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   Cassin's Auklet
Cassin's Auklet
Ptychoramphus aleuticus

   Cassin's Auklet (Ptychoramphus aleuticus) - CAAU (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, . The Short-tailed Albatross was in the Bay on Wednesday, will it stick around
    Take care,
    Bernardo Alps
    Wildlife Biologist California Whales & Wildlife
    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, .
    Take care,
    Bernardo Alps
    Wildlife Biologist California Whales & Wildlife
    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 .
    Take care,
    Bernardo Alps
    Wildlife Biologist California Whales & Wildlife
    P.O. Box 1667
    San Pedro, CA 90733
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  7. 32 COOK'S PETRELS and 2 Craveri's in San Diego & L. A. County waters; possible future chase trip? LINK
    DATE: Jun 27, 2020 @ 3:03pm, 2 year(s) ago
         Today, Saturday the 27th, Dave Povey, Nancy Christensen, and I
         went offshore, the main purpose being to visit the waters in the
         extreme southwest corner of the county, about 25-29 nautical miles
         from the tip of Point Loma and immediately bordering both Los
         Angeles County and Mexican waters. The waters offshore between the
         mainland and the inside edge of the 30-Mile Bank are currently
         amazingly dead, with very, very small numbers and an incredibly
         low diversity of birds. Once up on the 30-Mile Bank, just north of
         the international border, we starting finding a number of small-
         to medium-sized rafts of Black Storm-Petrels, Then, in the deeper
         water (2200-2400 feet; 67.7 F) beyond the shallowest section of
         the bank--right near where the international boundary makes an
         obvious 90-degree jog to the south, we starting seeing COOK'S
         PETRELS, many feeding with storm-petrels or just sitting in small
         groups on the water. We totaled at least 24 Cook's in San Diego
         County waters and at least 16 in L. A. County and 5 in Baja
         waters, with a bit of duplication as birds moved across the
         boundaries (as calculated by us!). Despite our working cameras
         only including a single super-zoom and a couple cell-phones,
         reasonable photos were obtained. We also had a pair of CRAVERI'S
         MURRELETS, an unseasonal Sabine's Gull, a one-year-old Common
         Tern, and 4 well-offshore Least Terns, all just inside L. A.
         County waters. There are only several previous sightings of Cook's
         Petrels inside San Diego County waters, and these involved just
         single birds.
         Before I list the day's totals, if there is enough interest in
         chartering a fishing/whalewatching boat for a "chase-trip" at some
         point sooner rather than later (the next regularly scheduled San
         Diego pelagic trip is not until mid-August), then Dave Povey is
         willing to inquire of the local boat landings to see if any boat
         is available. The cost would depend on what the charter costs
         divided by the number of people going. Let Dave know if you are
         potentially interested and whether any day of the week will work
         for you or if only weekends are do-able. Conditions can change
         rapidly offshore, so there is certainly no guarantee of success!
         This is now the beginning of the very busy fishing season, and
         whale sightings have just recently increased, so this all may be a
         moot point--but it's worth a try if there is enough interest out
         there. Dave's e-mail address is
         Today's list:
         Cook's Petrel: 32+
         Pink-footed Shearwater: 6
         Sooty Shearwater: 20
         Black-vented Shearwater: 4
         Ashy Storm-Petrel: 18
         Black Storm-Petrel: ca. 700
         Craveri's Murrelet: 2
         Cassin's Auklet: 4
         Sabine's Gull: 1
         Heermann's Gull: 1
         Western Gull: 8
         Least Tern: 6
         Common Tern: 1
         Elegant Tern: 80
         Brown Pelican: 25
         --Paul Lehman, San Diego
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  9. Ventura pelagic trip - 5 Oct 2019 LINK
    DATE: Oct 5, 2019 @ 10:58pm, 3 year(s) ago
    Tired after a full day on the ocean so here is a quick trip report for our pelagic trip today with Island Packers out of Ventura. Low winds, mild seas, and clear skies made for a great day on the water that was characterized by impressive seabird numbers and diversity. Our trip took us from the Ventura Harbor to Anacapa Island, the waters south of the northern Channel Islands west to the Santa Cruz Canyon, across the Santa Cruz Basin to the Pilgrim Bank, and then back to Ventura. Other than a few slow spots we had numbers of birds spread throughout the day with the following highlights:
    Brown Booby on the Anacapa Arch - our only booby of the day Craveri's Murrelets - 32 plus a number of "sps" that were likely Craveri's Scripps's Murrelet - 1 very unseasonal bird that gave extended views near the boat
    Cassin's Auklets - several including at least one cooperative bird near the boat South Polar Skua - at least 7; most giving great views Parasitic, Pomarine, and Long-tailed Jaegers Buller's Shearwaters - two elusive individuals among the larger Pink-footed flocks Pink-footed Shearwater - 500+ including several sizable flocks south of the islands Sooty Shearwater - scattered individuals among the Pink-footed flocks Black-vented Shearwater - 600+ in the Santa Barbara Channel
    Black Storm-Petrel - 500+ including several large flocks Ashy Storm-Petrel - scattered individuals Leach's Storm-Petrel - one bird seen by only a few people Northern Fulmar - only one all day Sabine's Gull - only one all day Red-necked Phalarope - modest numbers; surprisingly no Reds
    One odd looking shearwater passed the boat that may have been a Wedge-tailed Shearwater, but it was gone quickly and not refound. Had to let that one go.
    Thanks to Island Packers for another great trip...we hope to have more scheduled in 2020.
    Dave Pereksta Ventura
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  11. 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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  13. Two Masked (Nazca?) Boobies LINK
    DATE: Aug 26, 2019 @ 5:52pm, 3 year(s) ago
    Hi all.
    went to Santa Barbara and Catalina Islands over the weekend aboard the Magician
    out of 22nd Street Landing in San Pedro. The trip left late Friday night and we
    awoke at anchor at Santa Barbara Island. Normally we would have stayed a second
    night, but an increasing groundswell generated by tropical storm Ivo made us
    relocate to Parson's Landing on the northwest side of Catalina Island.
    a Saturday morning island hike, we surveyed Sutil Rock from Signal Peak. Mark
    Stacy spotted a near-adult Masked (possibly Nazca) Booby among the roughly two
    dozen Brown Boobies visible perched on the cliffs. The Magician got close to
    the rock after circumnavigating the island during our late afternoon departure.
    We were able to count approximately 70 Brown Boobies and got better looks at
    the Masked Booby. My photos show a greenish-yellow bill but I would have liked
    slightly better quality to be absolutely sure.
    our return trip from Catalina Island Sunday afternoon, we had an adult Masked
    Booby fly by at about 125 meters from the boat. We came away with the
    impression of a yellow rather than orange bill but were not willing to rule out
    Nazca. Later, a post on Facebook by Gregg Gentry showed a pair of nice close-up
    photos of what must have been the same bird since we saw the whale watching
    boat nearby just before we spotted the booby coming from its direction.
    conclusion, both birds are almost certainly Masked Boobies but I am reluctant
    to make it an absolute.
    Horned Larks seem to have had a very good nesting season; there were flocks
    flying all over the island. We saw only a couple of straggler Pigeon
    Guillemots. The only two possible migrants were a Common Yellowthroat and an
    American Kestrel. The canyon above Parsons Landing was very birdy but there
    was nothing unexpected.
    encountered very few seabirds during the crossings. Between Santa Barabara and
    Catalina Islands, we had 1 Cassin's Auklet, 1 Ashy Storm-petrel, 10 Pink-footed
    Shearwaters, 4 Sooty Shearwaters, and 3 Black-vented Shearwaters, in addition
    to a few dozen Western Gulls and a couple each of Double-crested Cormorants and
    Brown Pelicans.
    the crossing from Catalina to the mainland, we had 4 Pink-footed Shearwaters, 7
    Black-vented Shearwaters, 2 Red-necked Phalaropes, 1 Pomarine Jaeger, and 1
    California Gull, in addition to a few Western Gulls and Elegant Terns, plus 1
    Royal Tern and 1 Barn Swallow.
    next two-day Santa Barbara Island excursion is scheduled for September 25 and
    26. More information can be found at .
    Take care,
    Wildlife Biologist
    Whales & Wildlife
    P.O. Box 1667
    San Pedro, CA 90733
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  15. 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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  17. Pelagic Birding Dates LINK
    DATE: Apr 2, 2019 @ 10:27am, 3 year(s) ago
    Hi all,
    After the Island Packers Scrub-Jay Pelagic sold out last month we added a second trip in April with space available. It is next weekend on Saturday,
    April 6th . The focus of this trip is to get good looks at our local nesting pelagic species such as Scripps's Murrelet, Cassin's Auklet, Rhinoceros Auklet, Common Murre, Pigeon Guillemot, and others. We still have some Black-vented Shearwaters around,
    and the first few Sooty and Pink-footed Shearwaters have been seen lately. Also as the name implies we get off the boat on Santa Cruz Island to view the endemic Island Scrub-Jay.
    It is an 8 am to 5 pm trip aboard the Vanguard out of Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard, Ca. Reasonably price at $80
    Leaders will be: David Pereksta, Ryan Terrill, Hugh Ranson, and myself Joel Barrett
    More information can be found at or on my personal website
    Pelagic Birding and the Channel Islands National Park California
    Pelagic birding in and around the Channel Islands National Park and the Santa Barbara Channel. Information and trips.
    We also have two more full day pelagic trips running with Island Packers on July 14th and
    October 5th. Last year these trips sold out so don't wait too long to get your spot if you are interested. Again you can learn more about the scope of these trips over at
    All trips can be booked online at or over the phone 805-642-1393.
    I hope everyone is enjoying the spring birding,
    Joel Barrett
    Port Hueneme, Ca
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  19. Got Boobies? We do!! Ventura pelagic trip on 6 Oct 2018 LINK
    DATE: Oct 6, 2018 @ 10:56pm, 4 year(s) ago
    We had a very successful trip out of Ventura today with Island Packers. I had one twisted pelagic fantasy when I loaded my gear on the boat this morning and by 4 pm we had fulfilled it...we had all five North American boobies on one trip!! I imagine we are the first trip to achieve this in the ABA area.
    We started at Anacapa Island where we found the continuing Masked Booby on the cliff faces. As we headed south from there we picked up on a distant booby south of Anacapa that we suspected was a Red-footed. Captain Joel floored it and we caught up the the bird, which was indeed a dark morph Red-footed Booby. From there we birded our way down to Santa Barbara Island where we found the continuing Brown Boobies there (80ish birds) with the bonus of a Blue-footed Booby amongst them. As we left the island number five had appeared to elude us, but as we swung around to the east side of the island we encountered a large feeding flock of Black-vented Shearwaters and other birds when soon after the cry of "black-and-white booby" rang out. We put the pedal to the metal one more time and ran down another booby. We eventually got close looks at the bird and noted the orangish bill...Nazca Booby! All five North American boobies on the same day...amazing! Perhaps a once in a lifetime birding event.
    Beyond the booby extravaganza, we had good fortune with a number of other birds including several large flock of Black-vented Shearwaters, which totaled in excess of 6,000 birds. These flocks had other shearwaters mixed in including Pink-footed, Buller's, and a Manx; numbers of attending jaegers (Pomarines and Parasitics); and others including Red-necked Phalarope, Common Murre, Cassin's Auklet, and Northern Fulmar. Deeper water south of the northern Islands had more shearwaters including one of the few Sooties we saw all day, Black and Ashy Storm-Petrels (and a Least seen by a few of us), Long-tailed Jaegers, Sabine's Gulls, Common Terns, and a number of Craveri's Murrelets. All in all a day that will be remembered by everyone there. Some birders got all five boobies as lifers, which is completely unfair to those of us that needed 49 years to see them all in the ABA Area. ;-)
    Thanks to Island Packers and Captain Joel Barrett for supporting our pelagic endeavors, and the leaders that helped today (Adam Searcy, Hugh Ranson, and Wes Fritz).
    We hope to get more trips on the schedule out of Ventura next year.
    Dave Pereksta
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  21. San Diego pelagic: LAYSAN, 2 new RED-FOOTED & new MASKED Boobies, 12 Craveri's, S.P. Skua, B-f Albatross LINK
    DATE: Aug 20, 2018 @ 5:42am, 4 year(s) ago
    The 12-hour pelagic trip from San Diego on Sunday, 19 August, out as far
    as the 30-Mile Bank aboard GRANDE and sponsored by Buena Vista Audubon
    Society was wildly successful for quality birds. Best for San Diego
    waters was the LAYSAN ALBATROSS that plopped down near the boat only
    10.5 nm WSW of Sunset Cliffs (Point Loma), on our way back in. Before
    that, the best birds had been yet another, new RED-FOOTED BOOBY 24.4 nm
    WSW of La Jolla, also sitting on the water near the boat, and a close
    fly-by sub-adult MASKED BOOBY at the "182" site on the 30-Mile Bank.
    (Both of these birds were recognizably DIFFERENT from the ones we saw in
    the same general waters just two days earlier!!) At the end of the day,
    we heard that yet another RED-FOOTED BOOBY was riding along on another
    fishing boat, so we met that boat at the mouth of the bay and enjoyed
    following that bird back to the dock! Combined with the 3 BROWN BOOBIES
    seen, we had a three-booby day. A BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS made repeated
    passes close to the boat out at the 30-Mile, where there was also a
    distant SOUTH POLAR SKUA. And a total of 12 (6 pairs) of flighty
    CRAVERI'S MURRELETS were tallied, all well offshore. A BLACK TERN was
    seen by some, as was a WHITE-WINGED DOVE as we left the dock in the
    early morning. Photos of many of these birds will undoubtedly be posted
    by others. Offshore totals for the trip included:
    Pink-footed Shearwater: 90
    Sooty Shearwater: 2
    Black-vented Shearwater: 300
    Black Storm-Petrel: 350
    Ashy Storm-Petrel: 4
    Leach's Storm-Petrel: 15 (high)
    Least Storm-Petrel: 0 (a couple "maybe's" that were not seen well
    enough or photo'd)
    Brown Booby: 3
    Red-necked Phalarope: 50
    Red Phalarope: 200
    Pomarine Jaeger: 5
    Parasitic Jaeger: 2
    Long-tailed Jaeger: 1
    Cassin's Auklet: 6
    Sabine's Gull: 10
    Blue Whale: 1
    The next San Diego pelagic trips are scheduled for 23 September and 21
    October. See for more information.
    --Paul Lehman and leader contingent, San Diego
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  23. offshore San Diego: RED-FOOTED & MASKED Boobies, Least Stormies, Craveri's, Long-taileds LINK
    DATE: Aug 17, 2018 @ 3:40pm, 4 year(s) ago
    Several of us headed offshore on Friday the 17th from San Diego for 7+
    hours out to the 30-Mile Bank and return. Some good birds found, some
    late-summer specialties, and some dead zones. Totals offshore included:
    RED-FOOTED BOOBY: a dark-morph bird flew right by the boat 25.9 nm W of
    La Jolla. Photos. This bird looks very much like the bird(s) seen a
    week or so ago both at the end of the Mission Bay Jetty and offshore
    from a whalewatch boat (but which was much closer to shore than our bird).
    MASKED BOOBY: a near-adult was sitting on the water also near the
    30-Mile Bank, some 23.1 nm W of Point Loma. Photos. It seems as
    though, as of late, that Masked has become rarer than Nazca off CA....
    Least Storm-Petrel: total of 8, all at or near the 30-Mile Bank. None
    closer to shore.
    Craveri's Murrelet: total of 6 (plus 2 murrelet sp.), all pairs at or
    near the 30-Mile Bank
    Long-tailed Jaeger: 2 juveniles, one only 6.6 nm W of La Jolla, and the
    other out at the 30-Mile Bank where more typical
    Other species seen:
    Pink-footed Shearwater: 25
    Sooty Shearwater: 1
    Black-vented Shearwater: 50
    Ashy Storm-Petrel: total of ca. 30 birds is quite high for this late in
    the season off San Diego; peak numbers often in late May and June
    Black Storm-Petrel: total of 1800 included 1600 in several rafts on
    30-Mile Bank
    Cassin's Auklet: 3
    Pomarine Jaeger: 3
    Parasitic Jaeger: 1
    Red Phalarope: 100+
    Red-necked Phalarope: 40
    Sabine's Gull: 3 (incl. 1 juv.)
    Western Gull: 50
    Elegant Tern: 25
    The next scheduled pelagic trip off San Diego is this coming Sunday, but
    it is sold out. The next trip after that is in latter September and
    still has space. See for more information.
    --Paul Lehman and group, San Diego
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  25. Ventura pelagic trip report - 15 July 2018; multiple megas! LINK
    DATE: Jul 20, 2018 @ 7:32am, 4 year(s) ago
    I am finally getting a trip report out from Sunday's pelagic trip out of Ventura with Island Packers. We had some exceptional birds and photos of several storm-petrels have revealed that we had better birds than we knew. I will not go in to exhaustive detail of every segment of the trip, but will hit the highlights.
    We left Ventura on the Island Adventure and headed across the channel to Anacapa Island. Although there has not been any boobies on Anacapa yet in 2018, we had to look anyway and were stunned to find a Nazca Booby sitting on top of the arch! The bird sat there and preened in front of us for 20 minutes before we moved on. This is just the second Ventura County record (of a live bird) and one of less than 20 for California and North America. The day can't get any better than that...right Well maybe it did. We continued along the south shore of Anacapa Island where we found an American Oystercatcher in a place where we have seen them on past trips. Another California rarity and still before 9 am. You are welcome Logan.
    We then headed south of the islands to the areas we have been exploring on recent July trips. There were impressive numbers of Sooty and Pink-footed Shearwaters along the majority of the route and while riding a steep contour line to the south, the first scream of "Cook's Petrel!!" rang out for the day. Another was screamed out soon thereafter, but these first two were elusive and not seen by many. This is when the trip leader starts sweating bullets, but not to worry as we hit a steady stream of Cook's Petrels eventually getting some close passes and even small groups sitting on the water. Our ride south was littered with petrels and shearwaters. We also found a few late Scripps's Murrelets that Captain Jimmy expertly crept up on and allowed everyone on board to get great looks.
    After just crossing back into Ventura County waters, we found a large flock of storm-petrels sitting on the water (100+) that we crept up on. As we approached the flock a storm-petrel passed closely across the bow that I yelled out so the people in the bow could get on it. I shot a few photos since it was close and the verdict from the bow at the time was a dark-rumped Leach's Storm-Petrel. I will come back to this bird later. The flock flushed as we approached and the birds dispersed quickly. While the flock was primarily Ashy and Black Storm-Petrels, a small bird with a big white rump was seen briefly by only a few people before it disappeared. Some captured this bird in their photos of the flock and later analysis and consultation with experts proved it to be a Wedge-rumped Storm-Petrel! This is only the 14th record for the state, but most of the boat including myself did not see it. Thankfully some managed to get photos. While going through my photos of the flock, I found an apparent Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel that also eluded detection.
    As we continued on we had more storm-petrels including a few Townsend's, and a steady stream of shearwaters and the occasional Cook's Petrel. Several Long-tailed Jaegers and a South Polar Skua were also highlights. We eventually turned east and headed towards Santa Barbara Island to check the status of Brown Boobies at this little visited island. After running across several more Cook's Petrels that were farther east than we have ever seen in the region, we were several miles off the island when someone on the boat shouted "booby!" While I expected to see our first Brown Booby of the day, I was shocked to see a large white booby flying straight for the boat...our second Nazca Booby of the day!! Second record for Santa Barbara County and a very happy cadre of SBCo listers. The island did not disappoint as we had 50 Brown Boobies at Sutil Rock with several pairs exhibiting courting behavior. Hard to believe this species was rare in the region until just a few years ago. Upon leaving the island we started our slog back to Ventura against the swell and although the birds dropped off late in the day, we did have stellar looks at several Long-tailed Jaegers. Other birds seen throughout the day included Northern Fulmar, Black-vented Shearwater, Leach's Storm-Petrel, Cassin's Auklet, Common Murre, Rhinoceros Auklet, Pigeon Guillemot, Sabine's Gull, Red Phalarope, and Red-necked Phalarope.
    After getting home and not looking at any of my photos until Monday, I found my photos of the storm-petrel that crossed our bow and nearly had a heart attack. The camera captures what the eye can't see in an instant, and the photos revealed a stocky storm-petrel with a deeply forked tail, pale rump and back, bright carpal bars, and a contrastingly dark head. The field marks suggested this bird was likely a Markham's or a Tristram's Storm-Petrel. Upon consulting with a few experts who are familiar with these species, the responses came back overwhelmingly that the bird in question was a Tristram's Storm-Petrel! If accepted, this would be the first record of a free-flying bird in North American waters. We saw one on a 2007 July trip that was rejected by the CBRC, and two have been captured in mist nets on the Farallon Islands in recent years. I already posted a photo on Facebook and will cross post it to several lists. Our team will work up a submission to the CBRC.
    This was an amazing trip and we could not do it without the unwavering support of Island Packers and their staff. Joel Barrett and his passion for birds makes these trips happen on their end and we could not do it without him. Captain Jimmy McWaters handled the boat and got us on birds like the seasoned expert he is. Thanks also go out to Leanne Kleinsmith and Sam the whale man for their support to passengers throughout the day. Our leaders/spotters did a spectacular job finding birds and getting people on them all day so special thanks to Todd McGrath, Adam Searcy, Peter Gaede, Hugh Ranson, Wes Fritz, and Bernardo Alps.
    Our next scheduled trip is Oct 6, 2018 although we are discussing a chase trip out to the area where we had Cook's Petrels and storm-petrels. If we can get something scheduled I will announce it out to the listserves. Stay tuned.
    Dave Pereksta
    Ventura, CA
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  27. Upcoming pelagic trip out of Ventura on July 15 LINK
    DATE: Jul 3, 2018 @ 10:55am, 4 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 15. 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 southwest 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 Cooks Petrel, Red-billed
    Tropicbird, Least Storm-Petrel, Leach's Storm-Petrel, Townsend's Storm-Petrel,
    Guadalupe Murrelet and Craveri's Murrelet.
    Our trip to this area last year was outstanding and yielded Cooks
    Petrels, Black-footed Albatross, 45 Craveris Murrelets (!!), Brown Booby, and
    a variety of other pelagic species. Recent pelagic trips out of San Diego have
    found Craveris Murrelets, Nazca Booby, Masked Booby, and Townsends
    Storm-Petrel so there are some great birds in the Southern California Bight at
    the moment. 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.
    Summer trips in July and August coincide with the earlier
    parts of the southbound fall migration of arctic nesting species, the northward
    dispersal of southern nesting species, and the nesting and fledging periods of
    breeding species on the Channel Islands.
    Past trips have found Cooks Petrel (rare), Manx Shearwater (rare),
    Black-footed Albatross, Laysan Albatross (rare), Buller's Shearwater, Leach's
    Storm-Petrel, Blue-footed Booby, Brown Booby, Long-tailed Jaeger, South Polar
    Skua, Scripps's Murrelet, Craveri's Murrelet, Arctic Tern, and a variety of
    other shearwaters, storm-petrels, pelagic gulls and terns, phalaropes, and
    alcids. Patrolling the shoreline of
    Anacapa Island has yielded American Oystercatchers over the last few
    years. Summer is also an excellent time
    for Ashy and Black Storm-Petrels, and Cassin's Auklets. There is often a flock of 1000's of Black
    Storm-Petrels south of the islands that we will attempt to find. A few Rhinoceros Auklets and Common Murres
    should still be around, along with Pigeon Guillemots near the islands. Red-billed Tropicbird is always possible on
    summer trips, although not found every year.
    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 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, CA
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  29. Repositon cruise sightings May 1-3 LINK
    DATE: May 5, 2018 @ 7:32pm, 4 year(s) ago
    Leonie Batkin and I were on aHolland America Line ( New Amsterdam )reposition cruise from San Diego to Vancouver.
    Sightings below are from San Diego, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey, San Mateo, San Francisco, Sonoma
    and Del Norte Counties May1-3.
    May 2
    Santa Barbara County
    Murphy's Petrel ( 3 )
    San Luis Obispo County
    Murphy's Petrel ( 1 )
    San Mateo County
    Murphy's Petrel ( 1 )
    Laysan Albatross ( 3 )
    San Francisco County
    Murphy's Petrel ( 1 )
    Sonoma County
    Murphy's Petrel ( 1 )
    May 3
    Del Norte County
    Murphy's Petrel ( 1 )
    Hawaiian Petrel ( 1 )
    ( 2 ) Murphy's Petrels were inCurry County not long after crossing into Oregon.
    Other birds noted in Californiawere ( 53 )Black-footed Albatross, (41 )Northern Fulmars,( 300 )Sooty Shearwaters,
    ( 30 ) Pink-footed Shearwaters, ( 520 ) Leach's Storm-Petrels ( Del Note Co.), ( 34 )Black Storm-Petrels ( San Diego Co. )
    ( 28 )Red-necked Phalaropes,( 1 ) Red Phalarope, ( 12 )Pomarine Jaegers, ( 2 ) Parasitic Jaegers, ( 1 ) Long-tailed
    Jaeger ( San Mateo Co. ),( 183 ) Sabine's Gulls,( 1 ) Arctic Tern (Santa Barbara Co. ), ( 2 ) Marbled Murrelets,
    ( 2 ) Scripp's Murrelets ( San Diego Co. ), ( 6 ) Cassin's Auklets, ( 1 ) Rhinoceros Auklet, (7 ) Eurasian Collared
    Doves together on board with a Brown-headed Cowbird.
    We had heard oftwo other birders on board, but were not able to track them down. So there may be some additional
    Ron Thorn
    Redwood City, California
  30. -back to top-

-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'.