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 Oct, 2007 - 5 e-mail(s)...

   Sabine's Gull
Sabine's Gull
Xema sabini

   Sabine's Gull (Xema sabini) - SAGU (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. 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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  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. Ventura pelagic trip - 5 Oct 2019 LINK
    DATE: Oct 5, 2019 @ 10:58pm, 3 year(s) ago
    Tired after a full day on the ocean so here is a quick trip report for our pelagic trip today with Island Packers out of Ventura. Low winds, mild seas, and clear skies made for a great day on the water that was characterized by impressive seabird numbers and diversity. Our trip took us from the Ventura Harbor to Anacapa Island, the waters south of the northern Channel Islands west to the Santa Cruz Canyon, across the Santa Cruz Basin to the Pilgrim Bank, and then back to Ventura. Other than a few slow spots we had numbers of birds spread throughout the day with the following highlights:
    Brown Booby on the Anacapa Arch - our only booby of the day Craveri's Murrelets - 32 plus a number of "sps" that were likely Craveri's Scripps's Murrelet - 1 very unseasonal bird that gave extended views near the boat
    Cassin's Auklets - several including at least one cooperative bird near the boat South Polar Skua - at least 7; most giving great views Parasitic, Pomarine, and Long-tailed Jaegers Buller's Shearwaters - two elusive individuals among the larger Pink-footed flocks Pink-footed Shearwater - 500+ including several sizable flocks south of the islands Sooty Shearwater - scattered individuals among the Pink-footed flocks Black-vented Shearwater - 600+ in the Santa Barbara Channel
    Black Storm-Petrel - 500+ including several large flocks Ashy Storm-Petrel - scattered individuals Leach's Storm-Petrel - one bird seen by only a few people Northern Fulmar - only one all day Sabine's Gull - only one all day Red-necked Phalarope - modest numbers; surprisingly no Reds
    One odd looking shearwater passed the boat that may have been a Wedge-tailed Shearwater, but it was gone quickly and not refound. Had to let that one go.
    Thanks to Island Packers for another great trip...we hope to have more scheduled in 2020.
    Dave Pereksta Ventura
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  15. 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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  17. 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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  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. 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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  23. 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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  25. San Diego pelagic: LAYSAN, 2 new RED-FOOTED & new MASKED Boobies, 12 Craveri's, S.P. Skua, B-f Albatross LINK
    DATE: Aug 20, 2018 @ 5:42am, 4 year(s) ago
    The 12-hour pelagic trip from San Diego on Sunday, 19 August, out as far
    as the 30-Mile Bank aboard GRANDE and sponsored by Buena Vista Audubon
    Society was wildly successful for quality birds. Best for San Diego
    waters was the LAYSAN ALBATROSS that plopped down near the boat only
    10.5 nm WSW of Sunset Cliffs (Point Loma), on our way back in. Before
    that, the best birds had been yet another, new RED-FOOTED BOOBY 24.4 nm
    WSW of La Jolla, also sitting on the water near the boat, and a close
    fly-by sub-adult MASKED BOOBY at the "182" site on the 30-Mile Bank.
    (Both of these birds were recognizably DIFFERENT from the ones we saw in
    the same general waters just two days earlier!!) At the end of the day,
    we heard that yet another RED-FOOTED BOOBY was riding along on another
    fishing boat, so we met that boat at the mouth of the bay and enjoyed
    following that bird back to the dock! Combined with the 3 BROWN BOOBIES
    seen, we had a three-booby day. A BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS made repeated
    passes close to the boat out at the 30-Mile, where there was also a
    distant SOUTH POLAR SKUA. And a total of 12 (6 pairs) of flighty
    CRAVERI'S MURRELETS were tallied, all well offshore. A BLACK TERN was
    seen by some, as was a WHITE-WINGED DOVE as we left the dock in the
    early morning. Photos of many of these birds will undoubtedly be posted
    by others. Offshore totals for the trip included:
    Pink-footed Shearwater: 90
    Sooty Shearwater: 2
    Black-vented Shearwater: 300
    Black Storm-Petrel: 350
    Ashy Storm-Petrel: 4
    Leach's Storm-Petrel: 15 (high)
    Least Storm-Petrel: 0 (a couple "maybe's" that were not seen well
    enough or photo'd)
    Brown Booby: 3
    Red-necked Phalarope: 50
    Red Phalarope: 200
    Pomarine Jaeger: 5
    Parasitic Jaeger: 2
    Long-tailed Jaeger: 1
    Cassin's Auklet: 6
    Sabine's Gull: 10
    Blue Whale: 1
    The next San Diego pelagic trips are scheduled for 23 September and 21
    October. See for more information.
    --Paul Lehman and leader contingent, San Diego
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  27. offshore San Diego: RED-FOOTED & MASKED Boobies, Least Stormies, Craveri's, Long-taileds LINK
    DATE: Aug 17, 2018 @ 3:40pm, 4 year(s) ago
    Several of us headed offshore on Friday the 17th from San Diego for 7+
    hours out to the 30-Mile Bank and return. Some good birds found, some
    late-summer specialties, and some dead zones. Totals offshore included:
    RED-FOOTED BOOBY: a dark-morph bird flew right by the boat 25.9 nm W of
    La Jolla. Photos. This bird looks very much like the bird(s) seen a
    week or so ago both at the end of the Mission Bay Jetty and offshore
    from a whalewatch boat (but which was much closer to shore than our bird).
    MASKED BOOBY: a near-adult was sitting on the water also near the
    30-Mile Bank, some 23.1 nm W of Point Loma. Photos. It seems as
    though, as of late, that Masked has become rarer than Nazca off CA....
    Least Storm-Petrel: total of 8, all at or near the 30-Mile Bank. None
    closer to shore.
    Craveri's Murrelet: total of 6 (plus 2 murrelet sp.), all pairs at or
    near the 30-Mile Bank
    Long-tailed Jaeger: 2 juveniles, one only 6.6 nm W of La Jolla, and the
    other out at the 30-Mile Bank where more typical
    Other species seen:
    Pink-footed Shearwater: 25
    Sooty Shearwater: 1
    Black-vented Shearwater: 50
    Ashy Storm-Petrel: total of ca. 30 birds is quite high for this late in
    the season off San Diego; peak numbers often in late May and June
    Black Storm-Petrel: total of 1800 included 1600 in several rafts on
    30-Mile Bank
    Cassin's Auklet: 3
    Pomarine Jaeger: 3
    Parasitic Jaeger: 1
    Red Phalarope: 100+
    Red-necked Phalarope: 40
    Sabine's Gull: 3 (incl. 1 juv.)
    Western Gull: 50
    Elegant Tern: 25
    The next scheduled pelagic trip off San Diego is this coming Sunday, but
    it is sold out. The next trip after that is in latter September and
    still has space. See for more information.
    --Paul Lehman and group, San Diego
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  29. August 25 pelagic trip to Tanner and Cortez Banks LINK
    DATE: Aug 2, 2018 @ 2:16pm, 4 year(s) ago
    I have organized a pelagic trip to the Cortez and Tanner Banks at the end of this month. The basic details are: departure from Dana Point aboard the R/V Sea Explorer, leaving at 1 AM and returning at 9 PM on Saturday, August 25 (20 hours); there are NO bunks or full galley on board, but possibly enough room to sleep on the floor or benches inside (plenty of room outside). The per person cost is $200, and there are only TWO spaces remaining.
    This should be an excellent opportunity to see species like Black-footed Albatross, Leach's Storm-Petrel, Red-billed Tropicbird, Craveri's Murrelet, Arctic Tern, South Polar Skua, and Long-tailed Jaeger. It is also a good opportunity to look for rare species such as Cook's and Hawaiian Petrels, Townsend's Storm-Petrel, Least Storm-Petrel, and Guadalupe Murrelet. On July 15 a trip from Ventura to nearby waters recorded nearly 100 Cook's Petrels, Tristram's Storm-Petrel, Wedge-rumped Storm-Petrel, two Nazca Boobies, Long-tailed Jaeger, South Polar Skua, Sabine's Gull, and Black, Ashy, and Leach's Storm-Petrels. Additionally, t hree Townsend's Storm-Petrels were photographed on a trip out of San Diego on July 29. <
    If you are interested in going or have any questions, please email me back (off list) and I will send you additional details and/or payment information.
    Tom Benson
    San Bernardino, CA
    thomasabenson AT
  30. -back to top-

-revision history-
v1.30 - 01/05/16 - Revamped cloud logic, optimized database queries, linked to eBird rarities.
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