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Coronados Islands – Nov 22, 2008

Nothing that out-of-the-ordinary on the Coronados Islands pelagic last saturday but I did get new photos of Black-legged Kittiwake and much better shots of Black-vented Shearwater. Also had a Peregrine Falcon do a fly-by a few miles from the islands – more than likely the same one that we see each time we visit the Coronados. As we got closer to the islands, a presumable House/White-crowned Sparrow flew up and over the boat. As we were all trying to ID the wayward sparrow, I shouted out “Where’s that Peregrine??!”. No more than 10 seconds after I shouted that, the Peregrine came out of nowhere and nailed the Sparrow!! Talk about bad luck – so much for any hopes of positively ID’ing the Peregrine’s snack.

Black-legged Kittiwake
Black-legged Kittiwake

Black-vented Shearwater
Black-vented Shearwater

Black-vented Shearwater
Black-vented Shearwater

Common Dolphin
Common Dolphin doing a back-flip

 

Posted by on November 25, 2008 in Photography Adventures

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Monterey Bay

Drove up to Monterey, CA this weekend for back to back Debi Shearwater pelagic trips. Debi is also the one we will be going to Antarctica with next winter. All six of the guides from the Antarctica trip happened to be on the boat with us, along with WINGS leader Steve Howell, which gave me ample time to pick their brains on any questions I had.

Saturday’s pelagic out of Monterey was pretty rough with swells exceeding 12′. Many people were sick, sacrificing their breakfast and lunch to the seagulls following the boat. Fortunately I was not one of them! Sunday’s boat trip out of Santa Cruz was much calmer as the winds had died down overnight. The highlight of the weekend were a pod of Humpback Whales that were being harassed by 6 Transient Orcas (Killer Whale). We suspect the group of Orcas were trying to kill one of the Humpback Whale calves. We don’t think they succeeded as we only noticed the remnants of a California Sea Lion floating in the water.

Lots of images follow:

Sea Otter
Sea Otter

Sea Otter
Sea Otter

Humpback Whale
Humpback Whale

Humpback Whale
Humpback Whale

Humpback Whale
Humpback Whale

Humpback Whale
Humpback Whale

Transient Orca
Transient Orca

Transient Orca
Transient Orca

Transient Orca
Transient Orca

Risso's Dolphin
Risso’s Dolphin

Risso's Dolphin
Risso’s Dolphin

California Sea Lion
California Sea Lion

Sooty Shearwater
Sooty Shearwater

Buller's Shearwater
Buller’s Shearwater

Buller's Shearwater
Buller’s Shearwater

Pink-footed Shearwater
Pink-footed Shearwater

Black-footed Albatross
Black-footed Albatross

Northern Fulmar
Northern Fulmar

Common Murre
Common Murre

Marbled Murrelet
Marbled Murrelet

South Polar Skua
South Polar Skua

Golden-crowned Sparrow
Golden-crowned Sparrow

Northern Harrier
Northern Harrier

 

Posted by on October 13, 2008 in Photography Adventures

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Austin, TX and Coronados Islands, Mexico

It’s been a pretty busy schedule the past month for me so I haven’t had much time to post updates on my blog. We were in Austin, TX for the Austin City Limits music festival a couple weekends ago. I was able to get out one of the days we were there to try to photograph any Scissor-tailed Flycatchers still hadn’t moved south. I lucked out when someone from Austin posted he just had several in NW Austin. He was very helpful in giving me specific directions which yielded the following photos:


Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

Last Saturday I did another 3/4 day pelagic trip out to the 9-Mile Bank and the Coronados Islands in Mexican waters southwest of San Diego. Big surprise was a single (1 yr.) Blue-footed Booby among the many Brown Boobies. I was also able to get some better photos of Black-vented, Pink-footed and Sooty Shearwaters.

Other nice surprises included a pod of Blue Whale many Bottlenose, Risso’s and Common Dolphins along with a lone Elephant Seal on the Coronados Islands.

Photos from the pelagic follow:

Pink-footed Shearwater
Pink-footed Shearwater

Sooty Shearwater
Sooty Shearwater

Black-vented Shearwater
Black-vented Shearwater

Brown Booby
Brown Booby

Blue-footed Booby
Blue-footed Booby

Blue Whale
Blue Whale

Elephant Seal
Elephant Seal

Bottlenose Dolphin
Bottlenose Dolphin

 

Posted by on October 7, 2008 in Photography Adventures

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