SD/LA pelagic: Dark-rumped & Cook's, Laysan, 7 tropicbirds
- The double-overnight pelagic trip aboard "Grande" from 7AM Mon to 7AM Weds
(15-17 Aug) to the edge of the continental shelf well southwest of San
Diego (in both San Diego and, mostly, Los Angeles County waters) recorded
some excellent birds. Inshore it was calm and with just a light breeze; out
at the edge of the shelf there was a 15-20mph NW wind (good for
pterodromas!) and moderate swell and chop. Highlights included:
As we left port Monday AM, there were THREE AMERICAN-type OYSTERCATCHERS (2
Americans and 1 hybrid-type is our best guess!) and 1 Black Oystercatcher
at Ballast Point.
Inshore, Monday, we birded 9-Mile Bank and 30-Mile Bank, then headed SW. At
the shelf-edge, Tuesday, we worked a ca. 44-nm line from NW to SE, mostly
87-95+nm south of San Clemente Island or 130-140nm SW of Point Loma.
DARK-RUMPED PETREL: around mid-day Tuesday, 1 flew by the bow and quickly
away, seen adequately by only several on board, and as a "large pterodroma"
by most others
COOK'S PETREL: 1 seen well by almost everyone near the back of the boat
early on Tuesday
LAYSAN ALBATROSS: 1 came in to the boat with Black-foots Tues AM
RED-BILLED TROPICBIRD: total of SEVEN (!) seen on trip, one late Monday
near Butterfly Bank, 5 in one relatively short stretch along shelf-edge
Tuesday AM, and 1 on the way back in late Tues; excellent views of several
of them right around boat
WILSON'S STORM-PETREL: 1 made a single pass past the bow and continued away
in San Diego County waters on Monday, 17.5nm W of Point Loma
Other species seen include:
Western Grebe: 1 swimming in ocean 17.5 miles offshore (!) on Monday
Black-footed Albatross: ca. 7 total, though difficult to determine total
due to constant presence of birds behind the boat on Tues
Leach's Storm-Petrel: 150+ total, including many dark-rumped; 2 in SD Co.
Ashy Storm-Petrel: 3 SD waters, 3 LA waters
1600 Black Storm-Petrels: 1500 of which in one raft on 9-Mile Bank
Least Storm-Petrel: 1 briefly seen by few in the large BLSP raft
Xantus's Murrelet: 3 scrippsi near 30-mile Bank and 2 HYPOLEUCUS at shelf
Rhinoceros Auklet: 3 unseasonal birds total, 2 SD, 1 LA
Sabine's Gull: 15, including several birds starting only 2-3 miles off Pt
Long-tailed Jaeger: 11 total, with 4 in SD Co. waters
Arctic Tern: 4
plus the usual Pink-foots, Sooties, Pomarines, phalaropes, Cassin's, 15
Common Terns, etc., and 2 landbirds landed on board--Eurasian Collared-Dove
and Brown-headed Cowbird....
In all, good numbers of birds at 9-Mile and 30-Mile Banks and then the
usual long stretches with relatively few birds as one got well offshore,
but there certainly was fine quality!!!
--Paul Lehman, San Diego
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