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SHEARWATER BIRTHDAY BIRDING: SEP 13, 2008 MONTEREY BAY

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  • Debra Shearwater
    Howdy, Seabirders, Shearwater Journey s Monterey offshore trip was a smashing success by any standards! California County Birders had a field day, adding as
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 13, 2008
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      Howdy, Seabirders,

      Shearwater Journey's Monterey offshore trip was a smashing success by
      any standards! California County Birders had a field day, adding as
      many as eight species to some of their county lists. With incredibly
      perfect seas and weather, we covered three counties today: MONTEREY,
      SANTA CRUZ, and SAN MATEO COUNTIES. Most of the day was spent in
      Santa Cruz County. Highlights in that county included thousands of
      storm-petrels� at least 7,000 ASHY STORM-PETRELS, 8 BLACK STORM-
      PETRELS, 3 FORK-TAILED STORM-PETRELS, 4 WILSON'S STORM-PETRELS, and
      amazingly, ONE LEACH'S STORM-PETREL! Other Santa Cruz County
      highlights included a BLACK AND WHITE WARBLER, 1 FLESH-FOOTED
      SHEARWATER, all three species of JAEGERS, SOUTH POLAR SKUA, and RED
      PHALAROPES. SAN MATEO COUNTY highlights included: BLACK-FOOTED
      ALBATROSS, PINK-FOOTED, BULLER'S and SOOTY SHEARWATERS, ASHY STORM-
      PETREL, RED and RED-NECKED PHALAROPE, SOUTH POLAR SKUA, POMARINE and
      PARASITIC JAEGERS, COMMON TERN, CASSIN'S and RHINOCEROS AUKLETS.

      Dawn broke on greasy-smooth seas, with PACIFIC WHITE-SIDED DOLPHINS
      riding the bow, and ASHY STORM-PETRELS still feeding in the earliest
      light, just off of Point Pinos. Many species were still actively
      feeding, while small flocks of shearwaters were awakened as our boat
      headed offshore to the shipping lanes. Miles and miles of feeding
      White-sided dolphins, and seabirds were soon joined by NORTHERN RIGHT
      WHALE DOLPHINS. After traveling for many hours, we left many of the
      albatrosses and shearwaters behind, but found more CASSIN'S AUKLETS
      and mixed flocks of RED and RED-NECKED PHALAROPES. Large container
      ships seemed so close to us, owing to the incredibly flat-calm seas,
      when in reality they were more than 8 miles away! Linda Terrill
      spotted a lone storm-petrel offshore, which Steve Howell announced
      was as a LEACH'S STORM-PETREL! Nearly everyone on board saw this
      single bird, and it was "high fives" everywhere! Jaegers hunting and
      harassing gulls, and just about anything that they could harass,
      filled the skies! Finally, a group of gulls and jaegers were seen
      harassing a passerine. We stopped the boat in hopes of saving the
      bird, as it escaped the jaws of one of its hunters. It made a beeline
      for our vessel� and on the deck plopped a Brown-headed Cowbird.
      Later, we found a Black and White Warbler, but it never landed on our
      boat. Dipping into San Mateo County was a lot of fun, and more county
      birds were ticked. We spent several hours with the storm-petrel
      flocks, picking them over and over until everyone had seen Wilson's,
      Fork-tailed, and Black. Satisfied and strained at the neck (Is there
      a petrel neck, like "warbler neck"?), the bow was given over to the
      photographers who then took their shots of the little petrels. It
      was not until the end of the day when we found our first HUMPBACK
      WHALES. Exhausted, we returned to the dock, although many of us are
      preparing for yet another day or two on Monterey Bay! Truly, it must
      be one of the most spectacular places on earth for seabirds and
      marine mammals!

      Many thanks to all of the folks who traveled with us today, and to
      the leaders: Linda Terrill, Scott Terrill, Brian Sullivan, John
      Sterling, David Vander Pluym, and chummer Lauren Harter. The sea
      surface temperature ranged from 58-59F throughout the day. The
      Beaufort reading was 0, skies were uniformly high overcast for most
      of the day. Perfect.

      Spaces are still available on Sep 14, 15, 22, 25, 27, 28 and on all
      of the October trips. Please email Debra Shearwater for a reservation.

      The incomplete (marine mammal numbers missing) species list for
      SEPTEMBER 13, 2008 OFFSHORE MONTEREY BAY TRIP follows:


      SANTA CRUZ/SAN MATEO/MONTEREY

      BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS- 11/1/3
      NORTHERN FULMAR- 2/0/0
      PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATER- 78/28/98
      FLESH-FOOTED SHEARWATER- 1/0/0
      BULLER'S SHEARWATER- 60/2/25
      SOOTY SHEARWATER- 55/14/130
      WILSON'S STORM-PETREL- 4/0/0
      FORK-TAILED STORM-PETREL- 3/0/0
      LEACH'S STORM-PETREL- 1/0/0
      ASHY STORM-PETREL- 7,000 (minimum)/5/200
      BLACK STORM-PETREL- 8/0/1
      LEAST STORM-PETREL-1 (?)/0/0
      BROWN PELICAN- 5/0/40
      BRANDT'S CORMORANT- 0/0/75
      WESTERN SANDPIPER- 1/0/0
      RED-NECKED PHALAROPE- 48/40/45
      RED PHALAROPE- 4/6/0
      SOUTH POLAR SKUA- 8/2/2
      POMARINE JAEGER- 9/2/9
      PARASITIC JAEGER- 4/0/8
      LONG-TAILED JAEGER- 1/4/1
      JAEGER SP.- 4/0/0
      HEERMANN'S GULL- 40/0/150
      WESTERN GULL- 120/0/250
      SABINE'S GULL- 19/0/0
      ELEGANT TERN- 12/2/137
      COMMON TERN- 2/2/0
      COMMON MURRE- 6/1/28
      CASSIN'S AUKLET- 36/4/4
      RHINOCEROS AUKLET- 47/1/24
      BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD- 1/0/0
      BLACK & WHITE WARBLER- 1/0/0

      Marine mammal totals will be posted tomorrow.
      SEA OTTER
      CALIFORNIA SEA LION
      NORTHERN FUR SEAL
      NORTHERN ELEPHANT SEAL
      HARBOR SEAL
      HUMPBACK WHALE
      NORTHERN RIGHT WHALE DOLPHIN
      PACIFIC WHITE-SIDED DOLHIN
      DALL'S PORPOISE

      It was a terrific birthday birding day for me!
      Shearwaters forever,
      Debra



      Debra Shearwater
      Shearwater Journeys, Inc.
      PO Box 190
      Hollister, CA 95024
      831.637.8527
      debi@...
      www.shearwaterjourneys.com

      *Antarctica, South Georgia, & The Falkland Islands, January 5-24, 2010*
      Shearwater Journeys' Exclusive Charter






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