Hello, CAL Birders,
After blowing at gale force all day and into the evening of September 28th (forcing us to cancel our Half Moon Bay departure that day), it was hard to believe that the seas would actually lay down enough for us to get out the next day.
Much to our delight, the seas laid down nicely, and we had a beautiful day, September 29, 2019 on the Shearwater Journeys pelagic trip from Half Moon Bay.
Id like to say that the light morph WEDGE-TAILED SHEARWATER was the highlight of the day, but sadly it was only seen by two birders on the boat. Perhaps, it will be found on another trip this fall. Its possible because weve done it before. Im unsure whether this shearwater was in San Mateo or San Francisco County. We are working on that.
Nevertheless, Shearwater Journeys had a fantastic pelagic trip with nearly 100 BULLERS SHEARWATERS, one SHORT-TAILED SHEARWATER, 18 WILSONS STORM-PETRELS, 49 ASHY STORM-PETRELS, and 26 BLACK STORM-PETRELS. The storm-petrels, shearwaters, jaegers, and SOUTH POLAR SKUAS showed well in the stern where many folks obtained good images. SABINES GULLS were scarce with only 3 recorded. Only one ARCTIC TERN was recorded. BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSSES showed well and NORTHERN/PACIFIC FULMAR numbers increased to 22.
A few CASSINS AUKLETS, plenty of RHINOCEROS AUKLETS, 2 TUFTED PUFFINS and nearly 2000 COMMON MURRES rounded out the alcids.
Numbers of phalaropes were low with only 1 RED-NECKED and 3 REDS.
The cetacean show was dominated by as many as 8 BLUE WHALES and 25 HUMPBACK WHALES, although one very friendly humpback whale stole the show popping up and looking at us repeatedly from one side of the boat to the other. I havent seen such a friendly humpback in a few years.
Even though the sea surface temperatures at Monterey Bay averaged 60-62 F all day on Friday, September 27th, the SSTs at Half Moon Bay only two days later were much cooler, averaging 53-55 F. Lots of mixing going on! We birded in both San Mateo and San Francisco Counties.
Shearwater Journeys next trip with space available is Friday, October 11 departing from Monterey. Email me for a reservation: debi@... .
Living the Salt Life, Debi Shearwater
DEBRA SHEARWATER Shearwater Journeys, Inc. PO Box 190 Hollister, CA 95024 831.637.8527 debi@... www.shearwaterjourneys.com www.shearwaterjourneys.blogspot.com
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