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  1. Half Moon Bay and Bodega Bay pelagic reports LINK
    DATE: Aug 27, 2019 @ 9:27pm, 3 year(s) ago
    Hello all, We operated a Half Moon Bay pelagic last Saturday, and a Bodega trip (in conjunction with the Redwood Region Ornithological Society) on Sunday. Both had flat seas, and calm weather, some fog on Sunday. Water off Bodega was very warm (62F) and very blue, we tried to find albacore but could not find them. That habitat has not been seen around there for years. So this year is special. We kept our streak with Laysan Albatrosses (three trips in a row!!), one on Saturday, and two on Sunday. Amazingly, one bird with a dark underwing we photo matched to be the same bird, seen on Saturday and then Sunday! This bird was a show off, great photos on both days. It was a banded juvenile, we saw the band on the second day and reported that to the Banding Lab. Lots of Black-footed Albatross on both days. Bullers Shearwaters were common in the warm blue water, over 100 off Bodega, fewer were off Half Moon Bay. Steve Howell and a couple of participants saw a Short-tailed Shearwater out of Half Moon Bay. Few Northern Fulmars are out there compared to other seasons, as expected they were off Bodega. On both trips we found flocks of storm-petrels, below 1000 off Half Moon Bay, and about 500 on the Bodega trip. Ashy, and Fork-tailed (more in Bodega than Half Moon Bay), a Wilsons (Bodega), and Black Storm Petrels seen well and photographed off Half Moon Bay. We think the storm petrel flocks are building, and we hope to find them again on our upcoming trips on Saturday and Monday. It is so awesome to be in the storm petrels again!!! Oddly enough, we found Scrippss Murrelets off Half Moon Bay, but no murrelets out of Bodega where the warm deep and calm water called out Guadalupe!. Unfortunately it was not to be, but the conditions are out there. In contrast, Bodega had masses of Cassins Auklets, smaller numbers off Half Moon Bay. Rhinoceros Auklets were common all over, and we had great views of Tufted Puffins off Half Moon Bay. The numbers of Arctic Terns continue to be high, lots of them out there, widespread and very few Common Terns right now. All three jaegers were seen from both trips, with some very nice Long-tails coming close to the boat. Red Phalaropes are in now, and Red-necked are of course common. Sabines Gulls are widespread, adults and juveniles around, although no flocks were found. Oddities included a distant flock of Greater White-fronted Geese well offshore out of Bodega, early! A rather large Brown-headed Cowbird off Bodega may in fact be the Great Basin subspecies (artemisia). And the male Harlequin Duck continues in Pillar Point Harbor, and Marbled Murrelets are still hanging out in Half Moon Bay. Blue and Salmon sharks off Half Moon Bay, as well as a possible Mako! Cetaceans were off the hook, off Bodega we had Humpback, Blue and Fin; lots of Humpbacks out of Half Moon Bay. The most exiting whale news was a pod of Killer Whales off Half Moon Bay, two males included a known local individual and another which had NEVER been seen in California. This BC Resident was fortunately one of the animals we photographed well, allowing for an ID, superb news. These were all transient Killer Whales. Basically, the two trips were awesome. Lots of photo opportunities, lifers for many, smiles all around. Not only was the diversity great, but activity was high. The common birds are out there in numbers, there is always something to look at. We are hoping that the high activity we are seeing up here continues! If you want to try your luck and have a bit of fun offshore spaces available for Saturday and Monday. good birding. Alvaro Jaramillo alvaro@...
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