FORT BRAGG PELAGIC TRIP REPORT: AUGUST 10, 2008
- 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
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
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:
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
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
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
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
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
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
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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