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 Month/Year Breakdown (Top 15):

 Sep, 2015 - 9 e-mail(s)...
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 Sep, 2017 - 8 e-mail(s)...
 Sep, 2006 - 7 e-mail(s)...
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 Sep, 2018 - 4 e-mail(s)...
 Sep, 2005 - 4 e-mail(s)...
 Sep, 2021 - 3 e-mail(s)...

   Common Tern
Common Tern
Sterna hirundo

   Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) - COTE (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. 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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  9. San Diego pelagic 9/19: Red-footed Booby, Buller's, Least Storm-Petrels, L-t Jaeger LINK
    DATE: Sep 20, 2020 @ 5:38am, 2 year(s) ago
    The San Diego pelagic trip on 19 September, sponsored by Buena Vista Audubon Society, was aboard "Legacy" out of Mission Bay. We went out to
    the 9-Mile and 30-Mile Banks, as usual. Sea conditions were a bit bumpy and choppy when traveling west and northwest, but fine when going all other directions. The sea conditions made spotting some storm-petrels and all alcids difficult. Highlights included a cafe-au-lait Red-footed
    Booby just shy of the 30-Mile Bank, a Buller's Shearwater only 2 miles off the beach, a juvenile Long-tailed Jaeger, and some 6 Least Storm-Petrels, mostly on the 9-Mile Bank. Photos of all of these will appear in upcoming eBird lists. As has been the case now for a solid year, overall numbers for most species are fairly low and there are appreciable stretches with very low numbers of birds. Species seen offshore (beyond 2 miles) were:
    Red-necked Phalarope 30
    Red Phalarope 1
    Pomarine Jaeger 7
    Parasitic Jaeger 2
    LONG-TAILED JAEGER 1 juv. (21 mi. WSW of Point Loma)
    jaeger sp. 2
    Sabine's Gull 1
    California Gull 7
    Western Gull 240
    Common Tern 7
    Elegant Tern 35
    Leach's Storm-Petrel 5
    Black Storm-Petrel 48
    LEAST STORM-PETREL 6 (5 along outer edge of 9-Mile Bank, 1 'only' ca. 8.5 mi. W of Sunset Cliffs)
    Pink-footed Shearwater 28
    BULLER'S SHEARWATER 1 (only 2 mi. off Ocean Beach)
    Sooty Shearwater 1
    Black-vented Shearwater 1150
    Brown Booby 1
    RED-FOOTED BOOBY 1 (26.3 mi WSW La Jolla, near inside edge of 30-Mile Bank)
    Brown Pelican 1
    Brandt's Cormorant 1
    The next (and last trip for 2020) pelagic trip is again aboard "Legacy" out of Seaforth Sportfishing and is scheduled for 4 October. Ten hours, and presumably we will return to the 9-Mile and 30-Mile Bank areas. Details at
    --Paul Lehman, Dave Povey, Nancy Christensen, et al., San Diego
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  11. 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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  13. 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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  15. Dana Wharf Pelagic Last Friday LINK
    DATE: Sep 2, 2019 @ 3:54am, 3 year(s) ago
    Hi all.
    We had a pretty spectacular pelagic birding trip aboard Dana Wharf's Ocean Adventures out of Dana Point Harbor last Friday. Conditions were perfect with smooth seas and clear skies; some fog was present but far enough not to be a factor. We checked the inside and outside of the breakwater, then headed pretty much straight to the 14 Mile Bank, traveled east parallel to the coast for a while and then returned to Dana Point.
    Overall numbers of birds were low again, but we had a nice variety. We saw very few birds from about four miles out to the bank. And the bank itself was completely deserted. But soon after leaving the top of the bank things began to happen. First, we found a small flock of storm-petrels that allowed a relatively close approach and allowed us to compare Ashy and Black Storm-petrels side by side, noting the difference in size and color. Next, we had the only pair of alcids for the day, a pair of Scripps's Murrelets that also allowed a relatively close approach but made a point of only showing us their tail ends. When they took flight, we were able to see the dark underwing and I called them Craveri's based on that. Later examination of my photos revealed that the underwing only appeared dark because of heavy molt.
    The first of seven Sabine's Gulls was an apparent second-year bird sitting on a kelp paddy. When it took flight, we were able to see the striking upperwing pattern. We then entered an area with close to 100 of Common Terns, with our first sighting being of a flock of nine sitting on the water in that front-heavy way that terns have. Two jaegers were in the same area, and although one was originally identified as a Parasitic, photos revealed both to be Long-tailed Jaegers. We also found a Red Phalarope that stayed close to a Red-necked Phalarope both on the water and in flight allowing for a nice comparison.
    In the harbor at the beginning of the trip, we had most of the expected species, including one Yellow-crowned Night Heron, and one each Whimbrel, Long-billed Curlew, Black Turnstone, Spotted Sandpiper, and Willet, in addition to a half dozen Black Oystercatchers.
    Numbers of pelagic sightings:
    Red-necked Phalarope 13 Red Phalarope 1 Scripps's Murrelet 2 Parasitic Jaeger 1 Long-tailed Jaeger 2 Sabine's Gull 7 Heermann's Gull 15 Western Gull 85 Common Tern 80 Elegant Tern 65 Pink-footed Shearwater 3 Sooty Shearwater 1 Black-vented Shearwater 87 Ashy Storm-petrel 4 Black Storm-petrel 7 Brandt's Cormorant 40 Brown Pelican 15
    The next four-hour Dana Wharf pelagic birding trip is scheduled for Friday, October 4, .
    eBird checklists are below my signature.
    Take care,
    Bernardo Alps
    Wildlife Biologist California Whales & Wildlife
    P.O. Box 1667
    San Pedro, CA 90733
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  17. 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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  19. 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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  21. Fantastic pelagic yesterday! Half Moon Bay. LINK
    DATE: May 5, 2019 @ 8:28pm, 3 year(s) ago
    Hello PenBirds and Calbirds. The weather was outstanding as was forecast, but what I did not expect was the level of activity out there. It was non-stop birds and whales for the entire trip. On Monday Dennis Baxter our captain had mentioned to me that a big influx of shearwaters had come in, with small gulls with black heads and albatross close to shore. The bait (mainly anchovy) has been thick between Half Moon Bay and Monterey, even though we have not had that much of the winds that power upwelling. Right now, there is a ton of food out there. Humpback Whales were plentiful, and we saw them lunge feeding. Two different large pods of Rissos Dolphins were good, along with a smattering of Pacific White-sided Dolphins. We found fur seals, in larger numbers than the norm and several appeared to be Guadalupe Fur Seals. Something is going on right now with this species, they are stranding on shore in larger numbers than usual. It may be a leading indicator of too warm a situation to our south or offshore I dont know. But on to the birds! We found our highest (that I recall) number of Tufted Puffins away from the Farallon Islands, 8-9 birds in full, and I mean full breeding splendor. They were scattered throughout the trip. Rhinoceros Auklets started to show up just a few miles from shore and were common we found several hundred and many gave great views. Several thousand murres showed, along with over a hundred Cassins Auklets. These species were particularly easy to see, and to photograph yesterday. Sooty Shearwaters were thick, and Pink-footed was common lots of molting adults, and a fair share of juveniles. The Black-footed Albatross show was nice, with about 50 birds through the day, but unfortunately we did not find a Laysan. Perhaps the most fun aspect was that we got into the migration corridor of jaegers and Sabines Gulls, with nice densities of both. But the adult breeding, full spoons, Pomarine Jaegers stole the show. A parade of them, and many of them close up and personal! One nice breeding plumaged Parasitic went by as well. A smattering of offshore Bonapartes Gulls was a staple of spring trips, and a few offshore Elegant Terns were unexpected. We hit the push of Red-necked Phalaropes, which seemed to be mostly females in breeding plumage. Well over a 1000 birds, and a smattering of breeding Red Phalaropes farther offshore. At one point the phalaropes got up high over the water, in dense flocks. Odd behavior! Then we saw a juvenile Peregrine Falcon out there hunting seabirds, that was awesome. Some Peregrines do this, but it seems that it only happens when the sea is flat and visibility is very good. We did not see it go for anything, but from the reaction of the phalaropes, it seemed that he was looking for them. Closer to shore the migration of Pacific Loons, as well as a few Red-throated and Common gave us great views of these guys. Two Common Terns were offshore as well. But really, it was the great views and non-stop action that made it a fantastic trip. Great photos were taken by many participants, in great light. I setup a gallery on Facebook of some of the birds we saw (hopefully this is visible to all): Spring pelagics can be fantastic, and this was one of them. But the real message here is that if this is a prelude to our pelagic season this year. We are in for a treat! Of course things change, and in a couple of months it could be different. But being optimistic, I am hoping that the masses of food, whales and birds stick around and we can enjoy some more great birding offshore later on in the year. Good birding, Alvaro Alvaro Jaramillo alvaro@...
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  23. 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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    DATE: Sep 20, 2018 @ 6:09pm, 4 year(s) ago
    Hello, Birders,
    This is a bit late reporting for a 44 mile offshore albacore trip which departed from Monterey on 15 September. We covered three counties. In SAN MATEO COUNTY we found the following seabirds: BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS, NORTHERN FULMAR; PINK-FOOTED, SOOTY, and BULLERS SHEARWATERS; FORK-TAILED and ASHY STORM-PETRELS; RED-NECKED PHALAROPE; POMARINE and LONG-TAILED JAEGERS; ARCTIC and COMMON TERNS; COMMON MURRE, CASSINS and RHINOCEROS AUKLETS.
    We have pelagic trips this weekend, both departing from Half Moon Bay, as follows:
    SAT, SEP. 22 with leaders Steve Tucker, Alex Rinkert, Steve Hampton, Debi Shearwater.
    SUN, SEP. 23 with leaders Peter Pyle, Scott Terrill, Linda Terrill, Tim Miller, Abe Borker, Debi Shearwater.
    We have a few spaces open on each trip. To make a reservation, please email me: debi@... .
    Beat the heat and head offshore!
    At least part of every ocean basin on Earth saw record-warm SSTs during August 2018. NOAA Global Climate Report- August 2018.
    Seabirding for Science,
    Debi Shearwater
    Shearwater Journeys, Inc.
    PO Box 190
    Hollister, CA 95024
    Celebrating 43 Years of Seabirding with Shearwater Journeys
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  27. Laysan Albatross - Half Moon Bay pelagic. LINK
    DATE: Sep 14, 2018 @ 10:46am, 4 year(s) ago
    Hello all, Great boat trip yesterday out of Half Moon Bay, it started off slowly but built up to a nice finish. We covered water in San Mateo and San Francisco counties. The highlight was a Laysan Albatross with orange-red band (presumably from Mexican breeding population), it was feeding on a big dead Humboldt Squid! We also found a near adult Brown Booby. Both of these birds were in San Mateo. A South Polar Skua, all three species of jaegers, as well as the regularly occurring shearwaters (Sooty, Pink-footed and Bullers), Black-footed Albatross, and alcids (Rhinoceros Auklet, Common Murre, as well as Marbled Murrelet). Both Arctic and Common terns were found, but only a single Sabines Gull. We did find small flocks of Ashy Storm-Petrel, and a single Fork-tailed but no Black SP yesterday. Blue Whale was great to see. We are looking forward to our trips this weekend, there is room on tomorrow and Sundays boat. Good birding Alvaro Alvaro Jaramillo alvaro@... 
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  29. 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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