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   Rhinoceros Auklet
Rhinoceros Auklet
Cerorhinca monocerata

   Rhinoceros Auklet (Cerorhinca monocerata) - RHAU (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 trip report - Sun Oct 4. LINK
    DATE: Oct 7, 2020 @ 9:20pm, 2 year(s) ago
    Hello all, Belated trip report, it has been a busy week. Yes, the season has turned, the late season birds are here. Overall the weather was a bit less amenable than the forecast had suggested, this meant we had to go a bit farther north into the weather to get offshore. It worked, and were able to drive south in a following sea through the Pioneer Canyon and then stayed off the continental shelf until we had to head back to port. We started off nicely with a pair of Marbled Murrelets close to shore as well as a couple of Parasitic Jaegers. Heading offshore I did get a very troubling feeling, there was little to nothing other than Common Murres as we went out, it took a long time to see a shearwater! In fact I saw an Ashy Storm-Petrel before I saw a Sooty Shearwater on this trip. But once we arrived at the continental shelf things began to sort out with Sooty, Pink-footed, and Bullers shearwaters, Black-footed Albatross, as well as Rhinoceros and Cassins Auklets. It was a good day for Rhino Auklets, lots out there. Perhaps associated with these numbers we found two Tufted Puffins, a juvenile and a non-breeding adult; puffins at this time of year are very neat to see, so different from the summer. Heading south we picked up more Ashy Storm-Petrels, many Black Storm-Petrels and a Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel. South Polar Skua, two Long-tailed Jaegers (together) and Pomarine jaegers gave us the skua-jaeger grand slam. We picked up Blue Whales, which have been hard to find in central CA, we were able to share this information with Monterey Bay Whalewatch who are working with a TV/Film crew (BBC) and they have been looking for Blue Whales, fortunately our magic spot worked for them a couple of days later and they were able to get some footage that we may see in a documentary in the future! On our way back more Bullers Shearwaters showed up, and a flock of Sooty Shearwaters had an individual that was flying around with a darker underwing, a Short-tailed Shearwater. As well, about 10 miles offshore our first of the season Black-vented Shearwater showed up and a few more in the next 20 minutes or so. All jaegers and South Polar Skua, three species of storm-petrels and 5 species of shearwater, diversity is up! We have two spots on Oct 18, and a few more on the 24 th remaining. Also, I am doing a Big Walk for Rhinoceros Auklets a walking big day next week where I am asking for donations to Oikonos for the Ao Nuevo Island project, restoring habitat and monitoring Rhinoceros and Cassins Auklets on the island. Hopefully I can break 110 species on foot power, and will likely walk about 20 miles assuming I survive!! Please donate more details here: good birding! Alvaro Alvaro Jaramillo alvaro@...
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  9. Ventura Pelagic Trip with Island Packers - October 3, 2020 LINK
    DATE: Sep 27, 2020 @ 2:40pm, 2 year(s) ago
    Hi All
    is a reminder that Island Packers is offering an 11-hour deepwater
    pelagic trip from the Ventura Harbor at 7 am on Saturday October 3 and we still have some tickets available. This
    trip will allow us to get to offshore waters beyond the reach of most
    day trips where we will
    have a chance to see a number of outstanding pelagic birds and marine
    mammals. The waters around the northern
    Channel Islands can be very productive during the fall when hundreds
    (sometimes thousands) of shearwaters crowd into the inter-island gaps.
    We will be looking through flocks of Black-vented,
    Pink-footed, and Sooty Shearwaters for Buller's, Flesh-footed
    and Manx (rare) Shearwaters. This is peak season for seabird diversity
    so in addition to the species already mentioned, Black-footed Albatross,
    Black and Ashy Storm-Petrels, Cassin's and Rhinoceros Auklets, and
    Pomarine and Long-tailed Jaegers are all possible. It is also a good time of
    year for South Polar Skua (we had seven last year), Sabine's Gull, and Arctic Tern. Recent trips to Santa Barbara Island have seen a Blue-footed Booby among the large numbers of Brown
    Boobies there and we intend to visit the island on this trip. The Blue-footed bred with a Brown Booby and I saw a hybrid fledgling there earlier in September. There is also a potential for sought-after species
    like Cooks' Petrel, Least Storm-Petrel,
    Townsend's Storm-Petrel, and
    Craveri's Murrelet. The last few years have been exceptional for Craveri's
    Murrelet off southern California so our
    chances to find this elusive species may be good. We saw approximately
    32 Craveri's Murrelets on this trip last year! In
    addition, a multi-day trip I led out of San Diego a few weeks ago had Nazca Boobies on four consecutive days. Remember that this trip in 2018 had all five North American boobies in a single day! We
    will decide what our offshore destinations will be after reviewing
    oceanographic conditions at the time of the trip, which will help
    determine where birds and other marine life may be present.
    While I would normally go on more about the birds we might see, I am
    going to focus on safety related to the COVID-19 pandemic and how we plan to
    run the trip to minimize risk to everyone on board. First, we are running at a
    reduced capacity to ensure that passengers can sit/stand 6 feet apart. Masks/face coverings are REQUIRED
    at all times while on the boat. If you do not believe in wearing masks for some
    political, religious, or other reason, then this is not the trip for you. The
    exception is to eat or drink. We ask that when you are eating or drinking to
    distance one's self 6 feet away from other people not in your party. When
    eating and drinking remove your mask only sparingly, replacing it between
    drinks, or bites of food (use your best judgement). We also suggest bringing a
    few spare masks as you may want to put on a fresh one after several hours. Make
    sure you can comfortably wear the mask for extended periods of time. In
    addition, all the tables and handrails will be disinfected before boarding and the
    restrooms will be disinfected on regularly scheduled intervals. The handrails
    along the perimeter of the boat are marked at 6-foot intervals to help maintain
    social distancing while aboard.
    The trip will be on an ultra-fast catamaran that features a spacious
    and comfortable cabin, galley, and excellent viewing from both the upper and
    lower decks. A full contingent of outstanding seabird leaders will be present
    to make sure we see all that is out there. The Captain and crew know how to run
    birding trips and are enthusiastic and helpful. In addition, we work hard to
    creep up on birds and get them in the right light...photographers will not be
    Trips can be booked over the phone by calling (805) 642-1393 or online
    at by clicking the Reserve Trip tab, select the Special
    Trips tab, and select your desired departure. The cost of the trip is $170 per
    Hope to see you at sea!
    Dave Pereksta Ventura
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  11. Trip report - Record Black Storm-Petrel count!! LINK
    DATE: Sep 8, 2020 @ 10:52pm, 2 year(s) ago
    Hello all, We had an amazing pelagic out of Half Moon Bay yesterday in sunny weather. The storm-petrelpalooza continued, and numbers were even higher than on Saturday. We estimated 1600 Black Storm-Petrels during one hour long transect, with 60 or so Ashy Storm-Petrels, and 7 or so Wilsons Storm-Petrels. This is the highest number we can find for San Mateo county waters, ever. A record haul! What was just fantastic was that we not only found flocks, but the birds were coming very close to the boat when we sat and idled, with opportunities for great photography. I am sure that more fantastic photos will be uploaded to the list: Again, it is difficult to put into words how fantastic the experience was. Just non-stop storm-petrels, multiple views. Over and over, and you could really see the flight style differences between Ashy and Black storm-petrels. We are all still going through our photos, as hundreds if not more were taken by each person there with a camera! Some of the Black Storm-Petrels were in San Francisco county, but the big numbers were to the south in San Mateo. We found three Tufted Puffins, many and close Black-footed Albatross, an abundance of Common Murres, Rhinoceros Auklets, Pink-footed and Sooty shearwaters along with other common seabirds. Finally, jaegers were found in larger numbers, and all three species were seen including a fantastic adult Long-tailed right over our boat by Juan Pablo Galvan. Thanks for that spot! We were all looking at storm petrels, great that someone was looking up. The Humpback Whales put on an amazing show once again, with a group of feeding whales foraging right by the boat, putting on quite a show. We are heading out of Monterey on Saturday the 12 th , and return to Half Moon Bay on Monday Sept 14. There are 4 spots remaining for our Monday trip. You can reserve and book directly here: Good birding to you either on land or out on the water! Alvaro Alvaro Jaramillo alvaro@...
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  13. 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: 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: take care, Alvaro Alvaro Jaramillo alvaro@...
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  15. Pelagic report - Half Moon Bay Aug 30. Amazing abundance! and rarities. LINK
    DATE: Aug 30, 2020 @ 3:55pm, 2 year(s) ago
    Hello all, The trip started out slowly, with nearly nothing over the continental shelf on our way offshore. I was getting a bit worried, an Ashy Storm-Petrel about 15 miles offshore was a good sign though. Then we got to the continental shelf edge and it was just crazy, thousands of birds, and masses of Humpback Whales. Maybe 40 or so whales within a mile, and perhaps during the day we saw over 5-10% of the population of Pink-footed Shearwaters, thousands! They were at times much more abundant than the Sooty, just the perfect setup for a super rare shearwater to show up in. Our meter (the sonar) wash showing solidly 300-500 feet of solid bait fish below us, can you even imagine how many millions of anchovy that is Black-footed Albatross were a constant sight, and near the Half Moon Bay weather buoy we found a gorgeous juvenile Laysan Albatross in San Mateo county ( ), this is the first Laysan of the year for us. Ashy Storm-Petrels were in both San Mateo and San Francisco counties, while Black Storm-Petrel was only in San Mateo, and Fork-tailed was in San Francisco ( ). The jaegers, terns and Sabines are still largely missing, we wonder if they have not moved south yet or if they are going well offshore Lots and lots of both Red and Red-necked phalaropes. The numbers of Common Murres were huge, with nice looks at Rhinoceros Auklets and a bonus Tufted Puffin in San Mateo on the way back. Big surprise was a Lucys Warbler that flew around the boat and did not land. In the gray skies offshore it was tough to get a good handle of the ID, particularly since the bird had a dark looking throat from wet feathers there. But eventually when looking at the photos in the cabin it became clear that it was a Lucys, in San Francisco county, and this explained why it looked so tiny . It was flying with a Brown-headed Cowbird which weirdly enough would go and fly to it when the warbler became more distant, like it was trying to flock with it. Blue Sharks, and Mola mola were enjoyed along with the bird and whales. But definitely the super abundance of shearwaters and murres out there was what will be remembered. We have a few spots open still for the trip on Saturday. Monterey Albacore grounds on the 12 th is also open still. Alvaro Alvaro Jaramillo alvaro@...
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  17. Pelagic report - and Pelagic opportunities. LINK
    DATE: Aug 4, 2020 @ 4:10pm, 2 year(s) ago
    Hello all, My apologies for sending to various groups all at one time. But, this Saturday we did our first offshore pelagic of the season, from Half Moon Bay (San Mateo County). We have been doing trips to the Farallon Islands, but those have a limited time in deeper water, so I thought folks would be interested in knowing what is out there in the central CA offshore waters now. In short, it is pretty interesting and diverse with element suggesting this will be a warm water year with elements of the south moving north, and it is a season that is amazingly abundant as far as ocean productivity goes. We saw four species of storm-petrels, with groups of Ashy, and a scattering of Fork-tailed, Wilsons, and Black storm-petrels. The Black are always of interest to us, since they do not always make it to our latitude, being dependent on what the conditions are like farther to the south. The weather was choppy, with a flatter ocean we would likely have found more and larger flocks of storm petrels. Where we found them, the water was warmer and more translucent, offshore water. We did find all three jaegers, as well as South Polar Skua which was early. There are good densities of Cassins Auklets out there, we found a gorgeous adult Tufted Puffin as well as the more expected alcids including Marbled Murrelets at the coast. Good numbers of Black-footed Albatross and nice densities of Pink-footed and Sooty shearwaters, earlier in the season Bullers showed up (again early). Sabines Gulls are heading south, including our first juvenile of the season. Right now tens of thousands of Sooty Shearwaters are close to the beach in Half Moon Bay, this is a year with lots of anchovy, lots of krill and also squid. Abundance is the word. There is so much krill out there that the Cassins Auklets are trying to pull off a second brood due to the abundance of food. Meanwhile the Rhinoceros Auklets are feeding on 100% anchovy. The real oddity in the region has been the arrival of Bluefin tuna off Monterey, and Half Moon Bay. Big ones, averaging over 150 lbs each. This is not the norm, but is super exciting as it suggests northward movement of southern critters. Similarly, we had a good look at a Guadalupe Fur Seal offshore a little known marine mammal that seems to be found in warm water years. Warm offshore water has been peeking close to Monterey Bay recently. The combination of potential for some warm water birds offshore, and lots and lots of food closer to shore is great! We have consistently found awesome feeding congregations of Humpback Whales about 10 miles offshore. On this last trip we also found Fin Whale where the Cassins Auklets were (krill feeding we assume), and a super pod of hundreds and hundreds of Pacific White-sided Dolphins with a good number of the always dapper Northern Right Whale Dolphin. Blue Whale has been seen this year, but not this last weekend. It is early in the season and it is already pretty awesome offshore. I think this is going to be a great year for pelagics, and unfortunately not that many people are going to be able to enjoy it. We have a full schedule of trips out of Monterey and Half Moon Bay, Morro Bay is sold out, but are going with half or less of the boat capacity. On the trips we are encouraging people to be outside, in the breeze, social distance and to wear masks. As such, on the various trips we have done people have felt comfortable and safe. Key is to consider that the science clarifies that being outside, in the breeze, and in humid and salty air is a low risk situation. Crew are diligently disinfecting the boat, and ample sanitizer is available. One of the net benefits is a lot more room on the boats this year, and in Monterey keep in mind that the boats are much larger allowing for good spacing of birders and naturalists. Particularly this year, being out on the ocean is special, with nature abounding and away from the news, it is invigorating and good for the soul! Our next trip is an offshore Monterey trip on Aug 14, we are hoping to get into the real deep waters on this day and see if we can find some offshore murrelets and other goodies. The upcoming Farallon island trips are sold out. Our schedule of trips is here: See you at sea! Alvaro Alvaro Jaramillo alvaro@...
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    DATE: Oct 8, 2019 @ 8:37pm, 3 year(s) ago
    Howdy, Birders,
    Shearwater Journeys October 5, 2019 pelagic trip had several highlights, including a NAZCA BOOBY (photos), spotted by out-of-state birders, Dave and Tammy McQuade. This booby was in Santa Cruz County! It didnt stick around at all, just flying up the side of the boat, and straight on to wherever it was headed!
    We saw most of the regular fall seabirds: Black-footed Albatross; Northern Fulmar; Pink-footed, Bullers, and Sooty Shearwaters; South Polar Skua and Pomarine Jaeger; Sabines Gull; Common Murre; Pigeon Guillemot; Cassins and Rhinoceros Auklets and the Peregrine Falcon on the radio tower along Cannery Row.
    A BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE and TUFTED PUFFIN were surprises, both in Santa Cruz County. No storm-petrels at all were found.
    Marine mammals were pretty exciting with an albino Rissos dolphin just outside of the harbor; one blue whale, and about a dozen humpback whales were found. Northern right whale dolphins and Pacific white-sided dolphins rounded out the cetaceans for the day.
    We still have a couple spaces open on our next Monterey trip, Friday, October 11. Also, two birders have had an emergency and had to cancel the last trip of the season, Sunday, October 20. If you are interested in either trip, please email me: debi@... .
    Living the Salt Life, Debi Shearwater
    DEBRA SHEARWATER Shearwater Journeys, Inc. PO Box 190 Hollister, CA 95024 831.637.8527 debi@...
    Celebrating 44 Years of Seabirding with Shearwater Journeys
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    DATE: Oct 2, 2019 @ 4:13pm, 3 year(s) ago
    Hello, CAL Birders,
    After blowing at gale force all day and into the evening of September 28th (forcing us to cancel our Half Moon Bay departure that day), it was hard to believe that the seas would actually lay down enough for us to get out the next day.
    Much to our delight, the seas laid down nicely, and we had a beautiful day, September 29, 2019 on the Shearwater Journeys pelagic trip from Half Moon Bay.
    Id like to say that the light morph WEDGE-TAILED SHEARWATER was the highlight of the day, but sadly it was only seen by two birders on the boat. Perhaps, it will be found on another trip this fall. Its possible because weve done it before. Im unsure whether this shearwater was in San Mateo or San Francisco County. We are working on that.
    Nevertheless, Shearwater Journeys had a fantastic pelagic trip with nearly 100 BULLERS SHEARWATERS, one SHORT-TAILED SHEARWATER, 18 WILSONS STORM-PETRELS, 49 ASHY STORM-PETRELS, and 26 BLACK STORM-PETRELS. The storm-petrels, shearwaters, jaegers, and SOUTH POLAR SKUAS showed well in the stern where many folks obtained good images. SABINES GULLS were scarce with only 3 recorded. Only one ARCTIC TERN was recorded. BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSSES showed well and NORTHERN/PACIFIC FULMAR numbers increased to 22.
    A few CASSINS AUKLETS, plenty of RHINOCEROS AUKLETS, 2 TUFTED PUFFINS and nearly 2000 COMMON MURRES rounded out the alcids.
    Numbers of phalaropes were low with only 1 RED-NECKED and 3 REDS.
    The cetacean show was dominated by as many as 8 BLUE WHALES and 25 HUMPBACK WHALES, although one very friendly humpback whale stole the show popping up and looking at us repeatedly from one side of the boat to the other. I havent seen such a friendly humpback in a few years.
    Even though the sea surface temperatures at Monterey Bay averaged 60-62 F all day on Friday, September 27th, the SSTs at Half Moon Bay only two days later were much cooler, averaging 53-55 F. Lots of mixing going on! We birded in both San Mateo and San Francisco Counties.
    Shearwater Journeys next trip with space available is Friday, October 11 departing from Monterey. Email me for a reservation: debi@... .
    Living the Salt Life, Debi Shearwater
    DEBRA SHEARWATER Shearwater Journeys, Inc. PO Box 190 Hollister, CA 95024 831.637.8527 debi@...
    Celebrating 44 Years of Seabirding with Shearwater Journeys
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  23. 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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  25. 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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  27. 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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  29. Pelagic season gets more interesting! Aug 17 report - Half Moon Bay. LINK
    DATE: Aug 18, 2019 @ 12:29pm, 3 year(s) ago
    Penbirds and Cal Birders Yesterday was a great day at sea, with tons to look at and many arriving pelagic species for Northern California. A wonderfully close Laysan Albatross was a highlight, the bird was banded presumably from Guadalupe Island, Mexico and we will follow up on that. Lots and lots of Black-footed Albatrosses were offshore! We found the first Bullers Shearwaters and Black Storm-Petrels of the season for Northern California. Overall shearwater numbers were high, and constant. This was a pelagic with no dead zones. Three species of storm petrels, including Ashy and Fork-tailed, the Ashy were not clumped but were seen throughout the day including some as close as 7 miles from shore. We think that very soon we will find the big flocks sitting in the Pioneer Canyon. All three jaegers were found, although just ones and twos, and the first South Polar Skua up at this latitude for the year was fantastic to see. Sabines Gulls were in evidence, all adults. Quite amazing were the numbers of Arctic Terns out there, at one point we counted 70 in one spot! They were found over three hours of the trip, and were amongst the highest numbers of Arctic Terns we have ever seen out here, perhaps our record! The terns were actively foraging, not just passing through and were mainly adults. Alcids were superb, with the expected Pigeon Guillemot, Common Murre, Cassins Auklet and Rhinoceros Auklet. A Scrippss Murrelet was our second of the year, and Marbled Murrelets continue nearshore, now looking more wintery in their plumage. Photos of some of the birds here: There were lots of Pacific White-sided Dolphins offshore, along with a good number of the sleek and fancy looking Northern Right Whale Dolphin. Many Humpback Whales, although no active foraging. Non-bird highlight was the second Leatherback Sea Turtle of the season. However, it was only seen from the wheelhouse, and it dove and did not come back up unfortunately. There are countless groups of baby Mola mola (Ocean Sunfish) out there this year, much more so than usual. The water continues to warm up offshore, and even inshore water is consistently above 58 F, which is on the warm side of us here. Albacore water appears to be just out of reach right now from a typical pelagic, but that water may come closer to shore as the season progresses. The arrival of Black Storm-Petrels, are a sign of a warm water year, they are not always present at this latitude. Hopefully this means that Craveris Murrelets will be around this year. We had a stiff breeze from the south for the first hour of the trip, and later wind died to almost nothing for much of the trip, with large but rounded swells making for a pleasant trip weather wise. Spotters concluded that this was our best trip out yet this season, and a really great day out on any year! From the many smiling faces at the dock, it seemed that folks agreed. Our entire trip was in San Mateo county. We are returning to these waters next Saturday, there are spots left on that trip: good birding Alvaro Alvaro Jaramillo alvaro@...
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-revision history-
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