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   Black-footed Albatross
Black-footed Albatross
Phoebastria nigripes


   Black-footed Albatross (Phoebastria nigripes) - BFAL (recent eBird sightings, view CBRC records, range map
)

  1. Monterey Seabirds Pelagic Trip Report LINK
    DATE: Sep 16, 2021 @ 12:24pm, 1 year(s) ago
    Hi all.
    
    We did not find any mega rarities on our eight-hour pelagictrip aboard the Pt. Sur Clipper last Sunday (9/12) but we again had a steady stream of birds throughout the day, great looks at most species, and favorable weather conditions and sea state.
    Buller's Shearwaters have been a bit erratic this year, the five-day Searcher trip didn't find any last week and neither did we on our previous two trips, but this time we hit the mother lode, over 150 birds. We also had at least one, but likelythree, Short-tailed Shearwaters, a species that appearsto be making its way down from the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska earlythis year. We had Sooty and Pink-footedShearwaters in good numbers and several cooperative Black-footed Albatrosses. Our only three storm-petrels were Ashys and we had a few NorthernFulmars.
    The jaeger show was spectacular, especially Pomarine and Long-tailed Jaegers of which we had over a dozen aroundthe boat several times. The victims were mostly Sabine's Gulls this time as numbers of both Artic and Common Terns were lower than during previous trips. Numbers of California Gulls continue to increase. We found a few Cassin's Auklets, including a very cooperative one, as well as high numbers of the expected Rhinoceros Auklets and Common Murres. All phalaropes were Red-necked. And one pelagicTownsend'sWarbler was running the gauntlet of Western Gulls.
    Thank you to co-leader Bill Hubick. In my last report, I forgot to thank co-leaders Eli Gross, Don Roberson, Mark Kudrav, and Joshua Stacy.
    We have a couple of spots open on our eight-hour trip this coming Sunday and we have three more trips coming up in October, https://www.montereyseabirds.com/ . The Short-tailed Albatross was in the Bay on Wednesday, will it stick around
    Take care,
    Bernardo
    --
    Bernardo Alps
    Wildlife Biologist California Whales & Wildlife www.photocetus.com
    whalephoto@...
    310.597.0449
    P.O. Box 1667
    San Pedro, CA 90733
    
    
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  3. Sunday Monterey Seabirds Pelagic Report LINK
    DATE: Sep 10, 2021 @ 2:49am, 1 year(s) ago
    Hi all.
    Thebest bird of our Monterey Seabirds 8-hour pelagic birding trip on the Monterey Bay last Sunday was again a Manx Shearwater; unfortunately not as cooperative as the one on our previous trip and not seen by everyone. We had a good jaeger show with all three species well represented and seen well. The victims of the jaegers, Arctic and Common Terns as well as Sabine's Gulls were also present in good numbers. A handfulof Red Phalaropes were seen in addition to numerous Red-necked Phalaropes. And again several Black-footed Albatrosses put on a good show. Sooty and Pink-footed Shearwaters were present in large numbers. A single Pigeon Guillemont, a handful of Cassin's Auklets, and a couple of dozen Rhinoceros Auklets rounded out the alcid show with the abundant Common Murres.
    Mammals were represented by a small pod of Baird's Beaked Whales and many HumpbackWhales, a couple of which called attention to their presence close to the Pt. Sur Clipper with a spectaculardouble breach.
    A quick not on sea surface temperature. Unlike on our previous trip, on Sunday we couldn't identify any areas of warm water within reach. And while we covered very similar tracks on both trips, the difference in temperatureshowedin some of the species observed. For one, after the storm-petrel bonanza two weeks ago, we had none on Sunday. Two weeks ago, we had eight fur seals, three of which for sure and probably all were Guadalupe Fur Seals. Last Sunday, we saw approximately 25 fur seals, six of which for sure and probably all were Northern Fur Seals.
    Next Sunday's trip is sold out, but we have space on our upcoming trips on September 19, and October 3, 10, and 17, https://www.montereyseabirds.com/ .
    Take care,
    Bernardo
    --
    Bernardo Alps
    Wildlife Biologist California Whales & Wildlife www.photocetus.com
    Whalephoto@...
    310.597.0449
    P.O. Box 1667
    San Pedro, CA 90733
    
    
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  5. 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 https://www.montereyseabirds.com/ .
    Take care,
    Bernardo
    --
    Bernardo Alps
    Wildlife Biologist California Whales & Wildlife www.photocetus.com
    whalephoto@...
    310.597.0449
    P.O. Box 1667
    San Pedro, CA 90733
    
    
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  7. 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
    FLESH-FOOTED SHEARWATER and one SHORT-TAILED SHEARWATER over feeding HUMPBACK WHALES about ten miles
    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!!!
    
    https://www.alvarosadventures.com/pelagic-dates-2021.html
    
    Cheers,
    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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  9. Pelagic trip report - Sun Oct 4. LINK
    DATE: Oct 7, 2020 @ 9:20pm, 2 year(s) ago
    Hello all, Belated trip report, it has been a busy week. Yes, the season has turned, the late season birds are here. Overall the weather was a bit less amenable than the forecast had suggested, this meant we had to go a bit farther north into the weather to get offshore. It worked, and were able to drive south in a following sea through the Pioneer Canyon and then stayed off the continental shelf until we had to head back to port. We started off nicely with a pair of Marbled Murrelets close to shore as well as a couple of Parasitic Jaegers. Heading offshore I did get a very troubling feeling, there was little to nothing other than Common Murres as we went out, it took a long time to see a shearwater! In fact I saw an Ashy Storm-Petrel before I saw a Sooty Shearwater on this trip. But once we arrived at the continental shelf things began to sort out with Sooty, Pink-footed, and Bullers shearwaters, Black-footed Albatross, as well as Rhinoceros and Cassins Auklets. It was a good day for Rhino Auklets, lots out there. Perhaps associated with these numbers we found two Tufted Puffins, a juvenile and a non-breeding adult; puffins at this time of year are very neat to see, so different from the summer. Heading south we picked up more Ashy Storm-Petrels, many Black Storm-Petrels and a Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel. South Polar Skua, two Long-tailed Jaegers (together) and Pomarine jaegers gave us the skua-jaeger grand slam. We picked up Blue Whales, which have been hard to find in central CA, we were able to share this information with Monterey Bay Whalewatch who are working with a TV/Film crew (BBC) and they have been looking for Blue Whales, fortunately our magic spot worked for them a couple of days later and they were able to get some footage that we may see in a documentary in the future! On our way back more Bullers Shearwaters showed up, and a flock of Sooty Shearwaters had an individual that was flying around with a darker underwing, a Short-tailed Shearwater. As well, about 10 miles offshore our first of the season Black-vented Shearwater showed up and a few more in the next 20 minutes or so. All jaegers and South Polar Skua, three species of storm-petrels and 5 species of shearwater, diversity is up! We have two spots on Oct 18, and a few more on the 24 th remaining. https://www.alvarosadventures.com/pelagic-dates-2020.html Also, I am doing a Big Walk for Rhinoceros Auklets a walking big day next week where I am asking for donations to Oikonos for the Ao Nuevo Island project, restoring habitat and monitoring Rhinoceros and Cassins Auklets on the island. Hopefully I can break 110 species on foot power, and will likely walk about 20 miles assuming I survive!! Please donate more details here: https://secure.givelively.org/donate/oikonos-ecosystem-knowledge/alvaro-jaramillo-1 good birding! Alvaro Alvaro Jaramillo alvaro@... www.alvarosadventures.com
    
    
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  11. Ventura Pelagic Trip with Island Packers - October 3, 2020 LINK
    DATE: Sep 27, 2020 @ 2:40pm, 2 year(s) ago
    Hi All
    
    This
    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
    (uncommon),
    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
    disappointed!
    
    Trips can be booked over the phone by calling (805) 642-1393 or online
    at www.IslandPackers.com by clicking the Reserve Trip tab, select the Special
    Trips tab, and select your desired departure. The cost of the trip is $170 per
    adult.
    
    Hope to see you at sea!
    Dave Pereksta Ventura
    
    
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  13. Storm Petrels - expand!! Trip reports from pelagics out of Half Moon Bay. LINK
    DATE: Sep 17, 2020 @ 8:22pm, 2 year(s) ago
    Hello all, Sunday and Monday (Sept 13 and 14), we went out from Pillar Point Harbor, into San Mateo and San Francisco waters. The Sunday trip was the SF country trip, where we maximize time in San Francisco county waters. We went to the Pioneer Canyon that day and had a great surprise, we found storm petrels out there. But first, on this day we did have multiple passerines fly by, Brown-headed Cowbirds, Wilsons Warblers, Audubons (Yellow-rumped) Warbler, Townsends Warbler, Merlin!, and perhaps a rarer warbler. It had pale at the base of the tail, but no good photos could be taken. One cowbird and a Wilsons Warbler eventually rode the boat back to shore. A boat fishing about 8 miles from shore texted us photos of a Magnolia Warbler that had landed on their boat, unfortunately it did not choose our boat. But what was exciting was finding flocks of Ashy Storm-Petrels in Pioneer Canyon, recall that the week before we found Black Storm-Petrels, but well south in San Mateo County. These were mainly Ashy, with a scattering of Black as well as Wilsons Storm-Petrels . On our best hour count, we estimated 600 Ashy Storm-Petrels . We lucked out as well with a San Francisco Flesh-footed Shearwater , our first of the season and we are looking forward to seeing many more. On the next day, we were not limited to San Francisco so we came up with a plan. How about looking for the Pioneer Canyon storm-petrels, and then heading south to where the Black Storm-Petrels had been the week before Our plan worked amazingly well. The big surprise was a super easy to see Minke Whale close to shore, not always a whale that allows for photography. We did not have the passerine fall out today, but a lost Black Turnstone about 10 miles out was trying to land on the boat. Once at the Pioneer Canyon we found the flocks of storm petrels again, this time maxing out with approximately 500 birds. But our diversity went up, finding Ashy, Black, Wilsons and Fork-tailed Storm-Petrels . Bullers Shearwater showed up today. We then went south into San Mateo County, looking for the Black Storm-Petrel flocks, and on our way we found 2-3 Sabines Gulls which have been sparce this year. Early in the afternoon we found the Black Storm-Petrels, approximately 425 mixed with Ashy and a few Wilsons. Amazing, in one day we had gone from a concentration of Ashy to a totally different site with a concentration of Black Storm-Petrels. It was another fantastic study opportunity for storm petrels. We found Black-footed Albatross, Pink-footed and Sooty shearwaters, Northern Fulmar, Rhinoceros and Cassins auklets, Common Murre, Parasitic and Pomarine jaegers. Other critters included Humpback Whale, Salmon Shark, Mola mola, California and Stellers sea lions, Northern Fur Seal and Northern Elephant seal. The weather was good, we are excited about our trip this Saturday but it is sold out. Our next trips to this part of the ocean are on Oct 4, 17, and 24. The last two dates were just added. We have expanded our trips to later dates when numbers of albatross should increase, and we have high probability of finding Short-tailed Shearwater, as well as Flesh-footed Shearwater. Cross your fingers, but these late dates may also be good for Short-tailed Albatross. We will be on the lookout, Laysan Albatross will be a good chance and perhaps Ancient Murrelets may have started to show up by then. You can book and reserve here: https://www.alvarosadventures.com/pelagic-dates-2020.html Good birding Alvaro Jaramillo alvaro@... www.alvarosadventures.com
    
    
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  15. Trip report - Record Black Storm-Petrel count!! LINK
    DATE: Sep 8, 2020 @ 10:52pm, 2 year(s) ago
    Hello all, We had an amazing pelagic out of Half Moon Bay yesterday in sunny weather. The storm-petrelpalooza continued, and numbers were even higher than on Saturday. We estimated 1600 Black Storm-Petrels during one hour long transect, with 60 or so Ashy Storm-Petrels, and 7 or so Wilsons Storm-Petrels. This is the highest number we can find for San Mateo county waters, ever. A record haul! What was just fantastic was that we not only found flocks, but the birds were coming very close to the boat when we sat and idled, with opportunities for great photography. I am sure that more fantastic photos will be uploaded to the list: https://ebird.org/checklist/S73349525 Again, it is difficult to put into words how fantastic the experience was. Just non-stop storm-petrels, multiple views. Over and over, and you could really see the flight style differences between Ashy and Black storm-petrels. We are all still going through our photos, as hundreds if not more were taken by each person there with a camera! Some of the Black Storm-Petrels were in San Francisco county, but the big numbers were to the south in San Mateo. We found three Tufted Puffins, many and close Black-footed Albatross, an abundance of Common Murres, Rhinoceros Auklets, Pink-footed and Sooty shearwaters along with other common seabirds. Finally, jaegers were found in larger numbers, and all three species were seen including a fantastic adult Long-tailed right over our boat by Juan Pablo Galvan. Thanks for that spot! We were all looking at storm petrels, great that someone was looking up. The Humpback Whales put on an amazing show once again, with a group of feeding whales foraging right by the boat, putting on quite a show. We are heading out of Monterey on Saturday the 12 th , and return to Half Moon Bay on Monday Sept 14. There are 4 spots remaining for our Monday trip. You can reserve and book directly here: https://www.alvarosadventures.com/pelagic-dates-2020.html Good birding to you either on land or out on the water! Alvaro Alvaro Jaramillo alvaro@... www.alvarosadventures.com
    
    
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  17. San Mateo County pelagic report - Storm Petrels! LINK
    DATE: Sep 5, 2020 @ 10:38pm, 2 year(s) ago
    Hello all, I had gone to sleep seeing 17 knot winds offshore on the computer, and wondering what things would be like in the morning. Well, winds were down to 10 knots, the sky was cloudless and suddenly what was an impending poor weather trip was going to be fine. It was better than fine, it was wonderful. As has been the norm recently Common Murres were in the harbor, and masses of Elegant Terns were fishing the anchovy that are trapped in the harbor by the millions. We headed out and the first good sign was that an Ashy Storm-Petrel was seen about 10 miles out, closer than we usually see one. In fact on the way back in, there was one 3 miles from shore, definitely a record for us. Closer to shore than we ever see them. As is typical the line of Sooty Shearwaters was out there a few miles out, and lots of Common Murres with a single remaining (they leave early) Pigeon Guillemot. As we reached greater distances from the coast we found Pink-footed Shearwaters, a few Northern Fulmar and Rhinoceros Auklet. When we arrived near the Half Moon Bay weather buoy, things picked up, more shearwaters, Black-footed albatross and a nice fly by Laysan Albatross! What we assume was the same Laysan came back and gave even better views about 40 minutes later. Wilsons Storm-Petrel caused a thrill, as one came close to the boat. Little did we know that we would see several before the days end. Most storm petrels were Ashy, but eventually we found a Black Storm-Petrel, and from there on in, they took over the show. Progressively more common on each section of the trip as we headed south. Eventually we had an hour period when we tallied over 400! Some coming in for great views. Some photos here: https://ebird.org/checklist/S73241708 The numbers do not do justice to the experience. For hours Black Storm-Petrels were constantly in view, so were many Ashy, and a few Wilsons here and there. Comparison between Ashy and Black was possible repeatedly, the bouncing flight of the long-winged Black Storm-Petrel is something we looked at so intently today, and on so many individuals that we will likely see those images as we fall asleep tonight. It was truly a great trip to really learn this species. Amazing! Another superb experience was spotting the Laysan Albatross, presumably the same one as earlier, and then Dorian Anderson yelling that he had just seen a second! Eventually, the two birds sat together at a distance from us, confirming two Laysan Albatrosses at the same time. To think that at one time it was thought that San Mateo County was not good for pelagics! It is fantastic for pelagics. Return to port surprise was a Tufted Puffin that buzzed the boat. Several Humpback Whales were enjoyed, including some lunge feeding individuals. We hope to replay some of this, with the caveat that things can change on a dime in the ocean, on Monday. Weather is forecast to be pretty calm on Monday and we can assure you that it will be cool out there. So if you want to try your luck with seabirds, and escape the heat, we have 4 spots left: https://www.alvarosadventures.com/pelagic-dates-2020.html take care, Alvaro Alvaro Jaramillo alvaro@... www.alvarosadventures.com
    
    
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  19. Pelagic report - Half Moon Bay Aug 30. Amazing abundance! and rarities. LINK
    DATE: Aug 30, 2020 @ 3:55pm, 2 year(s) ago
    Hello all, The trip started out slowly, with nearly nothing over the continental shelf on our way offshore. I was getting a bit worried, an Ashy Storm-Petrel about 15 miles offshore was a good sign though. Then we got to the continental shelf edge and it was just crazy, thousands of birds, and masses of Humpback Whales. Maybe 40 or so whales within a mile, and perhaps during the day we saw over 5-10% of the population of Pink-footed Shearwaters, thousands! They were at times much more abundant than the Sooty, just the perfect setup for a super rare shearwater to show up in. Our meter (the sonar) wash showing solidly 300-500 feet of solid bait fish below us, can you even imagine how many millions of anchovy that is Black-footed Albatross were a constant sight, and near the Half Moon Bay weather buoy we found a gorgeous juvenile Laysan Albatross in San Mateo county ( https://ebird.org/checklist/S72967622 ), this is the first Laysan of the year for us. Ashy Storm-Petrels were in both San Mateo and San Francisco counties, while Black Storm-Petrel was only in San Mateo, and Fork-tailed was in San Francisco ( https://ebird.org/checklist/S72967503 ). The jaegers, terns and Sabines are still largely missing, we wonder if they have not moved south yet or if they are going well offshore Lots and lots of both Red and Red-necked phalaropes. The numbers of Common Murres were huge, with nice looks at Rhinoceros Auklets and a bonus Tufted Puffin in San Mateo on the way back. Big surprise was a Lucys Warbler that flew around the boat and did not land. In the gray skies offshore it was tough to get a good handle of the ID, particularly since the bird had a dark looking throat from wet feathers there. But eventually when looking at the photos in the cabin it became clear that it was a Lucys, in San Francisco county, and this explained why it looked so tiny https://ebird.org/checklist/S72967568 . It was flying with a Brown-headed Cowbird which weirdly enough would go and fly to it when the warbler became more distant, like it was trying to flock with it. Blue Sharks, and Mola mola were enjoyed along with the bird and whales. But definitely the super abundance of shearwaters and murres out there was what will be remembered. We have a few spots open still for the trip on Saturday. Monterey Albacore grounds on the 12 th is also open still. https://www.alvarosadventures.com/pelagic-dates-2020.html Alvaro Alvaro Jaramillo alvaro@... www.alvarosadventures.com
    
    
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  21. Summary of multiple pelagic trips out to the Farallons and offshore Half Moon Bay LINK
    DATE: Aug 18, 2020 @ 11:14pm, 2 year(s) ago
    Hello all, We did three trips to the Farallon Islands earlier in the month Aug 8, 9 and 11. As well on the 15 th we went SW offshore from Half Moon Bay, to waters just north of Santa Cruz county. The Farallon Is. Trips were great and we saw that the major final fledge of Common Murres happened between the 9 th and the 11 th given that on the later date there were fewer around. Brown Boobies varied from 1 on the 8 th , and 9 th , to three on the 11 th . They were all females and underwing features looked fine for the Brewsters subspecies, the expected one here. Tufted Puffins are always stars of the show on the Farallons, with up to 40 seen, and multiples were also found away from the islands. We could not find the Horned Puffin which was seen by Farallon Is. biologists, oh well. We experienced amazing views of Cassins Auklets, and a few Rhinos (their numbers have been low recently), while a juvenile Cassins in Pillar Point Harbor on the 8 th was a complete surprise! Bullers Shearwaters were represented by only one on the 8 th , but then the next day approximately 100 birds gave amazing views (photographed birds were adults, not juveniles); both Sooty and Pink-footed shearwaters were in abundance. All days included many Black-footed Albatross. Northern Fulmars were in low numbers near shore, and then a few offshore but few in-between; as expected most are first cycle, patchy looking as they are in heavy molt. Storm petrels which we rarely see on Farallon trips included multiple Ashy and Black on the 8 th , and a few Ashy on the 9 th . Red and Red-necked phalaropes were common, and we found some nice rip currents where they allowed super close approach for photos. As is expected the first lost passerine offshore of the season was a Brown-headed Cowbird, they are nearly always the first to show up in August. Overall it was an amazing Farallon Island season, the July Nazca Booby of course a highlight. Another highlight was an awesome Leatherback Sea Turtle on the 9 th . Our offshore trip was incredible for weather, super calm, it was the calm before the storm as that night we had our spellbinding once in a decade thunderstorm in the Bay Area. Unfortunately many fires were stared by the storm, some of them making the news now. We found four species of storm-petrels, many Ashy, a few Black, 1-2 Wilsons and a Fork-tailed. A bird that Lucas Stephenson spotted could have been a Least due to the small apparent size, but we could not confirm with a photo or a great close fly by unfortunately. We will be watching for this species this season! Lots of shearwaters, including a few Bullers, and many Black-footed Albatross. We had a great whale show with Blue, Fin and Humpback as well as Rissos Dolphin. It seemed like the farther south we went, the better it got. Unfortunately time ran out and we had to make our way back to port before we could finish exploring this area. But I am looking forward to this Saturday when we are going to try to get to this region from the south, from Monterey. Overall, some weird stuff is going on. I saw tuna jumping on the 15 th , there were albacore caught in Marin, and a Swordfish seen near the Cordell Bank. Water reached 63F on the 15 th , a local record since we have been going out of Half Moon Bay. Multiple Blue Sharks were in the warm water. This seems like a year to be on the lookout for unusual southern storm-petrels, throughout CA we should be on watch for Least and Wedge-rump. Sea Surface Temperatures are not only abnormally high here, they are also high to our south, perhaps allowing for a northbound push of these rarities. On the other hand we have been seeing very few jaegers and Sabines Gull, although in July we had a day with all three jaegers and South Polar Skua. My guess is that their migration is somewhat backed up, and the flow will resume soon. There have been more south winds offshore than we normally see, that may be delaying southbound migration perhaps It seems like now that we are in late August, the jaeger and tern show will kick in to full gear. Masses of Sooty Shearwaters show up off an on in Half Moon Bay, for example there were 50,000 this morning! Marbled Murrelets have returned after an absence due to red tide. We are doing back to back trips out of Monterey this weekend, a longer one on Saturday (heading towards the hotspot noted above), shorter on Sunday. Weather forecasts look good thus far. Covid-19 procedures are in effect, masks, low number of people on the boats, and routine disinfectant use. Here is the upcoming schedule:
    https://www.alvarosadventures.com/pelagic-dates-2020.html Here is a page on how to pick a pelagic: https://www.alvarosadventures.com/how-to-pick-a-pelagic-trip.html Looking forward to exploring the ocean this weekend out of Monterey. Come and escape from the real world, and see the marine world instead! Alvaro Alvaro Jaramillo alvaro@... www.alvarosadventures.com
    
    
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  23. Pelagic report - and Pelagic opportunities. LINK
    DATE: Aug 4, 2020 @ 4:10pm, 2 year(s) ago
    Hello all, My apologies for sending to various groups all at one time. But, this Saturday we did our first offshore pelagic of the season, from Half Moon Bay (San Mateo County). We have been doing trips to the Farallon Islands, but those have a limited time in deeper water, so I thought folks would be interested in knowing what is out there in the central CA offshore waters now. In short, it is pretty interesting and diverse with element suggesting this will be a warm water year with elements of the south moving north, and it is a season that is amazingly abundant as far as ocean productivity goes. We saw four species of storm-petrels, with groups of Ashy, and a scattering of Fork-tailed, Wilsons, and Black storm-petrels. The Black are always of interest to us, since they do not always make it to our latitude, being dependent on what the conditions are like farther to the south. The weather was choppy, with a flatter ocean we would likely have found more and larger flocks of storm petrels. Where we found them, the water was warmer and more translucent, offshore water. We did find all three jaegers, as well as South Polar Skua which was early. There are good densities of Cassins Auklets out there, we found a gorgeous adult Tufted Puffin as well as the more expected alcids including Marbled Murrelets at the coast. Good numbers of Black-footed Albatross and nice densities of Pink-footed and Sooty shearwaters, earlier in the season Bullers showed up (again early). Sabines Gulls are heading south, including our first juvenile of the season. Right now tens of thousands of Sooty Shearwaters are close to the beach in Half Moon Bay, this is a year with lots of anchovy, lots of krill and also squid. Abundance is the word. There is so much krill out there that the Cassins Auklets are trying to pull off a second brood due to the abundance of food. Meanwhile the Rhinoceros Auklets are feeding on 100% anchovy. The real oddity in the region has been the arrival of Bluefin tuna off Monterey, and Half Moon Bay. Big ones, averaging over 150 lbs each. This is not the norm, but is super exciting as it suggests northward movement of southern critters. Similarly, we had a good look at a Guadalupe Fur Seal offshore a little known marine mammal that seems to be found in warm water years. Warm offshore water has been peeking close to Monterey Bay recently. The combination of potential for some warm water birds offshore, and lots and lots of food closer to shore is great! We have consistently found awesome feeding congregations of Humpback Whales about 10 miles offshore. On this last trip we also found Fin Whale where the Cassins Auklets were (krill feeding we assume), and a super pod of hundreds and hundreds of Pacific White-sided Dolphins with a good number of the always dapper Northern Right Whale Dolphin. Blue Whale has been seen this year, but not this last weekend. It is early in the season and it is already pretty awesome offshore. I think this is going to be a great year for pelagics, and unfortunately not that many people are going to be able to enjoy it. We have a full schedule of trips out of Monterey and Half Moon Bay, Morro Bay is sold out, but are going with half or less of the boat capacity. On the trips we are encouraging people to be outside, in the breeze, social distance and to wear masks. As such, on the various trips we have done people have felt comfortable and safe. Key is to consider that the science clarifies that being outside, in the breeze, and in humid and salty air is a low risk situation. Crew are diligently disinfecting the boat, and ample sanitizer is available. One of the net benefits is a lot more room on the boats this year, and in Monterey keep in mind that the boats are much larger allowing for good spacing of birders and naturalists. Particularly this year, being out on the ocean is special, with nature abounding and away from the news, it is invigorating and good for the soul! Our next trip is an offshore Monterey trip on Aug 14, we are hoping to get into the real deep waters on this day and see if we can find some offshore murrelets and other goodies. The upcoming Farallon island trips are sold out. Our schedule of trips is here: https://www.alvarosadventures.com/pelagic-dates-2020.html See you at sea! Alvaro Alvaro Jaramillo alvaro@... www.alvarosadventures.com
    
    
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  25. Pelagic trip out of Ventura on Sunday, July 12 LINK
    DATE: Jul 8, 2020 @ 8:46am, 2 year(s) ago
    Hi All
    
    This is a reminder that Island Packers is offering a 12-hour deepwater
    pelagic trip from the Ventura Harbor at 7 am on Sunday July 12. 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. Our intention is to go south from Ventura towards San Nicolas Island
    and the banks, knolls, canyons and other productive features in the area. This
    will give us a chance to look for sought after species like Red-billed
    Tropicbird, Leach's Storm-Petrel, Townsend's Storm-Petrel, Cook's Petrel, and
    Craveri's Murrelet. Boats out of San Diego have been seeing Cook's Petrels and
    Craveri's Murrelets recently, and on a work visit to Santa Barbara Island a few
    weeks ago I saw a Blue-footed Booby that is acting like it is paired with a
    Brown Booby (there is a chick in the nest for what that is worth). We will
    decide what our offshore destination will be after reviewing oceanographic
    conditions at the time of the trip, which will help determine where the birds
    and other marine life may be present or concentrated. This trip has been
    productive the last few years. In 2017 we had Black-footed Albatrosses and
    Cook's Petrels along with an astounding 45 Craveri's Murrelets. In 2018 we had
    the first accepted at-sea record of Tristram's Storm-Petrel for the ABA area
    (!), a Wedge-rumped Storm-Petrel, Townsend's Storm-Petrels, lots of Cook's
    Petrels, two Nazca Boobies, and an American Oystercatcher. Last year we had a
    Manx Shearwater and incredible looks at Townsend's and Leach's Storm-Petrels.
    Beyond these highlights, we always see a variety of the more expected
    pelagic species and it is a trip that normally produces lots of birds.
    
    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. The
    maximum capacity for the vessel is set at 57 people for this trip, which is
    20-25 people less than we normally carry on a pelagic trip (and way lower than
    the rated passenger capacity for the boat). 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
    disappointed!
    
    Trips can be booked over the phone by calling (805) 642-1393 or online
    at www.IslandPackers.com by clicking the Reserve Trip tab, select the Special
    Trips tab, and select your desired departure. The cost of the trip is $195 per
    adult.
    
    Hope to see you at sea!
    Dave Pereksta Ventura
    
    
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  27. Winter pelagic trip, Feb 8 LINK
    DATE: Jan 21, 2020 @ 5:34pm, 3 year(s) ago
    One final reminder that San Bernardino Valley Audubon Society is sponsoring a pelagic trip out of Marina del Rey on Saturday, February 8. We are still a few people short of the minimum to make this trip go, so if you were on the fence, please sign up!
    
    Saturday, February 8, 2020
    
    SBVAS Pelagic Trip Marina del Rey
    
    Leaders: Tom B enson, Matt Grube, Mark Scheel, Brad Singer, and Ryan Terrill
    
    Join S an B ernardino V alley A udubon S ociety for an 8-hour pelagic trip aboard the M/V New Del Mar in search of pelagic birds, marine mammals, and other oceanic wildlife as we explore the nearshore waters of Santa Monica Bay and the Catalina Channel. We expect to see several species of gulls, shearwaters, jaegers, and alcids, as well as Northern Fulmar and Red Phalarope. Potential rarities at this time of year include Black-legged Kittiwake, Little Gull, Short-tailed, Flesh-footed, and Manx Shearwaters, Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel, Laysan and Black-footed Albatrosses, Ancient Murrelet, Tufted Puffin, and several species of boobies . The cost for the trip is $75. We will meet at Dock 52 in Marina del Rey (13555 Fiji Way) at 7:00 AM; the trip departs promptly at 7:30 AM and will not be held for late arrivals. To si gn up the trip, email Tom Benson (thomas abenson AT aol.com ) with your name, the number of spaces you want to reserve, and the names of those in your party.
    
    The New Del Mar is a 140-passenger merchant vessel with plenty of standing room, an interior salon with ample seating, and a full galley. You are welcome to bring your own food on board, but please no coolers. Weather at sea is often cool relative to the mainland, and can be unpredictable. It is recommended that you dress in layers including a rain jacket for potential sea spray or rain. A hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen are also essential. Bring your binoculars and cameras, but leave your spotting scopes at home. There are a number of over-the-counter preventative seasickness treatments available; consult with your doctor if you think you will need them. They are most effective when taken before you get on the boat; do not wait until you are sick. If you have any questions regarding the trip, please contact me.
    
    Tom Benson
    
    San Bernardino, CA
    
    _.
    
    
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  29. Winter pelagic trip, Feb 8 LINK
    DATE: Dec 31, 2019 @ 2:26pm, 3 year(s) ago
    Saturday, February 8, 2020
    
    SBVAS Pelagic Trip Marina del Rey
    
    Leaders: Tom B enson, Matt Grube, Mark Scheel, Brad Singer, and Ryan Terrill
    
    Join S an B ernardino V alley A udubon S ociety for an 8-hour pelagic trip aboard the M/V New Del Mar in search of pelagic birds, marine mammals, and other oceanic wildlife as we explore the nearshore waters of Santa Monica Bay and the Catalina Channel. We expect to see several species of gulls, shearwaters, jaegers, and alcids, as well as Northern Fulmar and Red Phalarope. Potential rarities at this time of year include Black-legged Kittiwake, Little Gull, Short-tailed, Flesh-footed, and Manx Shearwaters, Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel, Laysan and Black-footed Albatrosses, Ancient Murrelet, Tufted Puffin, and several species of boobies . The cost for the trip is $75. We will meet at Dock 52 in Marina del Rey (13555 Fiji Way) at 7:00 AM; the trip departs promptly at 7:30 AM and will not be held for late arrivals. To si gn up the trip, email Tom Benson (thomas abenson AT aol.com ) with your name, the number of spaces you want to reserve, and the names of those in your party.
    
    The New Del Mar is a 140-passenger merchant vessel with plenty of standing room, an interior salon with ample seating, and a full galley. You are welcome to bring your own food on board, but please no coolers. Weather at sea is often cool relative to the mainland, and can be unpredictable. It is recommended that you dress in layers including a rain jacket for potential sea spray or rain. A hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen are also essential. Bring your binoculars and cameras, but leave your spotting scopes at home. There are a number of over-the-counter preventative seasickness treatments available; consult with your doctor if you think you will need them. They are most effective when taken before you get on the boat; do not wait until you are sick. If you have any questions regarding the trip, please contact me.
    
    Tom Benson
    
    San Bernardino, CA
    
    
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-revision history-
v1.30 - 01/05/16 - Revamped cloud logic, optimized database queries, linked to eBird rarities.
v1.23 - 12/08/11 - Added direct link to CBRC records.
v1.22 - 12/03/11 - Corrected GMT offsets on dates. Added last 5 posts at top.
v1.21 - 11/24/11 - Added direct link to range map for NA birds.
v1.2  - 11/23/11 - Greatly improved graphing technology - separates month vs. year by posts. Added species auto-complete functionality.
v1.14 - 11/22/11 - Added cloud bubble for common thread topics.
v1.13 - 11/22/11 - Added integrated photos where available.
v1.12 - 11/22/11 - Added multiple input boxes for additional refinement, negative search criteria (eg. -keyword).
v1.11 - 11/22/11 - Added banding code, species look-up. Also direct link to recent eBird observations.
 v1.1 - 11/22/11 - Added 'date' functionality. Shows top 'month/year' combinations for a query. Restrict results to that 'month/year'.
 v1.0 - 11/21/11 - Initial version coded. Currently archiving 'lacobirds' and 'calbirds'.