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9/21 pelagic

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  • Robert J. Keiffer
    Saturday 21 Sept 2002, Last Saturday s pelagic birding trip, coordinated by the Mendo Coast Audubon Chapter, was another unique excursion onto ocean waters.
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 24, 2002
      Saturday 21 Sept 2002, Last Saturday's pelagic birding trip, coordinated
      by the Mendo Coast Audubon Chapter, was another unique excursion onto
      ocean waters. Overall the water was rather calm compared to many past
      trips... swells from 2-6 feet with very little in the way of wind waves.
      The trip started out with clear skies with a fog bank out about 1-2 miles
      offshore. There was quite a bunch of shearwaters, including 6
      Black-vented Shearwaters, working the waters just outside the fog
      bank. Once we entered the fog everything slowed down rapidly. Even a
      visit to a shrimp-troller pulling its nets resulted in few
      birds. Following the Noyo Trench out to about 18 miles we were in
      continuous high dense fog with fairly good visibility... just very few
      birds. We even chummed once out about 8 miles with NO response.... zero
      birds showed up.

      These results are based upon my and Chuck Vaughn's estimates and may differ
      from the "official" count as tallied by the leaders (which undoubtedly will
      be more accurate than this version).

      We also had California Sea Lions, Dall's porpoises, Pacific White-sided
      Dolphins, and Northern Right Whale Dolphins. Several Blue sharks were seen.

      Black-footed Albatross 12-20; Northern Fulmar 0; Sooty Shearwater
      Pink-footed Shearwater 50+; Black-vented Shearwater 6; Buller's
      Shearwater 15-20;
      Brown Pelican 25-30; Double-crested cormorant present; Brandt's
      Cormorant present;
      Pelagic cormorant present; Red-necked/Red Phalaropes 12+; Red-necked
      Phalarope 25;
      Red Phalarope 1; South Polar Skua 1-3 (one very dark
      individual); Long-tailed jaeger 50+;
      Parasitic Jaeger 1; Pomarine Jaeger 1-2; California gull 1 ad.;
      Glaucous-winged/Western hybrid 1; Western gull 100+; Sabine's Gull 8-10;
      Common Murre 75-100; Pigeon Guillemot 0;
      Xantus's Murrelet 2; Cassin's Auklet 12; Rhinoceros Auklet
      60-75; Tufted Puffin 1 flightless adult due to wing molt; Belted Kingfisher 1

      I believe all previous Black-vented Shearwater sightings in MEN have been
      from shore.

      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
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