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 Month/Year Breakdown (Top 15):

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 May, 2018 - 3 e-mail(s)...

   Arctic Tern
Arctic Tern
Sterna paradisaea

   Arctic Tern (Sterna paradisaea) - ARTE (recent eBird sightings, view CBRC records, range map

  1. Monterey Seabirds Trip Report LINK
    DATE: Sep 3, 2021 @ 6:22pm, 1 year(s) ago
    Hi all.
    This is a belated report for Monterey Seabirds' August 22 pelagic birding trip, with apologies.
    Highlights were a Manx Shearwater in a flock of Sooty Shearwaters that spent a few minutes within view, long enough to be seen by everyone on board, and a Tufted Puffin that circledthe Pt. Sur Clipper several times at close range allowing for great views and photos.
    A few more species were unusually cooperative, including a Scripps's Murrelet that spent a considerable amount of time not only close to the boat on the water, but in a perpendicular orientation allowing for great side-on views. One of a handful of Cassin's Auklets also allowed closer-than-usual approaches, and a few of the Black-footed Albatrosses made close passes.
    The weather and sea conditions were favorable and there were good numbers of birds in sight at all times. Our only jaegers were a couple of Parasitic Jaegers, but we had good numbers of Sabine's Gulls and Arctic Terns, with a handful of common terns. We had over 100 Ashy Storm-petrels, some in rafts of about a dozen each, and a couple of dozen Black Storm-petrels. Other species seen in good numbers include Red-necked Phalaropes, Sooty and Pink-footedShearwaters, Rhinoceros Auklets, and Common Murres. We also had three Northern Fulmars.
    The mammal show was also spectacular. We had multiple humpback and blue whales, a couple of minke whales, multiple groups of Pacific white-sided and Risso's dolphins, as well as bow-riding Dall'sporpoises. We also had killer looks at three different Guadalupe fur seals.
    There are still spots available on our upcoming 8-hour trips, including this Sunday, September 5. More info at .
    Take care,
    Bernardo Alps
    Wildlife Biologist California Whales & Wildlife
    P.O. Box 1667
    San Pedro, CA 90733
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  3. Pelagic results from August 28 (Half Moon Bay) and August 29 (Monterey) - loads of good birds! LINK
    DATE: Aug 30, 2021 @ 3:23pm, 1 year(s) ago
    Our string of fantastic Alvaros Adventures pelagics continues!
    Saturday, August 28th
    We departed Half Moon Bay harbor under sunny skies. A lone MARBLED MURRELET and two PARASITIC JAEGERS showed
    before we rounded Mavericks, and we picked-up SOOTY and PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATERS as we headed offshore. Approaching
    the continental shelf, we found hundreds of BLACK STORM-PETRELS, dozens of ASHY STORM-PETRELS, and double-digits of
    WILSONS STORM-PETRELS. This trip was billed as San Mateo specific, so we did not proceed into the Pioneer Canyon (SF County)
    as we had the two previous weeks; instead, we turned southwest and hugged the county line into deeper water. We added several
    BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSSES across the next hour, but the action peaked when we encountered several massive rafts of
    storm-petrels (500+ birds each). They, like the group we found earlier, was overwhelmingly Black with Ashy, Wilsons, and 1-2
    FORK-TAILED. A confiding LAYSAN ALBATROSS circled the boat several times, and we found singles of BULLERS SHEARWATER,
    LONG-TAILED JAEGER, POMARINE JAEGER, SABINES GULL, and ARCTIC TERN. Returning inshore, we encountered one
    from the harbor. Otherwise, RHINOCEROS and CASSINS AUKLETS showed in expected numbers. Among dozens of RED-NECKED
    PHALAROPES, 1-2 REDS were welcome. Shearwater and jaeger numbers were very low, but those were offset by huge numbers of
    storm-petrels and other, high-quality finds. With minimal swell, this was a pretty perfect trip! Offshore water temp was 59.5 degrees,
    and we reached a maximum depth of 1,600 feet. (The shelf falls-off very slowly in San Mateo County compared to the 4,000-foot
    Pioneer Canyon in nearby SF waters.)
    Sunday, August 29th
    Translocating to Monterey, we powered south towards Carmel Canyon amidst overcast and fog. Nothing beyond gulls was flying
    around on this windless morning, but we sussed out SOOTY and PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATERS from floating flocks. Occasional
    jaegers offered distraction, and our first BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS was encouraging. Diversity remained low through the morning,
    but we tacked-on usual suspects like RED-NECKED PHALAROPES and RHINOCEROS and CASSINS AUKLETS. Leaving the canyon,
    joining the underwater weenie, and venturing into the deeper Monterey Seavalley, the action increased. Among swelled shearwater
    numbers, a lone BULLERS the only new variety, we found ARCTIC and COMMON TERNS, ~30 SABINES GULL, a single RED
    PHALAROPE, and 5-6 EXAMPLES OF EACH JAEGER. The highlight, however, was two GUADALUPE MURRELETS, one of which
    allowed pants-soiling views as it paddled about the bow for ten minutes; that amazing encounter helped minimize a notable (distressing)
    lack of storm-petrels across the day, two ASHIES all that we found. In the un-bird department, we observed several HUMPBACK WHALES,
    two NORTHERN FUR SEALS, and a group of LONG-BEAKED COMMON DOLPHINS beyond the expected SEA OTTERS, SEA LIONS, and
    HARBOR SEALS. Offshore water temp was 63-64 degrees, and we reached a maximum depth of ~5,500 feet. The first GUMU was at that
    depth; the second was at 3,000 and only 7-8 miles from Point Pios. Oh yeah - a putative LEAST TERN went over the boat near the
    aquarium, but we'll need to scrutinize photos before we can say for sure. That's a nice MTY County bird if it holds up.
    Our remaining boats are selling out fast, so dont delay if youre thinking about joining us in September and October. August has been
    incredible, so who knows what well find as fall progresses!!!
    Dorian Anderson (on behalf of fellow spotters Malia De Felice, Chris Hayward, Eli Gross, Steve Tucker, Bill Hubick, and Mark Kudrav)
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  5. Pioneer Canyon Petrel grounds - we go this Friday! LINK
    DATE: Aug 17, 2021 @ 2:11pm, 1 year(s) ago
    Hello all, There are Cooks Petrels being reported from Bodega down to San Diego, so this is definitely an incursion year for this species. Dan Nelson had 7-8 Cooks, and a Hawaiian Petrel on Sunday 30 miles from Bodega Head. We saw three Cooks and a Hawaiian Petrel on Saturday in the Pioneer Canyon, also about 30 miles offshore. The Sea Surface Temperature charts show that this warmer water where the petrels were continues in our area, and we will be heading back out there on Friday to look for these conditions and these birds, weather forecast looks good as well. To book a spot: On Saturday our Hawaiian Petrel and the first two Cooks Petrels were in San Francisco water. This is also where the thousands of Ashy Storm-Petrels were, along with a sprinkling of Black and Wilsons storm-petrels. We found three South Polar Skuas (both counties), all three jaegers and the elevated number of Sabines Gulls continues. Our first Arctic Terns showed up, and two very close Scrippss Murrelets were in San Mateo county. Without any rarity, Saturday would have been a great and birdy day, lots to see throughout the day. But the petrels put it over the top! A superb day. I think that if we get into the right area, chances are good that we may find other Cooks Petrels, but obviously it is not a guarantee by any means. Here are some photos from Saturday: First Cooks Hawaiian Petrel (distant) Second Cooks San Mateo County Cooks Scrippss Murrelet Good birding. Alvaro Jaramillo alvaro@...
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  7. Ventura Pelagic Trip with Island Packers - October 3, 2020 LINK
    DATE: Sep 27, 2020 @ 2:40pm, 2 year(s) ago
    Hi All
    is a reminder that Island Packers is offering an 11-hour deepwater
    pelagic trip from the Ventura Harbor at 7 am on Saturday October 3 and we still have some tickets available. This
    trip will allow us to get to offshore waters beyond the reach of most
    day trips where we will
    have a chance to see a number of outstanding pelagic birds and marine
    mammals. The waters around the northern
    Channel Islands can be very productive during the fall when hundreds
    (sometimes thousands) of shearwaters crowd into the inter-island gaps.
    We will be looking through flocks of Black-vented,
    Pink-footed, and Sooty Shearwaters for Buller's, Flesh-footed
    and Manx (rare) Shearwaters. This is peak season for seabird diversity
    so in addition to the species already mentioned, Black-footed Albatross,
    Black and Ashy Storm-Petrels, Cassin's and Rhinoceros Auklets, and
    Pomarine and Long-tailed Jaegers are all possible. It is also a good time of
    year for South Polar Skua (we had seven last year), Sabine's Gull, and Arctic Tern. Recent trips to Santa Barbara Island have seen a Blue-footed Booby among the large numbers of Brown
    Boobies there and we intend to visit the island on this trip. The Blue-footed bred with a Brown Booby and I saw a hybrid fledgling there earlier in September. There is also a potential for sought-after species
    like Cooks' Petrel, Least Storm-Petrel,
    Townsend's Storm-Petrel, and
    Craveri's Murrelet. The last few years have been exceptional for Craveri's
    Murrelet off southern California so our
    chances to find this elusive species may be good. We saw approximately
    32 Craveri's Murrelets on this trip last year! In
    addition, a multi-day trip I led out of San Diego a few weeks ago had Nazca Boobies on four consecutive days. Remember that this trip in 2018 had all five North American boobies in a single day! We
    will decide what our offshore destinations will be after reviewing
    oceanographic conditions at the time of the trip, which will help
    determine where birds and other marine life may be present.
    While I would normally go on more about the birds we might see, I am
    going to focus on safety related to the COVID-19 pandemic and how we plan to
    run the trip to minimize risk to everyone on board. First, we are running at a
    reduced capacity to ensure that passengers can sit/stand 6 feet apart. Masks/face coverings are REQUIRED
    at all times while on the boat. If you do not believe in wearing masks for some
    political, religious, or other reason, then this is not the trip for you. The
    exception is to eat or drink. We ask that when you are eating or drinking to
    distance one's self 6 feet away from other people not in your party. When
    eating and drinking remove your mask only sparingly, replacing it between
    drinks, or bites of food (use your best judgement). We also suggest bringing a
    few spare masks as you may want to put on a fresh one after several hours. Make
    sure you can comfortably wear the mask for extended periods of time. In
    addition, all the tables and handrails will be disinfected before boarding and the
    restrooms will be disinfected on regularly scheduled intervals. The handrails
    along the perimeter of the boat are marked at 6-foot intervals to help maintain
    social distancing while aboard.
    The trip will be on an ultra-fast catamaran that features a spacious
    and comfortable cabin, galley, and excellent viewing from both the upper and
    lower decks. A full contingent of outstanding seabird leaders will be present
    to make sure we see all that is out there. The Captain and crew know how to run
    birding trips and are enthusiastic and helpful. In addition, we work hard to
    creep up on birds and get them in the right light...photographers will not be
    Trips can be booked over the phone by calling (805) 642-1393 or online
    at by clicking the Reserve Trip tab, select the Special
    Trips tab, and select your desired departure. The cost of the trip is $170 per
    Hope to see you at sea!
    Dave Pereksta Ventura
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  9. Searcher 5 day Pelagic Trip LINK
    DATE: Sep 13, 2020 @ 3:53pm, 2 year(s) ago
    The annual voyage on Searcher departed Monday Sep 7th from San Diego. Highlights from day 1 in San Diego and Los Angeles County included a single LEAST STORM-PETREL, a couple of TOWNSEND"S STORM-PETRELS and an adult NAZCA BOOBY as well as the usual species.
    Tuesday we started our day on the Osborne Bank and worked our way to Santa Barbara Island where we checked Sutil Rock for boobies. Just off the island we had a few CASSIN"S AUKLETS. About 80 BROWN BOOBIES were there, plus a single continuing BLUE-FOOTED BOOBY, which may have bred with a Brown and produced a hybrid chick. We are reviewing photos of the possible hybrid. a young MASKED/NAZCA type Booby was also seen on this day along with ASHY, BLACK, and LEAACH's STORM-PETRELS.We also saw a few CRAVERI'S MURRELETS, as well as all the JAEGERS and SOUTH POLAR SKUA. We anchored behind San Miguel Island.
    Wed we worked west from San Miguel Island to the shelf edge and down over the San Juan Seamount. We had more CRAVERI'S MURRELETS, plus a couple pair of SCRIPP'S MURELETS. about lunchtime we started seeing GUADALUPE MURRELETS, and had another adult NAZCA BOOBY. We were able to study LEACH's and TOWNSEND's STORM-PETRELS at close range on a natural slick, and we saw both light and dark rumped Townsdend's. BLACK_FOOTED ALBATROSS were following the boat in low numbers. over 100 BULLER's SHEARWATERS were out on the shelf.
    Thursday we started West of the Cortex Bank and worked our way in from the shelf edge, down the outside od the bank and then across the top. a distant COOK'S PETREL was seen at the shelf edge along with another GUADALUPE MURRELET pair. on top of the bank we hab a LAYSAN ALBATROSS, sporting a red band from Guadalupe Island. While wartching the LAYSAN at point blank range, another young NAZCA/MASKED type BOOBY joined the fray. We worked out way east and got into some BLUEFIN TUNA, with lots of COMMON and ARCTIC TERNS. a few SABINE"S GULLS and hundreds of PINK_FOOTED SHEARWATERS. Another COOK'S PETREL flew by the boat giving most a good, if quick look.
    We did not see RED-BILLED TROPICBIRD, only the second time in 17 years we have missed this species. All in all a great trip. My thanks to Searcher Natural History Tours for running these trips, my co-leaders Dave Pereksta and Dave Povey, and the intrepid group of participants. It was truly an adventure. Smoke and haze was present 150 miles offshore, but otherwisse the weather was generally good.
    Todd McGrath
    Now safely back in TEXAS.
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    DATE: Oct 2, 2019 @ 4:13pm, 3 year(s) ago
    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@...
    Celebrating 44 Years of Seabirding with Shearwater Journeys
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  13. Saturday's Monterey Seabirds Pelagic LINK
    DATE: Sep 22, 2019 @ 9:48pm, 3 year(s) ago
    Hi all.
    We had a fun and successful 12-hour trip aboard the Point Sur Clipper on Saturday. It was a gorgeoussunny day and the wind never became an issue. There were some large swells and some chop, but they never preventedus from going where we wanted to. We headed west to deep water where the warm water plume met the colder water of the bay, then crisscrossed the outer canyon before returning along the area where the humpbacks are feeding.
    We found no mega rarities but had most of the expected species and got superb looks at many of them. There were many Common Murres, almost all in basic plumage already, and many Rhinoceros Auklets; the only other alcid species was a single Pigeon Guillemot near the aquarium. Not a single Cassin's Auklet was found. We had hundreds of Sooty and dozens of Pink-footed Shearwaters and had nice looks at four Buller's Shearwaters. We had several dozen each Sabine's Gulls and Arctic Terns (I have to brush up on my comic terns, I thought we had several Commons but my photos show only Arctic). Western, California, and Heermann's Gulls were quite numerous. We had all three jaeger species with Parasitic being the most numerous.
    We had good looks at a Black-footed Albatross and less than desirable looks at a single Ashy Storm-petrel. Red-necked Phalaropes were scattered throughout the trip but most were along and in the kelp close to shore. There were four Great Egrets fishing from the kelp fronds.
    The mammal show was spectacular; several humpback whales scattered throughout the trip treated us to a breach, a couple of surface lunges, and a series of tail slaps. We also had a nice pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins and a small pod of Risso's dolphins, and a very cooperative Northern fur seal. The highlight was a tie between Casper, the albino baby Risso's, and a fluking blue whale.
    Monterey Seabirds has two more 12-hour and two more 8-hour trips scheduled in the next four weeks, for more info please go to . We hope to see you aboard!
    Take care,
    Bernardo Alps
    Wildlife Biologist California Whales & Wildlife
    P.O. Box 1667
    San Pedro, CA 90733
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  15. Half Moon Bay Pelagic report - from last weekend. LINK
    DATE: Sep 5, 2019 @ 10:02pm, 3 year(s) ago
    Hello all. We did two pelagics this last holiday weekend, both out of Half Moon Bay. One on Saturday and one on Monday. The weather was calmer on Saturday, a bit choppier on Monday. Saturdays water temperature got to an incredible 65.5F, while on Monday it was 60.5 F or so. Offshore water was blue and plankton free, true offshore water. We were able to get out deeper on Saturday than Monday, and perhaps we would have found warmer water had we been farther out. Diversity and numbers were slightly higher on Monday. On both trips we saw 20-30 Black-footed Albatross, and Monday we lucked out with a juvenile Laysan Albatross!! This was a banded individual, and a different bird than the ones we have seen previously this season. Four of our last 5 trips have had Laysan Albatross. That included 5 different birds, as out of Bodega we had two different individuals. This is a record for us. It seems like this is a year to be out there looking for Laysan Albatross. As the breeding colony in Guadalupe Island, Mexico continues to grow I expect that we will continue to see increases here as well. On both trips we found numbers of Ashy Storm-Petrel, although on the more northerly trip on Saturday we also found Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel in SF waters. Three species of shearwater were found on both days, and most memorable are the tens of thousands of Sooty Shearwaters close to shore in Half Moon Bay which spellbound most of the folks on the boat. Perhaps 50,000 The number there is staggering, birders have been visiting Half Moon Bay to see this spectacle from the shore. It is cool, last week even the Northern Gannet was in there. Monday had the greater number of Pink-foots (225) and Bullers (6), we expect that these two will become more common particularly as the juvenile Bullers begin to arrive. All three jaegers showed up on both trips, with several Long-tailed offshore on the deeper water Saturday trip in SF waters. What a beautiful bird, most adults have shed their tail streamers, but 1-2 still had them. Gorgeous. We were happy on Monday to find a South Polar Skua, only our second this season, surely they will pick up in numbers now that the season is progressing. They tend to be more common a bit later on in the fall. Sabines Gulls were widespread with mostly adults found, but under 20 on each trip. I worry that they did not have a good breeding season in the Arctic given how few juveniles are being seen. They offered up some awesome photo opportunities, which was great. The Arctic Tern continues to be regular out there, with few to no Common Terns. It is interesting that this is still the case, perhaps the Commons are coming in a bit later Phalaropes were more abundant on Saturday, perhaps due to the calmer waters, and many Red were in with the Red-necked Phalaropes. Common Murre and Rhinoceros Auklets are common, murres more so closer in to shore, while Rhinoceros are out in the deeper water and more distant shelf waters. Tufted Puffins made a showing on both trips, 3 on Saturday, 2 on Monday. Half Moon Bay is a particularly good port to find puffins, especially post breeding, so right now is the time! Cassins Auklets were few on Monday, and a fly off offshore murrelet was not seen before it could be identified likely it was a Scrippss. Harlequin Duck was a nice bonus on Monday. Nice numbers of Humpback Whales were out there, and we had a good show of Pacific White-sided Dolphin with Northern Right Whale Dolphin on Monday. I was getting worried that we were starting to see waning numbers after the Saturday trip which was diverse but not plentiful on some species. Yet numbers up ticked across the board for Monday, so I think that this is not a concern. There are lots of birds out there to see! Come and join us. We are having a great time out there, folks are getting great photos, and many a lifer. We have a Saturday departure from Monterey which still has openings. Our Sunday trip out of Half Moon Bay is sold out. But the following weekend we have trips on Saturday and Sunday both with a few spots open. Note that we are now offering a reduced price for youth birders (19 or under) of $100. We have been having a super time with many young birders offshore, thanks to the California Young Birders Club. Also thanks to folks who have sponsored young birders this season. These young birders also have superb eyes, Wow! Good birding! Alvaro Alvaro Jaramillo alvaro@...
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    DATE: Sep 3, 2019 @ 1:27pm, 3 year(s) ago
    Shearwater Journeys had a good trip departing from Monterey on Friday, August 30, 2019. We covered areas of both Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties. Due to the very calm seas we were able to get up to the finger canyons off Davenport. In that area, we encountered the frenzied activity of the humpback whales and bow-riding dolphins while various jaegers, terns and gulls flew into our chumming at the stern. The sea surface temperature hovered around 60 F throughout the day.
    Highlights included: black-footed albatross; sooty, pink-footed, and Bullers shearwaters; a couple ashy storm-petrels; pomarine, parasitic and long-tailed jaegers; Sabines gulls; a BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE; Arctic terns; one blue whale; about 15 humpback whales, 300 Pacific white-sided dolphins, and 50 Northern right whale dolphins. A BLACK TERN was off Point Pinos on our return to the harbor.
    RESERVATIONS: Our next trip with spaces available is SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7. We have upgraded to a larger vessel and have a number of spaces available at this time. If you are interested, please email me: debi@... .
    Many thanks to the birders who joined us on this trip, including birders from Brazil, Australia, and UK. The leaders on board included: Jim Holmes, Nick Levendosky, Alex Rinkert, John Garrett, Rick Fournier and Debi Shearwater.
    Living the Salt Life, Debi Shearwater
    DEBRA SHEARWATER Shearwater Journeys, Inc. PO Box 190 Hollister, CA 95024 831.637.8527 debi@...
    Celebrating 44 Years of Seabirding with Shearwater Journeys
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  19. 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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  21. Pelagic season gets more interesting! Aug 17 report - Half Moon Bay. LINK
    DATE: Aug 18, 2019 @ 12:29pm, 3 year(s) ago
    Penbirds and Cal Birders Yesterday was a great day at sea, with tons to look at and many arriving pelagic species for Northern California. A wonderfully close Laysan Albatross was a highlight, the bird was banded presumably from Guadalupe Island, Mexico and we will follow up on that. Lots and lots of Black-footed Albatrosses were offshore! We found the first Bullers Shearwaters and Black Storm-Petrels of the season for Northern California. Overall shearwater numbers were high, and constant. This was a pelagic with no dead zones. Three species of storm petrels, including Ashy and Fork-tailed, the Ashy were not clumped but were seen throughout the day including some as close as 7 miles from shore. We think that very soon we will find the big flocks sitting in the Pioneer Canyon. All three jaegers were found, although just ones and twos, and the first South Polar Skua up at this latitude for the year was fantastic to see. Sabines Gulls were in evidence, all adults. Quite amazing were the numbers of Arctic Terns out there, at one point we counted 70 in one spot! They were found over three hours of the trip, and were amongst the highest numbers of Arctic Terns we have ever seen out here, perhaps our record! The terns were actively foraging, not just passing through and were mainly adults. Alcids were superb, with the expected Pigeon Guillemot, Common Murre, Cassins Auklet and Rhinoceros Auklet. A Scrippss Murrelet was our second of the year, and Marbled Murrelets continue nearshore, now looking more wintery in their plumage. Photos of some of the birds here: There were lots of Pacific White-sided Dolphins offshore, along with a good number of the sleek and fancy looking Northern Right Whale Dolphin. Many Humpback Whales, although no active foraging. Non-bird highlight was the second Leatherback Sea Turtle of the season. However, it was only seen from the wheelhouse, and it dove and did not come back up unfortunately. There are countless groups of baby Mola mola (Ocean Sunfish) out there this year, much more so than usual. The water continues to warm up offshore, and even inshore water is consistently above 58 F, which is on the warm side of us here. Albacore water appears to be just out of reach right now from a typical pelagic, but that water may come closer to shore as the season progresses. The arrival of Black Storm-Petrels, are a sign of a warm water year, they are not always present at this latitude. Hopefully this means that Craveris Murrelets will be around this year. We had a stiff breeze from the south for the first hour of the trip, and later wind died to almost nothing for much of the trip, with large but rounded swells making for a pleasant trip weather wise. Spotters concluded that this was our best trip out yet this season, and a really great day out on any year! From the many smiling faces at the dock, it seemed that folks agreed. Our entire trip was in San Mateo county. We are returning to these waters next Saturday, there are spots left on that trip: good birding Alvaro Alvaro Jaramillo alvaro@...
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  23. SBVAS pelagic trip preliminary report LINK
    DATE: Aug 17, 2019 @ 8:44pm, 3 year(s) ago
    San Bernardino Valley Audubon Society sponsored a 17-hour pelagic trip today, August 17. We departed Dana Point at 5 AM aboard the Ocean Institute's R/V Sea Explorer, and returned about 10 PM. We explored the waters mostly south and east of San Clemente Island, visiting 30 Mile Bank, 40 Mile Bank, Butterfly Bank, the San Clemente Basin, and the 277 Bank off Catalina Island. Highlights from the trip included 3 Cook's Petrels (40 Mile Bank), 2 Black-footed Albatrosses, several Townsend's Storm-Petrels, Blue-footed Booby (30 Mile Bank/SD Co.), Brown Booby, a couple Arctic Terns, a few Long-tailed Jaegers, and several dozen Craveri's Murrelets. Other species included Common Tern, Red and Red-necked Phalaropes, Sabine's Gull, Pomarine Jaeger, Black and Leach's Storm-Petrels, Cassin's Auklet, and Pink-footed, Sooty, and Black-vented Shearwaters. Of local interest in Orange County, we had several Leach's Storm-Petrels in the extreme southeastern corner of Orange County waters (depending on how one draws the boundary with SD), and then on our return trip saw half a dozen or so small storm-petrels south of Lausen Sea Mount that were likely Leach's or Least Storm-Petrels. Non-bird marine life included Elephant Seal, California Sea Lion, Common Dolphin, Minke Whale, Fin Whale, Green Sea Turtle, Hammerhead Shark, Mola mola, and flying fish.
    Tom Benson San Bernardino Valley Audubon Society
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    DATE: Sep 27, 2018, 4 year(s) ago
    Hello, CAL Birders,
    Shearwater Journeys had two recent pelagic trips departing from Half Moon Bay.
    September 22, we had a great trip with calm seas, a good SST break from 55 F to an amazing 59.8 F nearly 30 miles offshore at the Pioneer Canyon. Inshore, we found MARBLED MURRELETS and TUFTED PUFFINS. Offshore, everything about the scene said tuna except that the clarity of the water was not good. The seabirds screamed tuna though, with both BLACK and ASHY STORM-PETRELS; ARCTIC TERNS, SABINES GULLS, many BULLERS SHEARWATERS, SOUTH POLAR SKUA and all three species of jaegers. Humpback whales, Rissos and Pacific white-sided dolphins rounded out the cetaceans. It was a beautiful day with uniformly high overcast skies and very calm seas. The leaders on this date included: Alex Rinkert, Steve Hampton, Debi Shearwater with assistance from Tom and Beth Hamel. We spent the entire day in San Mateo County.
    September 23, the very next day presented a whole different scene. The SSTs hovered at 54-55 F throughout the day. The high seas and northwest winds prevented us from getting out to the canyon, but we made it to the edge of the Continental Shelf which we then explored for hours. Many thanks to Monika who chummed lots of birds behind our boat, including all three species of jaegers, SOUTH POLAR SKUA, and a wonderful FLESH-FOOTED SHEARWATER. Note that was saw 2 FLESH-FOOTED SHEARWATERS, one in each county! It was a county tick for many folks on board. The ASHY and BLACK STORM-PETRELS also put on a good show. Again, we had the odd dolphin combination with excellent views of all three species.
    The leaders on this date included: Peter Pyle, Scott & Linda Terrill, Tim Miller, Abe Borker, and Debi Shearwater.
    Our next trip departing from Half Moon Bay is SUNDAY, OCTOBER 7 with leaders Jim Holmes, Steve Hampton, Christian Schwarz, and Debi Shearwater. Spaces are available. For more information/reservation, contact: debi@... .
    The complete species list for SEPTEMBER 23, 2018
    COMMON LOON- 4/0
    BROWN PELICAN- 3558/0
    SURF SCOTER- 3/0
    SURFBIRD- 27/0
    WESTERN GULL- 292/99
    ARCTIC TERN- 0/7
    COMMON MURRE- 200/55
    Ive received a number of inquiries regarding the trips this coming weekend departing from Monterey on Sep. 28, 29, and 30. A few spaces are available on each trip. Please email me for more information.
    Thanks to all who have joined our trip!
    Seabirding for Science,
    Debi Shearwater
    Shearwater Journeys, Inc.
    PO Box 190
    Hollister, CA 95024
    Celebrating 43 Years of Seabirding with Shearwater Journeys
    Siberias Forgotten Coast & Spoon-billed Sandpiper- 25 June - 9 July 2019
    Galapagos Islands: 30 October - 12 November 2019
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  27. Searcher Pelagic Results LINK
    DATE: Sep 7, 2018 @ 10:35pm, 4 year(s) ago
    The annual Searcher pelagic trip departed San Diego about noon on Labor Day and was back to the dock Friday morning at 730 AM. Highlights were many. Monday afternoon was spent crossing the 9 mile bank and working our way up the 30 mile. Highlights were excellent looks at a couple of Brown Boobies as well as close passes by a RED-FOOTED BOOBY. Ashy, Black, and Leach's Storm-Petrels, plus a few leaders and participants were able to glimpse and photo one or two LEAST STORM_PETRELS along the way.
    We decided to start day 2 at Santa Barbara Island where we saw the continuing immature NAZCA BOOBY plus about 80 Brown Boobies. From Santa Barbara we worked our way northwest along the Santa Cruz basin, seeing good numbers of Pomarine and Long-tailed Jaegers, Arctic Terns, as well as the expected shearwater species. We were treated to another RED-FOOTED BOOBY not too far from SB Island. In the late afternoon we arrived at a bank south east of San Miguel Island called "The Condor Bank" as it was a fishing spot frequented by the original Condor board from Santa Barbara. Here we encountered large boils of 200lb Bluefin Tuna, and the bird show was spectacular. Several South Polar Skuas, a dozen jaegers, many hundreds of Pink-footed Shearwaters and likely a hundred Arctic Terns. The show was spectacular, and here we found yet another immature NAZCA BOOBY and a couple of Brown Boobies.
    After anchoring near San Miguel for the night, DAY 3 we headed out to The Rodriguez Dome about 30 miles to the west. We departed Miguel about 5 AM, and were on the dome about 730 AM. Just before arriving at Rodriguez we encountered yet another immature NAZCA BOOBY. Exceptional numbers of Buller's Shearwaters, 8 Guadalupe Murrelets (seen well by all onboard) as well as our first Red-billed Tropicbird of the trip were highlights of our day headed south. We had as many as 10 Black-footed Albatross with us at once, and there were several behind the boarWe finished the day at the San Juan Seamount. We encountered dozens of Blue Whales in this deep water as well as some Fin whales, and a couple of cooperative BAIRD"S-BEAKED Whales. Guadalupe Fur Seals were seen regularly. Our first TOWNSEND"S STORM-PETRELS
    DAY 4 was spent traveling traveling from the western edge of the Tanner and Cortez Banks to the San Clemente Island basin. We found a cooperative RED-BILLED TROPICBIRD on the water, as well our first of nearly a dozen COOK'S PETRELS. Leach's Storm-petrels were present in numbers, and we were able to get folks on a handful of TOWNSEND's Storm-Petrels. Inside the Cortez we had the familiar cry of "White Booby behind the boat", and had an immature booby circle the boat. This one seemed to show characters of MASKED BOOBY, but this bird was not as straightforward as the others, so we will be sending photos out to get some expert opinions before putting this one in the books.
    As we approached Sam Clemente we were treated to one of the most spectacular afternoons I have ever spent at sea. Boils of smaller bluefin tuna were everywhere, and there were literally thousands of Pink-footed Shearwaters wheeling about, as well as. hundreds of Arctic and Common Terns, dozens of Sabine's gulls and jaegers were in flight. We also saw about 35 Craveri's Murrelets in this area, some very close to the boat allowing great looks. We poked through flock after flock of birds until dark, eventually getting brief looks at a FLESH_FOOTED SHEARWATER. In the middle of this feeding frenzy we also saw yet another NAZCA BOOBY, this one a full adult.
    The high overcast conditions were also good for migrants, and we had Willow Flycatcher, Macgillvray'a Warbler as well as Orange-crowned, Townsend's, Black-throated Gray as well as multiple cowbirds and several species of shorebird.
    One of the best trips I have done off SoCal and certainly continues the excellent results this year. Thanks to Celia Condit and Captain Art Taylor from Searcher Natural History Tours, my co-leaders Dave Pereksta, Dave Povey, and Rob Hynson. Thanks to all the participants as well.
    Todd McGrath SKUA@... The Woodlands, TX
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  29. August 25 pelagic trip to Tanner and Cortez Banks LINK
    DATE: Aug 2, 2018 @ 2:16pm, 4 year(s) ago
    I have organized a pelagic trip to the Cortez and Tanner Banks at the end of this month. The basic details are: departure from Dana Point aboard the R/V Sea Explorer, leaving at 1 AM and returning at 9 PM on Saturday, August 25 (20 hours); there are NO bunks or full galley on board, but possibly enough room to sleep on the floor or benches inside (plenty of room outside). The per person cost is $200, and there are only TWO spaces remaining.
    This should be an excellent opportunity to see species like Black-footed Albatross, Leach's Storm-Petrel, Red-billed Tropicbird, Craveri's Murrelet, Arctic Tern, South Polar Skua, and Long-tailed Jaeger. It is also a good opportunity to look for rare species such as Cook's and Hawaiian Petrels, Townsend's Storm-Petrel, Least Storm-Petrel, and Guadalupe Murrelet. On July 15 a trip from Ventura to nearby waters recorded nearly 100 Cook's Petrels, Tristram's Storm-Petrel, Wedge-rumped Storm-Petrel, two Nazca Boobies, Long-tailed Jaeger, South Polar Skua, Sabine's Gull, and Black, Ashy, and Leach's Storm-Petrels. Additionally, t hree Townsend's Storm-Petrels were photographed on a trip out of San Diego on July 29. <
    If you are interested in going or have any questions, please email me back (off list) and I will send you additional details and/or payment information.
    Tom Benson
    San Bernardino, CA
    thomasabenson AT
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