U.S. border.

      Highlight of the day included:

      A booby repeatedly pacing the boat 10 to 15 feet above delighted
      onlookers on the stern.

      A Gray Whale that surfaced unexpectedly 15 feet off the starboard
      side of Grande.

      Incredible close-up views of Pink-footed Shearwaters.

      Rhino auklets everywhere.

      Three fulmar at a time circling the boat (they could SMELL that Chum-
      O-Matic chum and WANTED IT).

      Hundreds of Common Dolphin completely surrounding the boat, leaping
      out of the water.

      The biggest mola-mola that many of us had EVER seen.

      Multiple Short-tailed Shearwater twisting and banking.

      The weather was warm, breezy and sunny. Many participants made use of
      Grande's generous outdoor seating, enjoying the fresh breezes and
      sunshine. Others lounged in Grande's comfortable salon enjoying the
      mouthwatering hamburgers and burritos being served up by the galley.

      The next two Grande trips (nearly half sold already) sail on May 10
      (a double-header). We expect to add multiple species of Storm-petrels
      into the mix plus tropicbirds, albatross and pterodroma on the deep
      water portion. And the Cory's Shearwater? The Masked Booby? The Blue-
      footed Booby? The adventure continues in May.
      http://www.socalbirding.com/home Early-bird prices in effect until
      March 31 for the May trips.

      The June 5-day expedition on Searcher offers the best opportunity for
      rarities and mega-rarities on the west coast because we'll be out for
      four solid days (more than 50 daylight birdable hours) in both the
      Channel Islands and in deep water at the edge of the continental
      shelf. More info at http://www.socalbirding.com/


      12 Brant
      190 Surf Scoter
      1 White-winged Scoter
      4 Pacific Loon
      4 Common Loon
      10 Western/Clark's Grebe
      6 Northern Fulmar
      1 Pink-footed Shearwater
      2 Sooty Shearwater
      1 Short-tailed Shearwater
      2 Black-vented Shearwater
      115 Brown Pelican
      75 Brandt's Cormorant
      1 Double-crested Cormorant
      1 Wandering Tattler
      1 Black Turnstone
      15 Bonaparte's Gull
      5 Heermann's Gull
      2 Mew Gull
      1 Ring-billed Gull
      15 California Gull
      350 Western Gull
      2 Glaucous-winged Gull
      1 Caspian Tern
      12 Forster's Tern
      5 Royal Tern
      18 Elegant Tern
      5 Pomarine Jaegers
      3 Parasitic Jaegers
      3 Pom/Par Jaegers
      32 Rhinoceros Auklets


      4 Surf Scoter
      7 Northern Fulmar
      3 Pink-footed Shearwater
      4 Sooty Shearwater
      3 Short-tailed Shearwater
      4 Sooty/Short-tailed Shearwater
      21 Brown Booby
      750 Brown Pelican
      1100 Brandt's Cormorant
      1 Double-crested Cormorant
      5 Pelagic Cormorant
      1 American Kestrel
      1 Peregrine Falcon
      1 Red Phalarope
      21 Black Oystercatcher
      1 Hybrid Am/Black Oystercatcher
      2 Bonaparte's Gull
      3 Heermann's Gull
      1 Mew Gull
      2 American Herring Gull
      10 California Gull
      1500 Western Gull
      2 Glaucous-winged Gull
      6 Elegant Tern
      2 Pomarine Jaegers
      9 Xantus's Murrelet
      2 Cassin's Auklet
      35 Rhinoceros Auklets
      1 House Finch

      W. Terry Hunefeld, Leucadia
      Life is short.
      Bird often.

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