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Two Manx Shearwaters off San Clemente

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  • HeraldPetrel@aol.com
    Hello all, Today was quite a spectacular day of seawatching off West Cove Point at the north end of San Clemente Island. Nearly calm winds and clear
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 4, 2002
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      Hello all,

      Today was quite a spectacular day of seawatching off West Cove Point at the
      north end of San Clemente Island. Nearly calm winds and clear conditions
      helped produce some excellent birding. Observers included myself and Eric
      Kershner. Getting down to it, the big news of the day was California Gull
      numbers, as well as large numbers of Jaegers. I estimated approximately 5000
      California Gulls moving north between 7 and 8 AM. With them were 19 Pomarine
      Jaegers, 3 Parasitic Jaegers, and 15 Jaeger sp. The birds were spread out as
      far as the eye could see and at close range as well as very distant.
      Just off the kelp a break line developed and attracted a few
      tubenoses. Two Sooty/Short-tailed type shearwaters, 2 Pink-footed
      Shearwaters and a pair of Manx Shearwaters. The two Manx Shearwaters came in
      together just along the kelp line and were seen well with 20-60X scopes in
      perfect light. The birds were both strikingly black and white showing well
      demarcated contrast lines. Both showed clear white vents and no white
      wrapping around the rump sides. Faces were both dark with black caps
      contrasting with bright white throats. The uppersides of both birds were
      pure black and appeared fresh. The undersides were stark white, with no
      visible mottling on the underwing. No foot projection was visible beyond the
      tail.
      Black-vented Shearwaters have proven to be very rare out here on SCI.
      We are at least 65 miles offshore and perhaps this distance is what keeps
      Black-vented numbers almost nil. In a year I have only seen one well, and
      just a few other black-and-white type shearwaters that I assumed to be BVSH.
      This may not have been the case, as my views of them were not stellar, and
      perhaps not good enough in retrospect to identify the birds to species. I
      did not truly consider Manx a viable option on San Clemente until today.
      One Red-throated Loon passed through with the hundreds of migrating
      cormorants. Surprisingly, no alcids were seen. I spent a few hours a few
      nights ago listening for Xantus' Murrelets at the former nest site on the
      island with no luck. Didn't hear a thing.

      Brian Sullivan
      Institute for Wildlife Studies
      SCE/NRO/NALF/SCI
      PO Box 357054
      San Diego, CA
      92135

      HeraldPetrel@...
      blsullivan71@...


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