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 Month/Year Breakdown (Top 15):

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 Apr, 2007 - 4 e-mail(s)...
 Jul, 2002 - 4 e-mail(s)...



   Elegant Tern
Elegant Tern
Thalasseus elegans


   Elegant Tern (Thalasseus elegans) - ELTE (recent eBird sightings, view CBRC records, range map
)

  1. Reporting Elegant Terns rescued in 2021 LINK
    DATE: Aug 31, 2021 @ 10:11pm, 1 year(s) ago
    Hello,
    As many of you may know, in mid-May of this year the colony of Elegant Terns at Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve in Orange County abandoned its nests and took up residence on two debris barges in Long Beach Harbor. The birds re-nested on the barges, but once hatched it was found that the nestlings repeatedly wandered off the barges and, due to the height of the barges above the water, were unable to climb back up and were drowning. As a result, International Bird Rescue (IBR), the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), and other groups assisted in over 3200 rescues of juvenile Elegant Terns. These young birds had fallen off the barges and were unable to recover. The birds were either placed back on the barges after a full body exam, or transferred to the care center and later released. Early on, birds were marked with temporary pink in highly visible places (heads and breasts) and later approximately 1000 birds were both marked with pink and banded with metal and color bands.
    These birds represent a great opportunity to better understand Elegant Tern migration, dispersal, and life span, as well as providing a better mechanism for estimating survival and productivity.
    IBR and CDFW requested that I share the following links with instructions on how to report a banded Elegant Tern to either the IBR website or the USGS Bird Banding Lab (BBL), particularly if away from Long Beach Harbor. If you do not want to take the time to report in both locations, any bird reported to the IBR website will be reported to the BBL website by IBR staff.
    Thank you!
    https://www.birdrescue.org/contact/found-a-bird/reporting-a-banded-bird/
    https://www.usgs.gov/centers/eesc/science/bird-banding-laboratoryqt-science_center_objects=0#qt-science_center_objects
    
    --
    Ryan Winkleman
    Rancho Santa Margarita, (the crown jewel of) Orange County
    
    
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  3. 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 sandiegopelagics.com.
    
    --Paul Lehman, Dave Povey, Nancy Christensen, et al., San Diego
    
    
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  5. 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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  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. AUGUST 30 PELAGIC REPORT: MONTEREY BAY LINK
    DATE: Sep 3, 2019 @ 1:27pm, 3 year(s) ago
    Shearwater Journeys had a good trip departing from Monterey on Friday, August 30, 2019. We covered areas of both Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties. Due to the very calm seas we were able to get up to the finger canyons off Davenport. In that area, we encountered the frenzied activity of the humpback whales and bow-riding dolphins while various jaegers, terns and gulls flew into our chumming at the stern. The sea surface temperature hovered around 60 F throughout the day.
    Highlights included: black-footed albatross; sooty, pink-footed, and Bullers shearwaters; a couple ashy storm-petrels; pomarine, parasitic and long-tailed jaegers; Sabines gulls; a BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE; Arctic terns; one blue whale; about 15 humpback whales, 300 Pacific white-sided dolphins, and 50 Northern right whale dolphins. A BLACK TERN was off Point Pinos on our return to the harbor.
    RESERVATIONS: Our next trip with spaces available is SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7. We have upgraded to a larger vessel and have a number of spaces available at this time. If you are interested, please email me: debi@... .
    Many thanks to the birders who joined us on this trip, including birders from Brazil, Australia, and UK. The leaders on board included: Jim Holmes, Nick Levendosky, Alex Rinkert, John Garrett, Rick Fournier and Debi Shearwater.
    The complete species list follows: SHEARWATER JOURNEYS: AUGUST 30, 2019 MONTEREY/SANTA CRUZ COUNTIES: BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS - 5/8 PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATER - 30/100 BULLERS SHEARWATER - 0/19 SOOTY SHEARWATER - 415/870 ASHY STORM-PETREL - 0/3 BROWN PELICAN - 11/0 BRANDTS CORMORANT - 270/2 PELAGIC CORMORANT - 3/0 WHIMBREL - 2/0 BLACK TURNSTONE - 7/0 RED-NECKED PHALAROPE - 47/120 POMARINE JAEGER - 1/3 PARASITIC JAEGER - 1/1 LONG-TAILED JAEGER - 0/1 HEERMANNS GULL - 5/0 CALIFORNIA GULL - 42/66 WESTERN GULL - 82/91 SABINES GULL - 0/8 **BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE - 0/1 ELEGANT TERN - 1/0 ARCTIC TERN - 2/5 **BLACK TERN -1/0 COMMON MURRE - 300/145 PIGEON GUILLEMOT - 1/0 CASSINS AUKLET - 0/1 RHINOSCEROS AUKLET- 19/45 SEA OTTER - X CALIFORNIA SEA LION - X **NORTHERN ELEPHANT SEAL - 1, heard by Debi at the CG Breakwater BLUE WHALE - 1 HUMPBACK WHALE- 15 NORTHERN RIGHT WHALE DOLPHIN - 50 PACIFIC WHITE-SIDED DOLPHIN - 300
    Living the Salt Life, Debi Shearwater
    DEBRA SHEARWATER Shearwater Journeys, Inc. PO Box 190 Hollister, CA 95024 831.637.8527 debi@... www.shearwaterjourneys.com www.shearwaterjourneys.blogspot.com
    Celebrating 44 Years of Seabirding with Shearwater Journeys
    
    
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  11. 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, https://danawharf.com/birding-trips/ .
    eBird checklists are below my signature.
    Take care,
    Bernardo
    --
    Bernardo Alps
    Wildlife Biologist California Whales & Wildlife www.photocetus.com
    bernardo.alps@...
    310.597.0449
    P.O. Box 1667
    San Pedro, CA 90733
    https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S59390152
    https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S59390147
    https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S59390142
    https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S59390136
    https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S59390125
    https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S59390117
    
    
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  13. Two Masked (Nazca?) Boobies LINK
    DATE: Aug 26, 2019 @ 5:52pm, 3 year(s) ago
    Hi all.
    
    We
    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.
    
    During
    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.
    
    On
    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.
    
    In
    conclusion, both birds are almost certainly Masked Boobies but I am reluctant
    to make it an absolute.
    
    The
    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.
    
    We
    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.
    
    On
    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.
    
    The
    next two-day Santa Barbara Island excursion is scheduled for September 25 and
    26. More information can be found at http://catalinaexplorer.com/island-expeditions.html .
    
    Take care,
    
    Bernardo
    
    --
    
    Bernardo
    Alps
    
    Wildlife Biologist
    
    California
    Whales & Wildlife
    
    www.photocetus.com
    
    bernardo.alps@...
    
    310.597.0449
    
    P.O. Box 1667
    
    San Pedro, CA 90733
    
    
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  15. Santa Barbara Island, Osborne Bank, & offshore LINK
    DATE: Aug 3, 2019 @ 9:30am, 3 year(s) ago
    Birders,
    We are running a limited passenger trip. 2 full days of Birding, hiking, and boat tours to Santa Barbara island, Osborne Bank, and LA/Catalina offshore. Well be using the Magician
    as our home base.
    Planned Itinerary:
    8/23
    Boarding begins 8pm
    Depart San Pedro by 11pm
    
    8/24
    6:30am Breakfast & island briefing
    7:30am First transport to island
    9:00am Morning island inflatable tour
    Noon Return for Lunch onboard the Magician (or box lunch on island)
    1:00pm Afternoon transport to island
    1:00pm Afternoon inflatable tour
    1:30pm Move Magician to snorkel site
    5:00pm Transport from island
    6:00pm BBQ aboard the Magician
    
    8/25
    6:30am Breakfast
    7:30am Transport to island
    9:00am Morning inflatable tour
    11:00am Return to Magician
    Noon Lunch and depart Santa Barbara island, then Pelagic Birding all the way home.
    Planned birding areas: Osborne Bank, offshore banks west end Catalina, offshore banks off Palos Verde.
    At the dock San Pedro approx 6pm
    Sightings last trip:
    Western Gulls (1000+), Brown Boobies (70+), Black Storm-Petrels, Ashy Storm-Petrels, Pigeon Guillemots, Common Murres, Least Terns, Royal Terns, Elegant Terns, Sooty Shearwaters,
    Pink-footed Shearwaters, Bullers Shearwaters, Black-vented Shearwaters, Brandts Cormorants, Double-crested Cormorants, Brown Pelicans, and a Peregrine Falcon.
    Making landfall on the most remote of the Channel Islands can be difficult and not for everybody.
    This is a limited trip: only 16 birders, researchers, and NPS Rangers total.
    Great food & non-alcoholic drinks are included. (You are welcome to bring your own alcohol)
    Reservations:
    CatalinaExplorer.com
    Single occupancy: $350 pp
    Double occupancy: $270 pp
    Optional 2-3hr Inflatable tour: $80 pp
    Thanks,
    Capt. Carl
    
    CatalinaExplorer.com
    
    
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  17. Santa Barbara island/Osborne Bank LINK
    DATE: Aug 2, 2019 @ 3:25pm, 3 year(s) ago
    Birders,
    We are running a group of researchers and Natl Park Rangers out to Santa Barbara island. Departing 11pm 8/23, returning approx. 6pm on 8/25. It will be a day and a half birding/hiking
    at the island then the way home well head out to Osborne Bank and bird all the way back to San Pedro. There are a few spots left, email me for info.
    Sightings last trip:
    Western Gulls (1000+), Brown Boobies (70+), Black Storm-Petrels, Ashy Storm-Petrels, Pigeon Guillemots, Common Murres, Least Terns, Royal Terns, Elegant Terns, Sooty Shearwaters,
    Pink-footed Shearwaters, Bullers Shearwaters, Black-vented Shearwaters, Brandts Cormorants, Double-crested Cormorants, Brown Pelicans, and a Peregrine Falcon.
    Making landfall on the most remote of the Channel Islands can be difficult and not for everybody.
    Capt. Carl
    captaincarl@...
    
    
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  19. Re: [EBB-Sightings] Sandwich Tern (6/16/2019) - photos LINK
    DATE: Jun 17, 2019 @ 11:10am, 3 year(s) ago
    As one of the observers who saw a medium-sized dark-billed tern with a yellowish bill tip yesterday at Hayward Regional Shoreline, i want to lay out the timeline and my own analysis of the situation as i see it. On 6/15 at 2:40pm, Bob Richmond found, and then later both he and John Luther observed what they described as an adult Sandwich Tern in the main tern nesting pond at Hayward Regional Shoreline. Their observations are recorded in the eBird checklists below:
    https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S57415267 https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S57413288
    I can't comment on their sightings other than to note that they were likely significantly closer than we were for the majority of their observation time than i and the other observers the next day were. (They are both permitted to be inside an area where the general public is not allowed.) Also, i don't know of any photographs that either of them acquired on 6/15.
    
    The next morning (6/16), Jerry Ting, Juli Chamberlin, Bob Dunn, Joel Herr, and myself spent several hours scoping the tern nesting pond from the Least Tern sign, the closest publicly accessible spot to view this pond. Jerry had arrived the earliest, and had already observed a few Elegant Terns along with one dark-billed tern with a yellowish tip that he obtained a distant, blurry flight shot of. All of those terns had settled on the far side of the NE island in the tern pond by the time the rest of us had arrived. This island is roughly 300-350 meters from where we were standing. Knowing the bird in question was likely on the back side of that island, we kept a close watch there.
    
    While we waited, an Elegant Tern or two would occasionally pop up from the back side of the NE island, then settle back down, sometimes in view, sometimes out of view. About 70-80 minutes after Juli and i arrived, a medium-sized black-billed tern with a yellowish tip to the bill flew out from the back side of that island and landed on the front side, where it spent the next 15-20 minutes preening and getting us all very excited. Through our 85mm Swarovski ATX scope with 50x magnification and a 1.7x magnification extender, we could tell that the bill tip was distinctly yellowish, with the yellow restricted to approximately the last one inch of the bill. One oddity was that there seemed to be some pale coloration at the base of the bill, visible with scope magnification cranked up to the max (~85x). We knew that some juvenile Sandwich Terns show pale coloration beyond the tip, but in other respects the bird appeared to be an adult (and had been described as an adult bird by the two observers from 6/15). The forehead showed some white, which seemed to indicate it was starting to transition from alternate to basic plumage, though the black covered the crown and extended down to the nape. Wing color appeared very pale gray with darker gray wingtips, and legs were pure black. Crest did not appear quite as long and shaggy as Elegant Terns.
    
    After approximately 15-20 minutes of preening on the front of that island, the bird in question flew. It circled around the back of the tern pond then turned and headed roughly in our direction toward the bay. While flying past us at a distance of no more than 20-40 meters, Jerry Ting managed to get a couple of flight shots of the bird, which can be seen in his eBird checklist here: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S57431258
    Those shots clearly show fairly extensive orange coloration at the base of both the upper and lower mandible. They also show the yellow coloration at the tip seeming to blend somewhat with the black coloration and extend further down the bill instead of ending in a crisp demarcation that would normally be expected on Sandwich Tern. The structure of the bill also seems longer and "droopy" at the tip, exactly like the structure of an Elegant Tern bill. None of this
    
    was evident from our distant scope views, but i'm confident that the bird in the flight shots is the same one we observed preening on the front of the island. When i shared this photo with Alvaro Jaramillo, his opinion was that the photographed bird is an aberrant dark-billed but otherwise pure Elegant Tern, not a hybrid. Other expert opinions may differ, but it seems clear that either way, the bird we observed on 6/16 was not a pure Sandwich Tern.
    This leaves open the question about the bird observed on 6/15. I see just two possibilities:
    1)
    There were two medium-sized terns that both have mostly black bills with a yellow tip, both present in the same area at
    roughly the same time, associating loosely with a small flock of
    Elegant Terns, one of which was seen by on
    6/15 but (probably) not photographed, and one of which was seen and/or photographed on 6/16 by myself and others, yet at no time did any observers see these two dark-billed terns with yellowish bill tips together . 2)
    There was just one tern with a yellow-tipped black-ish
    bill, and the bird seen on 6/15 is the same tern that Jerry
    photographed on 6/16.
    Given the relative
    rarity of dark-billed Elegant Terns in general, and the extreme rarity of Sandwich Terns in California, it seems to me unlikely that one of each
    would show up at the same time in the same place, but never be observed together. In the absence of any other photographic evidence or further
    sightings of the putative second bird, i think the most parsimonious
    explanation is possibility #2 above. I was not present on 6/15, and the observers on that date were very likely much closer to the bird than we were, so it is entirely possible that the "two-bird theory" is true. I'll let the observers from 6/15 make their own case for their sighting. I've edited my own eBird report to dark-billed Elegant Tern for the bird i observed on 6/16.
    Bob Toleno Hayward
    
    toggle quoted message Show quoted text
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  21. Re: [EBB-Sightings] Sandwich Tern (6/16/2019) - photos LINK
    DATE: Jun 16, 2019 @ 8:58pm, 3 year(s) ago
    John
    Before the hybrid hypothesis catches too much fire. I am convinced that these birds are dark billed Elegants. Dark on the bill in Elegant Terns is common, the rarity in these cases is the extent. They can be nearly all black, like this one I saw in 2013 here in Half Moon Bay:
    
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/alvarojaramillo/9442203562/in/photolist-XsSNif-wSAYus-wnvJR7-fCuq4m-fo8utM-fonLa9-fdmzyT-fdmziP-fdmzr8-dUozc2-d75zfy-d75yGs-d75BBs-cRqARh-agA1zx-9VJghg
    
    The hybrids that have been identified on Isla Rasa, Baja California to my eye are again just Elegants with dark on the bill. There are color photos in the paper:
    http://www.marineornithology.org/PDF/40_1/40_1_25-29.pdf
    They spot various birds with dark on the bill, and assume they are all backcrosses from some original hybridization some time back. But they did not see any Sandwich (Cabot's) Tern while they performed their study. Again, I do not think they were considering that these were merely a variation in Elegant Tern. The bill shapes of these birds are classic Elegant, no sign of the shorter and straighter bill of Sandwich.
    So in summary, I do not think the current bird is a hybrid. I think it is a dark billed Elegant Tern.
    Alvaro
    
    Alvaro Jaramillo
    alvaro@...
    www.alvarosadventures.com
    
    toggle quoted message Show quoted text
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  23. 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): https://www.facebook.com/photo.phpfbid=10156552639453520&set=pcb.10156552647018520&type=3&theater 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@... www.alvarosadventures.com
    
      Virus-free. www.avg.com
     
    
    
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  25. RED-FOOTED BOOBY & IT'S A WRAP LINK
    DATE: Oct 22, 2018 @ 3:56pm, 4 year(s) ago
    Howdy, CalBirders,
    Shearwater Journeys last pelagic trip of the 2018 fall season was yesterday, October 21, departing from Montereys Fishermans Wharf.
    The highlight of the day was when Linda Terrill spotted a RED-FOOTED BOOBY about 12:27 p.m. in Santa Cruz County! It was a thrilling moment for everyone on board, especially Jim Lomax (who, I am certain did not think he would tick a new bird for Santa Cruz County!)
    Linda spotted the booby in a small flock of feeding gulls and pelicans. It made a speedy pass by our boat, flying off in a direction which made it impossible for us to chase it because of the choppy seas. (Yes, a beautiful marine forecast was predicted all week-long until the very morning of our trip! It wasnt awful, just a very annoying, small chop on the top. Im just now looking at the leaderss report and they called it squirrelly.) Quite a few birders looking for new ticks for Santa Cruz County were on board and, very happy. The Red-footed Booby was a life bird for some folks.
    A few images were made of the Red-footed Booby which will hopefully be submitted to the California Bird Records Committee. Jim Gain made a nice photo album of the trip which includes some shots of the booby: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jimgain-nature
    Other seabird highlights included: BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS, NORTHERN FULMAR; SOOTY, BULLERS, PINK-FOOTED and BLACK-VENTED SHEARWATERS; SOUTH POLAR SKUA; POMARINE and PARASITIC JAEGERS, arriving BONAPARTES GULLS; COMMON MURRE, RHINOCEROS and CASSINS AUKLETS, and a single TUFTED PUFFIN.
    Cetaceans included humpback and blue whales, and Rissos Dolphins.
    It was a very, very fun day out on the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary!
    This trip concludes our fall season of pelagic trips. Shearwater Journeys will have a full fall season of trips for 2019, including trips to the Farallon Islands, and trips departing from Monterey and Half Moon Bay. As most folks know, at the conclusion of the fall 2019 season, I shall be retiring after 44 consecutive years of California pelagic trips. To receive the 2019 schedule after the first of the New Year, sign up on our advance list email group at this link: https://us2.list-manage.com/subscribeu=92640607eb67e4b0bf1f55f6c&id=8601dfde41
    Many thanks to all of the birders, locally and from out-of-state, who participated on this trip. The leaders were: Linda Terrill, Scott Terrill, Nick Levendosky, Alex Rinkert, Jim Holmes, Sahas Barve, and Debi Shearwater.
    The complete species list for OCTOBER 21, 2019, Shearwater Journeys Monterey Bay pelagic trip follows, below, with Monterey/Santa Cruz Counties.
    COMMON LOON- 8/5 EARED GREBE- 1/0 BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS- 2/12 NORTHERN FULMAR- 9/10 PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATER- 67/260 BULLERS SHEARWATER- 5/75 SOOTY SHEARWATER- 34/80 SOOTY/SHORT-TAILED SHEARWATER- 11/3 BLACK-VENTED SHEARWATER- 12/3 ASHY STORM-PETREL- 0/1 **RED-FOOTED BOOBY- 0/1 BROWN PELICAN- 76/1 BRANDTS CORMORANT- 85/3 DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT- 2/0 PELAGIC CORMORANT- 1/0 SURF SCOTER- 18/0 RED-NECKED PHALAROPE- 14/0 RED-NECKED/RED PHALAROPE- 1/0 SOUTH POLAR SKUA- 0/2 POMARINE JAEGER- 1/6 PARASITIC JAEGER- 2/1 BONAPARTES GULL- 20/205 HEERMANNS GULL- 7/3 CALIFORNIA GULL- 36/200 HERRING GULL- 0/2 WESTERN GULL- 62/85 GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL- 0/1 ELEGANT TERN- 10/2 COMMON MURRE- 160/175 CASSINS AUKLET- 45/4 RHINOCEROS AUKLET- 710/160 TUFTED PUFFIN- 1/0 PEREGRINE FALCON- 1 on the radio tower along Cannery Row BLUE WHALE- 3 HUMPBACK WHALE- 4 RISSOS DOLPHIN- 25 OCEAN SUNFISH- 1
    Many thanks to everyone who participated on our fall season! Looking forward to seeing you next year.
    Seabirding for Science, Debi Shearwater
    DEBRA SHEARWATER Shearwater Journeys, Inc. PO Box 190 Hollister, CA 95024 831.637.8527 debi@... www.shearwaterjourneys.com www.shearwaterjourneys.blogspot.com
    Celebrating 43 Years of Seabirding with Shearwater Journeys
    
    
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  27. OCT. 13: MASKED BOOBY SCZ COUNTY LINK
    DATE: Oct 15, 2018 @ 10:29am, 4 year(s) ago
    Howdy, Birders,
    The highlight of Shearwater Journeys October 13, 2018 Monterey Bay pelagic trip was a MASKED BOOBY, only the third record for Santa Cruz County.
    It was a beautiful, calm day at sea with many highlights, including six species of shearwaters: SOOTY, SHORT-TAILED, PINK-FOOTED, MANX, BLACK-VENTED, and BULLERS. We also had wonderful views of BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS, POMARINE and PARASITIC JAEGERS, SOUTH POLAR SKUA, RED and RED-NECKED PHALAROPES, and RHINOCEROS AUKLETS.
    Marine mammals included at least 20 humpback whales, 150 Pacific white-sided dolphins, 10 Northern right whale dolphins, 28 Rissos dolphins, and one Northern fur seal, and the usual California sea lions and sea otters.
    The MASKED BOOBY was spotted about 11:40 a.m., attracted to the flock of gulls behind our vessel. It made a quick pass, flying rapidly off our bow. A dramatic chase by our Captain Tinker ensued! The booby landed on the sea with a small flock of gulls. Careful approach by our vessel allowed for a positive ID and a great many images! This was a lot of fun!
    Our last pelagic trip of the season is Sunday, OCTOBER 21 with leaders Alex Rinkert, Nick Levendosky, Jim Holmes, Debi Shearwater. Spaces are available. For a reservation, please email me: debi@... .
    The complete species list for OCTOBER 13, 2018 Shearwater Journeys trip covering both MONTEREY/SANTA CRUZ COUNTIES follows:
    PACIFIC LOON: 1/0 COMMON LOON: 7/11 BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS: 3/2 NORTHERN FULMAR: 3/6 PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATER: 160/205 BULLERS SHEARWATER: 6/6 SOOTY SHEARWATER: 120/32 SHORT-TAILED SHEARWATER: 3/0 MANX SHEARWATER: 1/0 BLACK-VENTED SHEARWATER: 2/0 **MASKED BOOBY: 0/1 BROWN PELICAN: 115/2 BRANDTS CORMORANT: 150/3 DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT: 1/0 RED-NECKED PHALAROPE: 60/6 RED PHALAROPE: 13/0 SOUTH POLAR SKUA: 1/1 POMARINE JAEGER: 0/1 PARASITIC JAEGER: 2/0 BONAPARTES GULL: 2/0 HEERMANNS GULL: 28/0 CALIFORNIA GULL: 115/96 HERRING GULL: 2/0 WESTERN GULL: 365/108 GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL: 1/0 ELEGANT TERN: 60/0 COMMON MURRE: 285/185 PIGEON GUILLEMOT: 1/0 CASSINS AUKLET: 6/1 RHINOCEROS AUKLET: 470/155 OSPREY:1/0 PEREGRINE FALCON: 1/0 WOOD DUCK: 1/0 WARBLER SP.:1/0
    The leaders for October 13 included: Scott and Linda Terrill, Nick Levendosky, Alex Rinkert, and Debi Shearwater. Special thanks to Nick for carrying my great pyrenees doggie, on and off the boat. It was her first pelagic trip and I think it will be her last! Shes not a sailor dog!
    See you out there! One more trip for 2018! Seabirding for Science, Debi Shearwater
    DEBRA SHEARWATER Shearwater Journeys, Inc. PO Box 190 Hollister, CA 95024 831.637.8527 debi@... www.shearwaterjourneys.com www.shearwaterjourneys.blogspot.com
    Celebrating 43 Years of Seabirding with Shearwater Journeys
    
    
  28. -back to top-
  29. RED-FOOTED BOOBY & IT'S A WRAP LINK
    DATE: Oct 22, 2018 @ 3:56pm, 4 year(s) ago
    Howdy, CalBirders,
    
    Shearwater Journeys last pelagic trip of the 2018 fall season was yesterday, October 21, departing from Montereys Fishermans Wharf.
    
    The highlight of the day was when Linda Terrill spotted a RED-FOOTED BOOBY about 12:27 p.m. in Santa Cruz County! It was a thrilling moment for everyone on board, especially Jim Lomax (who, I am certain did not think he would tick a new bird for Santa Cruz County!)
    
    Linda spotted the booby in a small flock of feeding gulls and pelicans. It made a speedy pass by our boat, flying off in a direction which made it impossible for us to chase it because of the choppy seas. (Yes, a beautiful marine forecast was predicted all week-long until the very morning of our trip! It wasnt awful, just a very annoying, small chop on the top. Im just now looking at the leaderss report and they called it squirrelly.) Quite a few birders looking for new ticks for Santa Cruz County were on board and, very happy. The Red-footed Booby was a life bird for some folks.
    
    A few images were made of the Red-footed Booby which will hopefully be submitted to the California Bird Records Committee. Jim Gain made a nice photo album of the trip which includes some shots of the booby:
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/jimgain-nature
    
    Other seabird highlights included: BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS, NORTHERN FULMAR; SOOTY, BULLERS, PINK-FOOTED and BLACK-VENTED SHEARWATERS; SOUTH POLAR SKUA; POMARINE and PARASITIC JAEGERS, arriving BONAPARTES GULLS; COMMON MURRE, RHINOCEROS and CASSINS AUKLETS, and a single TUFTED PUFFIN.
    
    Cetaceans included humpback and blue whales, and Rissos Dolphins.
    
    It was a very, very fun day out on the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary!
    
    This trip concludes our fall season of pelagic trips. Shearwater Journeys will have a full fall season of trips for 2019, including trips to the Farallon Islands, and trips departing from Monterey and Half Moon Bay. As most folks know, at the conclusion of the fall 2019 season, I shall be retiring after 44 consecutive years of California pelagic trips. To receive the 2019 schedule after the first of the New Year, sign up on our advance list email group at this link:
    https://us2.list-manage.com/subscribeu=92640607eb67e4b0bf1f55f6c&id=8601dfde41
    
    Many thanks to all of the birders, locally and from out-of-state, who participated on this trip. The leaders were: Linda Terrill, Scott Terrill, Nick Levendosky, Alex Rinkert, Jim Holmes, Sahas Barve, and Debi Shearwater.
    
    The complete species list for OCTOBER 21, 2019, Shearwater Journeys Monterey Bay pelagic trip follows, below, with Monterey/Santa Cruz Counties.
    
    COMMON LOON- 8/5
    EARED GREBE- 1/0
    BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS- 2/12
    NORTHERN FULMAR- 9/10
    PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATER- 67/260
    BULLERS SHEARWATER- 5/75
    SOOTY SHEARWATER- 34/80
    SOOTY/SHORT-TAILED SHEARWATER- 11/3
    BLACK-VENTED SHEARWATER- 12/3
    ASHY STORM-PETREL- 0/1
    **RED-FOOTED BOOBY- 0/1
    BROWN PELICAN- 76/1
    BRANDTS CORMORANT- 85/3
    DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT- 2/0
    PELAGIC CORMORANT- 1/0
    SURF SCOTER- 18/0
    RED-NECKED PHALAROPE- 14/0
    RED-NECKED/RED PHALAROPE- 1/0
    SOUTH POLAR SKUA- 0/2
    POMARINE JAEGER- 1/6
    PARASITIC JAEGER- 2/1
    BONAPARTES GULL- 20/205
    HEERMANNS GULL- 7/3
    CALIFORNIA GULL- 36/200
    HERRING GULL- 0/2
    WESTERN GULL- 62/85
    GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL- 0/1
    ELEGANT TERN- 10/2
    COMMON MURRE- 160/175
    CASSINS AUKLET- 45/4
    RHINOCEROS AUKLET- 710/160
    TUFTED PUFFIN- 1/0
    PEREGRINE FALCON- 1 on the radio tower along Cannery Row
    BLUE WHALE- 3
    HUMPBACK WHALE- 4
    RISSOS DOLPHIN- 25
    OCEAN SUNFISH- 1
    
    Many thanks to everyone who participated on our fall season!
    Looking forward to seeing you next year.
    
    Seabirding for Science,
    Debi Shearwater
    
    DEBRA SHEARWATER
    Shearwater Journeys, Inc.
    PO Box 190
    Hollister, CA 95024
    831.637.8527
    debi@...
    www.shearwaterjourneys.com
    www.shearwaterjourneys.blogspot.com
    
    Celebrating 43 Years of Seabirding with Shearwater Journeys
  30. -back to top-


-revision history-
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