Sat 29 Jan 2011 Grande: Short-tailed Shearwater. Grey, Humpback and Fin Whales
The photos are in. The trip report is entered into eBird. The Buena Vista Audubon Society Annual Winterfest Pelagic produced 3 species of shearwaters (including Short-tailed). Cool stuff included VERY close encounters with 8 Fin Whales (see photos), Bottlenose Dolphin doing acrobatics flipping and spinning out of the water and 18 migrating Grey Whales.
But the highlight of a day full of spectacular scenes was a heart-pumping show by a Peregrine Falcon using Grande as a "blind" or distraction while making multiple high-speed stoops on unsuspecting Cassin's Auklets, missing, circling directly over and around Grande then stooping again until after a dozen or so tries it came up with a plump auklet and carried it away with gulls in hot pursuit hoping to force a dropped auklet. Matt Sadowski shot an awesome frame-by-frame sequence of the falcon catching up to, then flying away with, the auklet, pursued by raucous gulls.
Trip List: http://socaltripreports.com/
The next SoCal Pelagic is sponsored by the Los Angeles Audubon on February 26 out of San Pedro to Redondo Canyon, a trip made famous by a Manx Shearwater that wouldn't leave us alone a couple of years ago. http://www.socalbirding.com/upcomingtrips/sanpedrofeb262011.html
Then it's time for the San Diego Bird Festival with four days of pelagic trips (March 3, 4, 5 and 6) led by (1) famed seabird author Peter Harrison, (2) 30+ year organizer of California pelagic birding Debi Shearwater, (3) Mr. More-Than-A-Year-At-Sea-Seeing-Seabirds Todd McGrath, (4) former editor of ABA's "Birding" and status/distribution expert of all things N.A. bird related Paul Lehman, and (5) the Godfather of California Birding Guy McCaskie to name just a few of the expert leaders who will be aboard.
Thursday and Friday: http://www.socalbirding.com/upcomingtrips/sdbirdfestmar342011.html
Saturday and Sunday: http://www.socalbirding.com/upcomingtrips/sdbirdfestmar562011.html
W. Terry Hunefeld, Encinitas
Life is short. Seabird often.
In memory of Luke Cole and Mike San Miguel
"Come on out with us to see what's out there."
Southern California Seabirding Trips
by: Buena Vista Audubon Society
Los Coronados Islands & Nine Mile Bank
all the way to the edge of the Continental Shelf