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FORT BRAGG PELAGIC TRIP REPORT: AUGUST 10, 2008

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  • DEBRA SHEARWATER
    Hello, Seabirders, This is a report of Shearwater Journey s pelagic trip from FORT BRAGG on AUGUST 10, 2008. A different day— a different ocean! Sea
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 11, 2008
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      Hello, Seabirders,

      This is a report of Shearwater Journey's pelagic trip from FORT BRAGG
      on AUGUST 10, 2008. A different day� a different ocean! Sea
      conditions changed substantially between August 8th, the Lucky Eight
      Day of Hawaiian Petrels, to the morning of August 10th. Leaving the
      harbor, conditions were pretty good, and we really could not detect
      much change from the Lucky Eight Day. However, the marine forecast
      already stated that northwest winds were blowing 18 knots at the
      Point Arena Buoy. This made heading south out of the question. So, we
      headed north for most of the day, returning along the coastline,
      hunting for small alcids (which we did not find). Another difference
      between the two days, was the sea surface temperature. Throughout the
      day, it remained about 52F, with very little change. We did not
      experience those finger-like streams of warm water of the Lucky Eight
      Day.

      Off we went to the north and NOYO CANYON. Only 4 miles out of the
      harbor, a LAYSAN ALBATROSS flew up the wake. Oddly enough, this four
      mile zone is often very productive! I'm not sure that I had even seen
      one shearwater for the day when this albatross flew in. In fact,
      overall, there are very few shearwaters off Fort Bragg. This presents
      quite an advantage in that we do not have to sift through thousands
      and thousands of shearwaters to find something unusual. The unusual
      birds stand out quite well. Other highlights of the day included the
      first of the fall season, BULLER'S SHEARWATER over the middle of Noyo
      Canyon; all three jaegers- POMARINE, PARASITIC, and LONG-TAILED
      JAEGERS; one SOUTH POLAR SKUA, and a very surprising juvenile GRAY
      WHALE in 30-50 feet of water along the kelp line off Usal River. The
      much hoped for Hawaiian Petrels, seen on the August 8th trip, were
      not observed. Keep in mind that all of our previous records for
      Hawaiian Petrels have been found near Noyo Canyon. Although we
      experienced some swells, our skipper handled the boat expertly,
      taking us on a great route which made the ride comfortable, and more
      importantly, made seabirding possible at all times. Thumbs up all the
      way around for our great boat crew and leaders!

      After the LAYSAN ALBATROSS showed up, we were naturally, hoping to
      find a Short-tailed Albatross. It was not to be. However, a research
      vessel with Steve Howell on board did find a Laysan Albatross near
      Cordell Bank within the past couple of days. Perhaps, we shall be
      lucky tomorrow!!

      Our very next pelagic trip is TUESDAY, AUGUST 12TH, departing from
      Port O' Bodega at 7 am. Please be there at 6:30 am, if you would like
      to join this trip. As I will be on the road today, driving from Fort
      Bragg to Bodega Bay, it is not possible to contact me. If you would
      like to join us, you can try emailing me. Otherwise, it is very
      likely that there will be spaces available, if you just show up at
      the boat. We will be on the New Sea Angler, a large vessel.

      UPCOMING TRIPS INCLUDE:

      MONTEREY:
      AUG 15 with Linda Terrill, Clay Kempf, & Jennifer Green leading.
      AUG 22 with John Sterling, Clay Kempf, Brian Sullivan, Jennifer
      Green, & Debra Shearwater leading.
      AUG 29 with Linda Terrill, Clay Kempf, & Jennifer Green leading.
      SEP 7 with Scott Terrill, Linda Terrill, Clay Kempf, Don Doolittle,
      Jennifer Green & Debra Shearwater leading. SOLD OUT. (sorry)
      SEP 12 with Clay Kempf, Brian Sullivan, & Debra Shearwater leading.
      SEP 13 ALBACORE with Scott Terrill, Linda Terrill, John Sterling,
      Brian Sullivan & Debra Shearwater leading.
      SEP 14 with Scott Terrill, Linda Terrill, John Sterling, Clay Kempf,
      Don Doolittle & Debra Shearwater leading.
      SEP 15 to Ascension Canyon with Clay Kempf, Don Doolittle & Debra
      Shearwater leading.
      SEP 22 with David Vander Pluym, David Wimpfheimer, Don Doolittle &
      Debra Shearwater leading.
      SEP 25 with Jim Danzenbaker, Steve Howell & Debra Shearwater leading.
      SEP 27 with Scott Terrill, Linda Terrill, Steve Howell, Jim
      Danzenbaker & Debra Shearwater leading.
      SEP 28 with Jennifer Green, Denise Wight, Steve Howell & Debra
      Shearwater leading.
      OCT 3 with Clay Kempf, Jennifer Green & Debra Shearwater leading.
      OCT 4 with Clay Kempf & Debra Shearwater leading.
      OCT 5 with Scott Terrill, Linda Terrill & Debra Shearwater leading.
      OCT 11 leaders TBA.
      OCT 18 with Clay Kempf, Scott Terrill, Linda Terrill & Debra
      Shearwater leading.
      NOV 29 with Clay Kempf, Scott Terrill, Linda Terrill, Jennifer Green
      & Debra Shearwater leading.

      DEPARTING FROM SANTA CRUZ; (lower yacht harbor, F dock)
      SEP 26 with David Suddjian, Steve Gerow, Jennifer Green, Steve
      Howell, Alan Hopkins, & Debra Shearwater leading.
      OCT 12 with Clay Kempf, Jennifer Green, Scott Terrill, Linda Terrill,
      John Sterling, Don Doolittle & Debra Shearwater leading.

      BODEGA BAY TO CORDELL BANK & BODEGA CANYON:
      AUG 12 with Lisa Hug, Alan Hopkins, Gerry McChesney, Steve Howell,
      John Sterling & Debra Shearwater leading.
      OCT 9 with Steve Howell, Lisa Hug, John Sterling, Jim Danzenbaker &
      Debra Shearwater leading.
      OCT 17 with John Sterling, Lisa Hug, Jennifer Green & Debra
      Shearwater leading.

      We thank all of the birders who traveled from near and far to join us
      on our August 10 pelagic trip from Fort Bragg. The leaders for this
      trip were: Scott Terrill, Linda Terrill, Clay Kempf, Matt Brady, Lisa
      Hug, Don Doolittle, Al De Martini, and Debra Shearwater. The complete
      species list follows.

      AUGUST 10, 2008 FORT BRAGG PELAGIC TRIP WITH SHEARWATER JOURNEYS:

      PACIFIC LOON- 1
      COMMON LOON- 2
      WESTERN GREBE- 70
      CLARK'S GREBE- 1
      LAYSAN ALBATROSS- 1
      BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS- 40
      NORTHERN FULMAR- 6
      PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATER- 75
      BULLER'S SHEARWATER- 1 first of fall
      SOOTY SHEARWATER- 32
      BROWN PELICAN- 220
      BRANDT'S CORMORANT- 700
      DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT- 3
      PELAGIC CORMORANT- 6
      SURF SCOTER- 42
      BLACK OYSTERCATCHER- 1
      WANDERING TATTLER- 2
      WHIMBREL- 2
      RUDDY TURNSTONE- 1
      BLACK TURNSTONE- 18
      SPOTTED SANDPIPER- 1
      RED-NECKED PHALAROPE- 17
      SOUTH POLAR SKUA- 1
      POMARINE JAEGER- 2
      PARASITIC JAEGER- 1
      LONG-TAILED JAEGER- 3
      Jaeger sp.- 1
      HEERMANN'S GULL- 45
      CALIFORNIA GULL- 110
      WESTERN GULL- 80
      WESTERN/GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL- 1
      ELEGANT TERN- 3
      COMMON/ARCTIC TERN- 2
      CASPIAN TERN- 2
      COMMON MURRE- 90
      PIGEON GUILLEMOT- 52
      CASSIN'S AUKLET- 20
      RHINOCEROS AUKLET- 15
      OSPREY- 13
      CALIFORNIA SEA LION- 12
      STELLER'S SEA LION- 1
      HARBOR SEAL- 5
      **GRAY WHALE- 1 juvenile about 22 feet long.
      RISSO'S DOLPHIN- 8
      HARBOR PORPOISE- 6
      DALL'S PORPOISE- 3

      Additionally, I would like to thank Michael Force, Sophie Webb and
      Steve Howell for publishing the article, "Identification At Sea of
      Hawaiian and Galapagos Petrels" in Western Birds, Volume 38, No. 3,
      2007. This article along with its photographic images were very
      helpful on the August 8 pelagic trip. I had a copy of the article on
      board, as we were studying the Hawaiian Petrels that we saw that day.
      We hope to have photographic images from the August 8th trip on the
      Shearwater Journey's web site soon.




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