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May 20th Pelagic report

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  • Robert J. Keiffer
    Sunday - 20 May 2007 - Here is a belated report form the Mendocino Coast pelagic birding trip from Sunday May 20th. It was led by Ron LeValley and attended
    Message 1 of 1 , May 29, 2007
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      Sunday - 20 May 2007 - Here is a belated report form the Mendocino
      Coast pelagic birding trip from Sunday May 20th. It was led by Ron
      LeValley and attended by about 20 mostly local folks. The weather
      was quite nice with good visibility and very calm seas, which was
      nice for a change. I believe that we went out to about 12 miles or
      so and we were out for about 6 hours. We actually had little bird
      activity ...a few areas that picked up but no unusual species, no
      migrating terns, only two jaegers, no Laysan Albatross, etc. The
      highlight of the trip was getting into the middle of a HUGE
      (estimated 1000-2000+) herd of Pacific White-sided Dolphins that were
      feeding on congregated schools of bait fish. These bait fish were
      very near the surface, probably due to harassment by the dolphins,
      and could be seen "churning" the surface or 6 to 12 inches under the
      surface as the boat went through them. A few Northern Right Whale
      Dolphins were mixed into the foray also.

      Several flocks of migrating (north) Red Phalaropes and Red-necked
      Phalaropes were observed, sometimes sitting on the water for some
      decent looks at them. And, we had great looks at 3 Red-necked Grebes
      up close as we left the harbor. One of these was in full breeding
      plumage with the other two almost there.

      There were also Purple Martins either using (for nest sites) or
      looking at the drain holes underneath the new Noyo Bridge.

      Here is the list of species:

      Pacific Loon 15
      Common Loon 10
      Red-necked Grebe 3
      Western Grebe 15
      Black-footed Albatross 75
      Pink-footed Shearwater 2
      Sooty Shearwater 100+
      Pelagic Cormorant 5
      Brandt's Cormorant 6
      Osprey 2
      Red-necked Phalarope 75
      Red Phalarope 300
      Parasitic Jaeger 2
      Jaeger sp. 1
      Calif. Gull 12
      Western Gull 100
      Glaucous-winged Gull 1
      Common Murre 75
      Pigeon Guillemot 2
      Ancient Murrelet 2
      Cassin's Auklet 25
      Rhinoceros Auklet 50
      Tufted Puffin 1

      California Sea Lion + 2 (in the Harbor)

      Northern fur Seal 4
      Northern Elephant Seal 1
      Harbor Seal 2

      Northern Right Whale Dolphin 30 -100+ (Ron thought 30, I think
      more, use your own judgment!)
      Pacific-White-sided Dolphin 2000+

      Hope to see you on future trips ...each one is different and the
      "surprise" species is always possible. Some day in the future
      Mendocino County will get its first Short-tailed Albatross.
      Good birding. Bob Keiffer

      Robert J. Keiffer
      Principal Supt. of Agriculture
      UC Hopland Research & Extension Center
      4070 University Road
      Hopland, CA 95449
      (707) 744-1424 FAX (707) 744-1040
      HREC website: http://danrrec.ucdavis.edu/hopland/home_page.html

      "It is not the critic who counts... not the one who points out how
      the strong person stumbles... or where the doer of deeds could have
      done better. The credit belongs to the person who is actually in the
      arena." Theodore Roosevelt

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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