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   Short-tailed Albatross (Phoebastria albatrus) - STAL (recent eBird sightings, view CBRC records, range map

  1. Noteworthy Half Moon bay pelagic yesterday - Guadalupe Murrelet; tuna, skuas. LINK
    DATE: Sep 23, 2021 @ 11:15am, 1 year(s) ago
    Hello all, It started very slow, thick fog, no birds. It took forever to see our first Sooty Shearwater. But once we were at the Pioneer Canyon, Sabines, Bullers Shearwater, jaegers, Black Storm-Petrel, they all started to show up. It was calm and windless, and the fog lifted giving great visibility. It was an unusual day in many respects, the calm weather was one, but also the fact that there was warm (61F water) that was blue-green. A distant murrelet (likely Scrippss) started our murrelet searches. In the end we saw 16 murrelets including all that we identified as Scrippss or were too distant to identify. Additionally two Guadalupe Murrelets were in the Pioneer Canyon (SF county) Guadalupe Murrelet is among the rarest of the worlds alcids. Only 5000 breeding individuals are thought to exist, some put the population at 7500 total. They breed on offshore islands, and keep to warmer and deeper water than Scrippss Murrelets so are much less likely to be found on a pelagic than its close relative. As such, they are perhaps the hardest alcid to find in North America, and certainly worldwide it is not much easier. So we were elated to see two of them offshore. This species is Endangered. All three jaegers were found with an estimate of 8 South Polar Skuas, at one time two were together on the water. That is a lot of bird muscle out there! Hundreds of Sabines Gulls were offshore, basically all over the place. We topped it off with a big Black Storm-Petrel flock of two thousand approximately. Four species of storm-petrel were seen, the others were Ashy, Wilsons and Fork-tailed. Great views of Bullers Shearwaters wowed folks on the boat. We also may have seen at least one Guadalupe Fur Seal. If the warm water feel is what you are getting from this day, you would be right. It was unusual in that the ocean was dominated by a warmer/offshore water component that included many jumping tuna! We photographed a couple poorly, and saw some close by we think these were big Bluefin, not Albacore. Record numbers of offshore murrelets, along with the tuna, this was not a normal situation but a lucky one in water types we usually do not encounter here. To top it off, a Minke Whale was seen on our way back to port. And we started with wonderful views of Marbled Murrelets, and saw three Tufted Puffins on the trip. What a day to be out!!! We are sold out currently on available dates. But when I get a minute we will be adding two dates as the boat is available to do so. Both late season trips which should be good for albatross, Short-tailed and Flesh-footed shearwaters, and perhaps something unusual! The dates will be Oct 23 and Nov 13. We seldom get out there in November, this is a good date for Laysan Albatross and if we are to find an offshore and non-injured Short-tailed Albatross November might be the time. I will send out a message when we have the dates available on the website. You can email me ( alvaro@... ) if you want to be penciled in for either of those dates. Alvaro Alvaro Jaramillo alvaro@...
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  3. Re: Update on the short-tailed albatross off the central California coast, with guidelines for low impact viewing LINK
    DATE: Sep 22, 2021 @ 1:44pm, 1 year(s) ago
    USFWS created a blog about the Short-tailed Albatross which includes a few photos of our recent CA bird, the viewing guidelines and a bit of info on the species. Feel free to share widely. Thank you!
    Gerry McChesney
    toggle quoted message Show quoted text
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  5. Update on the short-tailed albatross off the central California coast, with guidelines for low impact viewing LINK
    DATE: Sep 17, 2021 @ 3:22pm, 1 year(s) ago
    Please see below and forward to anyonewho might come into contact with the Short-tailed Albatross that has been lingering just off the California coast since at least June. Thank you.
    Gerry McChesney U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
    From: Boldenow, Megan L
    < megan_boldenow@... >
    Sent: Friday, September 17, 2021 12:26 PM
    Subject: Update on the short-tailed albatross off the central California coast, with guidelines for low impact viewing
    Dear All:
    As you are likely aware, a juvenile short-tailed albatross has been sighted off the coast of California this summer, most recently in Central California. This bird is exciting news for the region, as short-tailed albatross breed in Japan and are not regular
    visitors to California waters. The bird does have a metal ring on its leg; this is a band with a unique identifying number that will tell us more about the bird.
    We believe it likely fledged from a colony on Torishima Island, in Japan.
    This bird is also a federally listed endangered species, protected under federal law and managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife
    Service is monitoring the bird's status, with the help of local biologists, wildlife managers, and law enforcement personnel in state and federal agencies. Observers have noted
    this bird has apparent damage to its flight feathers, suggesting it may have experienced some sort of line entanglement in its recent past. The bird is also undergoing natural wing molt at this time, which makes its feathers look a bit rough. At
    this time, the bird exhibits what appears to be normal behavior for a young albatross; it is able to conduct a straight and balanced flight, is exhibiting normal preening behavior, and can find the typical food items it needs to stay healthy.
    Species experts and managers agree that the best thing for this bird is to give it plenty of space to be a wild, young albatross.
    Short-tailed albatross are high strung, sensitive birds that are not well acclimated to humans. These are heavy-bodied seabirds, and it is energetically taxing for them to run along the
    water to move away, or to lift off the water into flight. Giving the bird plenty of space by maintaining the required distance will ensure we do not add to stress the bird may already be experiencing during a sensitive time (molting of feathers).
    We are requesting the following help from the local community:
    Should you observe the bird, please maintain a distance of 100 meters (330 feet) from the bird. This is an area roughly the length of a football field. Do not approach the bird head on with your vessel. Do not flush the bird for any reason. Do not chum or bait the bird to attract it, or otherwise feed the bird. Improper diet can negatively affect the bird's health. Ensure your fishing gear remains 100 meters (330 feet, or roughly a football field in length) from the bird.
    This bird is a federally listed endangered species, and every bird matters. The Service is counting on the birding, fishing, maritime, and other communities to exercise good judgment and ensure your
    actions do not affect the bird's behavior.
    In addition to protecting the bird, these recommendations also protect you from violating federal law.
    Short-tailed albatross are protected under the Endangered Species Act, which means it is illegal toharass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap, capture, or collect this bird, or to attempt
    to engage in any such conduct.Under the Act, harassme nt means an intentional or negligent act or omission which creates the likelihood of injury to wildlife by annoying it to such an extent
    as to significantly disrupt normal behavioral patterns which include, but are not limited to, breeding, feeding, or sheltering.
    The Service thanks you in advance for your help keeping this truly special endangered seabird safe in the wild. Please share this email widely.
    Megan Boldenow
    Fish and Wildlife Biologist
    Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office
    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
    I acknowledge that I live on
    the traditional lands of the Denaina Athabascans, and I work throughout the ancestral territory
    of the Indigenous Peoples of Alaska . I
    am grateful for their continued care and stewardship of this land.
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  7. S-T Albatross this weekend? LINK
    DATE: Sep 17, 2021 @ 12:31pm, 1 year(s) ago
    Hi, I'm wondering if anybody has plans for a boat trip or to take a whale watching boat to try to see the refund short-tailed albatross in Monterey Bay that apparently is close to shore Please feel free to use reply all because others might also be interested.
    Thomas Geza Miko
    Claremont, LA County
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  9. 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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  11. Storm Petrels - expand!! Trip reports from pelagics out of Half Moon Bay. LINK
    DATE: Sep 17, 2020 @ 8:22pm, 2 year(s) ago
    Hello all, Sunday and Monday (Sept 13 and 14), we went out from Pillar Point Harbor, into San Mateo and San Francisco waters. The Sunday trip was the SF country trip, where we maximize time in San Francisco county waters. We went to the Pioneer Canyon that day and had a great surprise, we found storm petrels out there. But first, on this day we did have multiple passerines fly by, Brown-headed Cowbirds, Wilsons Warblers, Audubons (Yellow-rumped) Warbler, Townsends Warbler, Merlin!, and perhaps a rarer warbler. It had pale at the base of the tail, but no good photos could be taken. One cowbird and a Wilsons Warbler eventually rode the boat back to shore. A boat fishing about 8 miles from shore texted us photos of a Magnolia Warbler that had landed on their boat, unfortunately it did not choose our boat. But what was exciting was finding flocks of Ashy Storm-Petrels in Pioneer Canyon, recall that the week before we found Black Storm-Petrels, but well south in San Mateo County. These were mainly Ashy, with a scattering of Black as well as Wilsons Storm-Petrels . On our best hour count, we estimated 600 Ashy Storm-Petrels . We lucked out as well with a San Francisco Flesh-footed Shearwater , our first of the season and we are looking forward to seeing many more. On the next day, we were not limited to San Francisco so we came up with a plan. How about looking for the Pioneer Canyon storm-petrels, and then heading south to where the Black Storm-Petrels had been the week before Our plan worked amazingly well. The big surprise was a super easy to see Minke Whale close to shore, not always a whale that allows for photography. We did not have the passerine fall out today, but a lost Black Turnstone about 10 miles out was trying to land on the boat. Once at the Pioneer Canyon we found the flocks of storm petrels again, this time maxing out with approximately 500 birds. But our diversity went up, finding Ashy, Black, Wilsons and Fork-tailed Storm-Petrels . Bullers Shearwater showed up today. We then went south into San Mateo County, looking for the Black Storm-Petrel flocks, and on our way we found 2-3 Sabines Gulls which have been sparce this year. Early in the afternoon we found the Black Storm-Petrels, approximately 425 mixed with Ashy and a few Wilsons. Amazing, in one day we had gone from a concentration of Ashy to a totally different site with a concentration of Black Storm-Petrels. It was another fantastic study opportunity for storm petrels. We found Black-footed Albatross, Pink-footed and Sooty shearwaters, Northern Fulmar, Rhinoceros and Cassins auklets, Common Murre, Parasitic and Pomarine jaegers. Other critters included Humpback Whale, Salmon Shark, Mola mola, California and Stellers sea lions, Northern Fur Seal and Northern Elephant seal. The weather was good, we are excited about our trip this Saturday but it is sold out. Our next trips to this part of the ocean are on Oct 4, 17, and 24. The last two dates were just added. We have expanded our trips to later dates when numbers of albatross should increase, and we have high probability of finding Short-tailed Shearwater, as well as Flesh-footed Shearwater. Cross your fingers, but these late dates may also be good for Short-tailed Albatross. We will be on the lookout, Laysan Albatross will be a good chance and perhaps Ancient Murrelets may have started to show up by then. You can book and reserve here: Good birding Alvaro Jaramillo alvaro@...
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  13. Short-tailed Albatross 2/28/20 and many Laysans/ Monterey Bay Whale Watch LINK
    DATE: Mar 10, 2020 @ 3:16pm, 3 year(s) ago
    On our regular daily whale watch trip from Monterey Harbor, we photographed a Short-tailed Albatross!! just past the edge of the Monterey canyon southwest of Pt Pinos. We also have seen Laysan Albatross on many days since 2/24/20, often up to 3 per trip, and Black footed Albatross daily. Our trips run dailyand good chance to see albatross now, call 831-375-4658 ( ) We also run seabird trips regularly during late summer and fall (Monterey Seabirds) Nancy Black
    Monterey Bay Whale Watch 84 Fisherman's Wharf Monterey, CA 93940 (831) 375 - 4658 Find us on Facebook!
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    DATE: Oct 2, 2018 @ 4:44pm, 4 year(s) ago
    Howdy, CALbirders,
    This is a brief report of three pelagic trips, September 28, 29, and 30 operated by Shearwater Journeys, all departing from Fishermans Wharf, Monterey. Highlights included:
    SEP 30: RED-FOOTED BOOBY a first record for Santa Cruz County made a speedy fly-by the stern of our vessel (images obtained); 760 SABINES GULLS in several flocks, both Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties; TUFTED PUFFIN in Monterey County. The flocks of Sabines Gulls were astounding and lovely to watch. One flock of over Pomarine Jaegers was nice.
    SEP 29: All birds in Monterey County: MANX SHEARWATER sitting on the sea, excellent views for all on board; PEREGRINE FALCON chasing an ELEGANT TERN (first time Ive ever seen that); 2000 ELEGANT TERNS off Point Pinos along with thousands of seabirds and hundreds of Rissos, Pacific white-sided, and Northern right whale dolphins.
    On all three trips we were able to find the last few remaining PIGEON GUILLEMOTS; all three species of jaegers; Red and Red-necked phalaropes; excellent views of BULLERS SHEARWATERS; good numbers of Rhinoceros Auklets and Common Murres. Marine mammals have been sensational, with 30 to 60 humpback whales per day. There is a LOT of food in Monterey Bay, mainly boiling anchovies. These trips were operated in conjunction with the Monterey Bay Birding Festival.
    UPCOMING TRIPS with spaces available:
    OCT 6 MTY with Scott & Linda Terrill, Nick Levendosky, Jim Holmes, Alex Rinkert, Debi Shearwater.
    OCT 7 HMB with Steve Hampton, Christian Schwarz, Jim Holmes, Debi Shearwater.
    OCT 13 MTY with Alex Rinkert, Nick Levendosky, Scott & Linda Terrill, Debi Shearwater.
    OCT 21 MTY with Alex Rinkert, Nick Levendosky, Jim Holmes, Debi Shearwater.
    All of the October trips will endeavor to head to Santa Cruz County!
    Reservations: email me: debi@... .
    Rare seabirds that have been found during the month of October include: Wedge-tailed Shearwater (twice), Great-winged Petrel, Streaked Shearwater, White-chinned Petrel, Parkinsons Petrel, Short-tailed Albatross, Wedge-rumped Storm-Petrel, Swallow-tailed Gull, and Thick-billed Murre. Most of these records were found on Shearwater Journeys trips.
    Shearwater Journeys has twice set a world record of finding eight species of shearwaters in one day on October trips!
    October is a great time to get out there!
    Seabirding for Science,
    Debi Shearwater
    Shearwater Journeys, Inc.
    PO Box 190
    Hollister, CA 95024
    Celebrating 43 Years of Seabirding with Shearwater Journeys
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  17. revised (upward) cruise-ship totals: 5 Short-tld Albatrosses, 187 Mottled Petrels, 8 Cook's, 45 Laysans LINK
    DATE: Dec 2, 2017 @ 8:29am, 5 year(s) ago
    The numbers I posted yesterday (01 Dec) for the "Star Princess"
    cruise-ship transect off OR (and earlier CA) were low, for the entire
    group; and careful, constantly-scoping birders added a lot more
    individuals for some species. So the "final" totals for the day for the
    more interesting species were:
    Short-tailed Albatross: 5  (all first-year and one probable
    second-year), including 3 together
    Laysan Albatross:  44  (all-time high from any birding boat Perhaps
    higher in past on one or two NOAA cruises)
    Mottled Petrel:  187  (crazy numbers once the first bird was seen off
    Cook's Petrel:  8  (as far north as off Tillamook)
    Buller's Shearwater:  3
    Views of a bunch of the albatrosses and many Mottleds were spectacular,
    and undoubtedly many full-frame photos will be posted with the
    appropriate eBird reports in a couple days or so.
    Alas, I am told that the return sailing southbound on the STAR PRINCESS
    two weeks from now from Vancouver to Los Angeles is FULL.
    --Paul Lehman,  San Diego
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  19. an epic cruise-ship day: 5 Short-tld Albatrosses, 91 Mottled Petrels, 4 Cook's, 18 Laysans LINK
    DATE: Dec 1, 2017 @ 5:20pm, 5 year(s) ago
    A slow Nov 30th off California (MTY to SON) aboard a northbound Princess
    cruise-ship from Los Angeles to Vancouver was highlighted by a mere 2
    LAYSAN Albatrosses, 3 Buller's Shearwaters, lots of fulmars, and single
    Fork-tailed, Leach's, and Ashy Storm-petrels. But Dec 1st, spent
    entirely off the Oregon coast from northern Curry Co. to the WA border
    was phenomenal, with 5 SHORT-TAILED ALBATROSSES (off Curry and Coos and
    Lincoln Cos.)--all young birds and 3 together associated with a single
    fishing boat, where many photos taken; a total of 91 MOTTLED PETRELS
    (from off Newport northwards), with many birds at point-blank distance
    from the ship and a bazzilion photos taken (and some people had even
    higher counts), with the last couple birds before dark being seen just
    inside Washington waters; at least 4 COOK'S PETRELS, very rare in OR
    waters and occurring well north up the coast as far as off Tillamook
    Co.; a very high count of 18 LAYSAN ALBATROSSES (including a single
    flock of 7 and flock of 5); and 2 BULLER'S SHEARWATERS (getting late).
    If anyone is interested in trying for some of these birds, the same
    Princess ship ("Star Princess")  is returning southbound from Vancouver
    to L.A. two weeks from now. Maybe some of them will have shifted south
    into CA waters by then.....
    --Paul Lehman
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  21. Another Cook's Petrel Year? LINK
    DATE: Jul 20, 2017 @ 8:06pm, 5 year(s) ago
    Howdy, Seabirders,
    Dave Pereksta’s awesome pelagic trip report from Ventura, July 16th, has many of us scratching our head’s and asking: Could this year be another COOK’S PETREL year similar to 2009
    In 2009, unprecedented numbers of COOK’S PETRELS were seen close to shore. It began in SoCal, but on Shearwater Journeys’ July 31, 2009 Monterey Bay pelagic trip, we also recorded a record 138 Cook’s petrels. The first sightings were only 13.3 miles offshore, Monterey. We haven’t see Cook’s Petrels like we did in 2009 since — think about that!
    I fully intend to put in a good search for Cook’s Petrels, and Hawaiian Petrels, too, on our upcoming trips. During this time period in 2009, a Stejneger’s Petrel and Short-tailed Albatross were also seen. We found a SHORT-TAILED ALBATROSS on our September 16, 2009 trip, as well.
    Here’s our program of trips: Spaces are available on all trips, except as noted below.
    MONTEREY: August 4* & 25*; September 1*, 7, 8, 10, 22, 23, 24, 30; October 8.
    Monterey trips run from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. *Trips may be extended an hour or so to search for petrels.
    ALBACORE GROUNDS: OFFSHORE MONTEREY: September 9: 5:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (Limited spaces available)
    FARALLON ISLANDS: August 6 & 13 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m
    HALF MOON BAY: August 12 (one space available); September 2, 3, 15, 16; October 7.
    Please see our web site for more information:
    To read more about the Cook’s Petrel Invasion of 2009, please see these reports:
    Cook’s Petrels off Point Pinos:
    Short-tailed Albatross seen on Shearwater Journeys’ September 16, 2009 trip:
    Farallon Islands reports:
    About the Albacore Trip:
    We shall be covering many Monterey, Santa Cruz, San Mateo, and San Francisco Counties offshore.
    One thing is for certain— there is an awful lot of food out there, even nearshore. Spotters on the Farallon Islands, counted over 250 whales in one day. There’s krill and schooling fish, everywhere, it seems. It couldn’t be better! Many folks hesitated to jump on board for the Cook’s Petrels trips in ’09 and regretted that later. August seems to be the best month, although early September could be good, too. Escape the heat and enjoy a cooling, salty breeze!
    As many have heard me say, “It’s all about food.”
    Living the Salt Life on this side of the Pacific now,
    Shearwater Journeys, Inc.
    PO Box 190
    Hollister, CA 95024
    Celebrating 42 Years of Seabirding with Shearwater Journeys
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  23. Forty Years of California Seabirding LINK
    DATE: Jun 20, 2015 @ 6:10pm, 7 year(s) ago
    Howdy, CalBirders,
    Shearwater Journeys will celebrate its 40th year of seabirding this fall! And, we'd love to invite you to celebrate with us.
    Some 60,000+ birders and marine life enthusiasts have participated in thousands of Shearwater Journeys' pelagic trips over these past four decades. Participants, along with more than a hundred leaders over the years, have contributed an immense amount of data, advanced the progression of seabird field guides, fought for National Marine Sanctuaries collecting thousands of signatures, advocated for conservation laws, witnessed the return of the great whales from near decimation, seen the "return" of some seabirds such as Short-tailed Albatross and the decline of others, such as Sooty Shearwater and Ashy Storm-Petrel.
    We've discovered a long, long list "first" North American seabird records and found many rare-for-California seabirds. We've battled gill netting which killed thousands of Sooty Shearwaters and Common Murres, and won. We remember when Laysan Albatrosses did not nest on islands off Mexico! Marine mammals have not been neglected on our trips. We set the wheels in motion to rescue an entangled humpback whale only for the rescuers to be thwarted by the appearance of killer whales! We launched the first-ever in the world, blue whale tagging program with EarthWatch in mid-1980's. Beginning in the late 1970's, we collected the first of hundreds of killer whale images that would be used in ID catalogues. And, we're still at it today.
    And, we've been out there in the blue, at sea, during the biggest El Nino events of our lifetime, 1982-83 and 1998, during La Nina events and everything in between. The 1982-83 El Nino impacted every continent on Earth, and we saw events transpire in Monterey Bay that have never repeated. OH, wait a minute. I hear the red crabs are back, at least in SoCal:
    There's so much more. Indeed, I could write a book about the changes I've seen. Our roots are deep and vast much like a giant kelp forest moving with the currents. It has been a long and winding journey — and, we could not have done it without you! I am, personally, grateful and thankful for every one of you, many of whom continue to ride the seas with us, four decades later! THANK YOU!
    Shearwater Journeys' 2015 schedule of trips can be found on our web site:
    Photographs and brief biographies of our outstanding leaders can be found at:
    DISCOUNTS: To celebrate our 40th year, we are offering a $40 discount on all Monterey Bay trips, except the Albacore trip, September 12th. We offer a $20 discount on our Half Moon Bay, Bodega Bay and Farallon Islands trips. All discounted trips are non-refundable, unless weathered out (unlikely) and must be postmarked by July 1. Act now!
    MONTEREY BAY TRIPS: All trips depart from Fishermans' Wharf at 7 am and return at 3 pm.
    JULY 31; AUGUST 7, 21; SEPTEMBER 5, 8, 0, 1O, 11, 13, 16, 25, 26, 27; OCTOBER 3, 10.
    ALBACORE: OFFSHORE MONTEREY: SEPTEMBER 12 departs at 5:30 am and returns 5:30 pm.
    Parking vouchers available for all trips, saving you at least $10.
    All trips depart from Johnson's Pier, H dock, Pillar Point, Half Moon Bay at 7 am and return about 4 pm. Parking is free.
    AUGUST 2, 8, 16; SEPTEMBER 6, 15; OCTOBER 4, 11.
    FARALLON ISLANDS: Both trips depart from Clipper Yacht Harbor at 7:15 am, and return about 4 pm. Parking is $2/person.
    AUGUST 9: TUFTED PUFFINS & BREEDING SEABIRDS - limited spaces available
    Departs from Port O'Bodega at 7 am and returns about 4:30 pm. Parking is free.
    We track county lines and write eBird checklists for all of our trips. Most of our trips cover more than one county. For past trip reports including images and complete checklists, please see:
    August 2nd has proved to be an auspicious date for HAWAIIAN PETREL: August 2, 2014 at Half Moon Bay, this petrel flew right up our wake only a few miles out of the harbor. August 2, 2013 at Monterey Bay, I spotted this petrel without bins, flying alongside our vessel with a load of Sooty Shearwaters only 8 miles off Point Pinos! Most of the Hawaiian Petrels that I've seen in central California have been less than 10 miles offshore, including three in one day out of Fort Bragg. Where will you be on August 2, 2015
    Todd McGrath's post on CalBirds about predicting seabirds in this uncanny season are on the mark. Recalling the BULWER'S PETREL, July 26, 1998, Monterey Bay was an amazing find, especially for a boat load of non-birders who wanted to know why I kept stopping to look at the "little black and white birds" (54 Scripps's Murrelets that day), instead of the 50+ Fin and Blue Whales! The Bulwer's Petrel was photographed sitting on the water with a BULLER'S SHEARWATER! So, yep, Buller's arrived early that year. Who would have ever dreamed of finding Black Storm-Petrels in Monterey in December We did, in 1982. El Nino at work! There's no telling what we might find this season. Terrafin charts are showing plenty of cold water in many places. This is good. So, don't miss out this season! Celebrate!
    For me, there has never, ever been a dull moment. Never. If you sense a deep and abiding love of seabirds and marine mammals —
    Shearwaters Forever,
    Debi Shearwater
    Shearwater Journeys, Inc.
    PO Box 190
    Hollister, CA 95024
    Celebrating 40 Years of Seabirding with Shearwater Journeys
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  25. April 28-29 cruise totals: 57 Murphy's, 8 Hawaiians, etc.; plus general cruise-ship info LINK
    DATE: May 2, 2015 @ 9:26am, 7 year(s) ago
    The final totals for our April 28-29 cruise-ship pelagic off CA and OR
    for select species are as follows:
    LAYSAN ALBATROSS: 4 (all off Oregon)
    Black-footed Albatross: 170
    Northern Fulmar: 70
    MURPHY'S PETREL: 57 (4 off SLO, 2 off s. MTY, 1 off n. MRN, 18 SON 2+
    s. MEN; 29 off Oregon)
    DARK-RUMPED (HAWAIIAN) PETREL: 8 (1 n. SLO, 2 SON, 1 DN; 4 off s. Oregon)
    COOK'S PETREL: 4 (all SON)
    Pink-footed Shearwater: 75
    Sooty Shearwater: 1400
    Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel: 33
    Leach's Storm-Petrel: 50
    Ashy Storm-Petrel: 2
    Black Storm-Petrel: 25 (off San Diego, 4/27)
    BROWN BOOBY: 3 (off San Diego, 4/27)
    Red-necked Phalarope: 1100
    Red Phalarope: 12 (very low, all off n. Oregon; normally several
    Pomarine Jaeger: 45
    Parasitic Jaeger: 3
    LONG-TAILED JAEGER: 16 (1 SM; 15 off Oregon incl. a single tight flock
    of 14 long-tailed adults)
    Common Murre: 2000+
    Scripps's Murrelet: 10 (off San Diego, 4/27)
    Cassin's Auklet: 50
    Rhinoceros Auklet: 90
    Tufted Puffin: 3
    Sabine's Gull: 950 (large flocks heading north; a very good total)
    Arctic Tern: 6
    I wondered what we missed when we traversed the productive Mendocino and
    Humboldt waters at night.... Maybe we could have had triple-digit
    These late April trips seem to catch the near-peak of Murphy's numbers,
    whereas the May trips still get numbers of Murphy's and sometimes get
    larger numbers of Hawaiians and Cook's (but fewer Laysans and few or no
    Parakeet Auklets, which we have gotten in April, but none around this
    year) and more of the later spring seabird migrants.
    We took Holland America from San Diego to Victoria/Vancouver. Another
    group, from British Columbia, took Princess Cruises from Los Angeles to
    Vancouver one day ahead of us, and they had SIXTY MURPHY'S and 3
    HAWAIIANS off California. We both had fairly strong winds off CA, which
    helped boost our pterodroma numbers. And given the wind was its
    typical-in-spring, northwest direction, it is right on the bow and thus
    these cruise ships have a remarkably smooth ride and we all easily use
    our spotting scopes, whereas on a smaller pelagic boat one would have
    been hanging on for dear life, barfing, or probably would have wisely
    stayed in port. Clearly, cuise-ships are the best way to see the three
    "spring" pterodromas and Laysans fairly reliably and in comfort. And
    actually one does NOT want calm winds, as that hurts one's chances for
    the tubenoses, as many of them are becalmed and sitting on the water and
    difficult to see.
    A few words about these "repositioning" cruise-ship pelagics along the
    West Coast in spring and fall. THERE IS LIMITED GOOD TRIPOD SPACE ON
    windy and one needs to find the protected places. On this deck one is
    only about 40-45 feet above the water surface and views are often very
    good, and there are even reasonable photo opportunities. The Princess
    ships we take have a BETTER deck configuration for viewing than do most
    of the Holland America ships, as the former has more totally clear views
    all the way to the bow (which may be off limits, however, on days with
    strong head winds). I'd say that one would not want more than 15-20
    tripod-wielding birders on a Holland America ship, but up to 25-30 could
    work on most Princess ships. Therefore, large birding groups would
    simply overrun some of these boats for the best viewing. (Obviously this
    has nothing to do with the 2000 overall guests on the ship!) Typically,
    each cruise company has multiple sailings between late April and
    mid-May. Other companies such as Celebrity and Carnival offer similar
    trips, but we haven't taken those, as the viewing options aren't as good
    as on Princess, and the Carnival guest crowd tends to be a bit rowdier.
    Be aware that it is VERY EASY to MISS birds flying by quickly on these
    trips, and it helps to be good with a scope. Having several folks on
    board who are good spotters and know their pelagic birds really helps.
    Any one person misses a good number of birds, no matter how expert they are.
    Do NOT take trips with multiple CA and OR stops on the way, as that
    means you spend too much daylight in port rather than well offshore,
    plus it adds unwanted days and costs to the trip. Trips northbound on
    Holland America out of San Diego typically have daylight from n. Santa
    Barbara to San Mateo/San Francisco county waters the first full day, and
    off Humboldt and Del Norte the following morning before entering Oregon
    waters. (Although the trip I just took a few days ago ran 3-4 hours
    ahead of the usual timing and thus we lost all of Santa Barbara and
    Humboldt but gained Marin and Sonoma--which were very good the past two
    trips!) In contrast, the Princess trips out of L.A. typically get s.
    Monterey to Mendocino the first full day, but then are already off
    Oregon the next day at dawn. Fall schedules also vary a bit. Also, do
    NOT take these short trips up to BC departing from San Francisco if you
    want ANY good daylight time in California waters, plus you just plain
    have one fewer day offshore. But DO consider taking the 10-day
    round-trip Princess trip from San Francisco to se. Alaska and back,
    which spends several days WELL offshore both directions off n. CA, OR,
    WA, and BC and produces excellent pelagics (including pterodromas and
    lots of albatrosses), a few Alaska specialties such as Kittlitz's, and
    which is run continuously on one ship every year between mid-May and
    mid-Sep. I've taken that trip now 6 times and will take it again this
    year 2 more times.
    The price of these short, 3-day "Pacific Coastal" cruises is very
    reasonable. As low as $250-300 per person to share an interior room,
    obviously more for a verandah room from which you can do your own
    birding while sipping on wine. The price includes unlimited food and
    most ship-board activities (but who has time for those when birding all
    day long...). Obviously one has to add in airfare.
    And while many people refer to all these short trips as "repositioning"
    cruises, during which the ships are moved in spring and fall from summer
    Alaska schedules to winter tropical destinations, in actuality, many of
    these trips between CA and BC or vice versa are not actually
    "repositioning" but are short legs of longer trips between CA and
    Hawaii, for example, during which the ship has a U.S. legal requirement
    that every U.S. passenger visit at least one foreign port during
    whatever trip they take (thus why the stop(s) in BC)--look up the "Jones
    Act" for more information, if interested.
    Fall, southbound trips (mostly in Sep) are good for many of the standard
    fall pelagics one sees off CA in Sep/Oct, plus the occaisional rarity,
    but pterodromas are very tough then. But this coming November and
    December 2015, Princess Cruises is offering three unique for so late in
    the season such trips (presumably part of several Hawaii triangle trips)
    between L.A. and Vancouver or vice versa (with "visions" of Mottled
    Petrels and Short-tailed Albatrosses dancing in our heads... though
    certainly not to be 'expected,' but as good a chance as we'll probably
    ever have these days for Mottled--also should be reasonable for Cook's
    and Laysans--off CA).
    For pelagic lovers, also consider the cruise-ship trips between Chile
    and Argentina, around Cape Horn and via the Falklands, with several
    shore stops on the way, and which some also stop on the Antarctic
    Peninsula. These are run all winter long, back and forth, by multiple
    companies, and produce over 10 species of albatrosses and over 30
    species of tubenoses overall--in comfort. Also, the true
    "repositioning" trips from/to Chile from Los Angeles or San Diego are
    excellent as well.
    --Paul Lehman, San Diego
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  27. Winter Seabird Trip: Feb 22 LINK
    DATE: Jan 12, 2015 @ 2:11pm, 8 year(s) ago
    Howdy, Cal Birders,
    Shearwater Journeys will host a winter pelagic trip on Sunday, February 22 departing from Fishermans' Wharf, Monterey at 8 a.m. and returning at 1 p.m. for the annual meeting of the Pacific Seabird Group (PSG). PSG is a seabird conservation group that focuses entirely on seabirds. This pelagic trip is open to non-PSG members.
    Past winter pelagic trips have included: black-footed and Laysan albatrosses (short-tailed albatross, rarely); sooty, pink-footed and black-vented shearwaters; rhinoceros and Cassin's auklets; common murre; pigeon guillemot; ancient murrelet (big season for them, right now); pomarine jaeger and up to 13 species of gulls, including black-legged kittiwake; common, red-throated and Pacific loons (yellow-billed loon, rarely); Western and Clark's grebes; and red phalarope. A variety of marine mammals, including gray whales, may be observed. Winter pelagic trips can be quite productive. Great opportunity to add to one's year list!
    The leaders include: Abe Borker, Scott Terrill, Linda Terrill, and Debi Shearwater. The cost is $110 per person. For reservations, please send the payment, name, address, phone and email for each person in your party to: Debi Shearwater, PO Box 190, Hollister, CA 95024.
    Hope to see you out there!
    Shearwaters Forever,
    Debi Shearwater
    Shearwater Journeys, Inc.
    PO Box 190
    Hollister, CA 95024
  28. -back to top-
  29. Seabirding with Alvaro's Adventures LINK
    DATE: Jul 6, 2014, 8 year(s) ago
     A warm greeting to you all. I hope you are having a great summer, catching up with some breeding birds, and maybe starting to see shorebird migration in your local patch. Very soon we begin the late summer and fall schedule of pelagic trips out of Half Moon Bay, Monterey and Bodega Bay and we hope you can join us. We are sold out on our July 26th, but there is an Aug 9th Farallon trip, and Aug 16 trip to offshore San Francisco waters, both from Half Moon Bay. Here is our schedule:
    Why travel with us Well, we do it differently. We have a fun time out there, we educate, we see a heck of a lot of great birds, and we treat the beginner and expert with the exact same level of interest, compassion and attention. We get as excited about your lifer Hawaiian Petrel, as your first Sooty Shearwater! We are priced right, compare with other operations going out of the same ports on the very same boats. We never charge a fuel surcharge, once you pay you will never have an unpleasant surprise at the dock. You can book online using your credit card, simple as can be. Heck we even bring out treats and coffee.
    While we have been around but a few years, but we are chock full of experience, Alvaro has run pelagics in Chile, North Carolina, Hawaii, Easter Island to name a few. He has even helped to describe a new species of seabird, the Pincoya Storm-Petrel from Chile. Alvaro loves to teach. He teaches about seabirds for the American Birding Association IFO workshops, for the San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory, and is guest lecturer for the Master Birder class offered by Golden Gate Audubon and the California Academy of Science. Our leaders include seabird experts from here and beyond, including well liked local birding teachers such as Bob Power, Lisa Myers, and Matthew Dodder. Names who have been around seabirding for years, like Dan Singer, Peter Metropulos, and the up and coming younger folks such as Logan Kahle and Alex Rinkert and transplanted east coast seabirder Zach Baer. These are enthusiastic folk, who point out the birds, and help you through the seabirding process. Being on a boat is not always the easiest of birding, so we try to make it a good day out for you. We see and find the goodies, from record numbers of Wilson’s Storm Petrels one day, to well-rounded trips of the expected seabirds on another, to superb finds like Great Shearwater, Yellow-billed Loon, Short-tailed Albatross, White-chinned Petrel, Hawaiian Petrel, Brown Booby, and more. And we have only been around a few years to accumulate these exceptional sightings! The next few years promise to be equally amazing and exciting, whether your quest is a Buller’s Shearwater, or a crazy rarity, we will be out there trying to get a good look for you.
    We are trusted by major organization that have partnered with us. Alvaro’s Adventures has worked with the American Birding Association, Sierra Club Outings, The Gay Birders of North America, San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory, Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society, Sequoia Audubon Society, Monterey Audubon Society, Idaho Bird Observatory, Monterey Seabirds, and Brian Patteson of Seabirding Pelagic Trips in Hatteras, North Carolina among others. Alvaro is also on contract with National Audubon Society on a team that is devising a curriculum and program to train local birding guides in various Latin American countries as a way to conserve birds through the economic incentive of birding tourism.
    But the main reason of all, is because we have an amazingly high return rate by clients to our trips. This is why each year increase the number of trips we run. People leave with a smile on their face, and they return for more. Come on out, give it a try! Our only apology to you is we know we know you will be hooked and want to come back for more, sorry about that.
    See you at Sea!
    Alvaro Jaramillo
  30. -back to top-

-revision history-
v1.30 - 01/05/16 - Revamped cloud logic, optimized database queries, linked to eBird rarities.
v1.23 - 12/08/11 - Added direct link to CBRC records.
v1.22 - 12/03/11 - Corrected GMT offsets on dates. Added last 5 posts at top.
v1.21 - 11/24/11 - Added direct link to range map for NA birds.
v1.2  - 11/23/11 - Greatly improved graphing technology - separates month vs. year by posts. Added species auto-complete functionality.
v1.14 - 11/22/11 - Added cloud bubble for common thread topics.
v1.13 - 11/22/11 - Added integrated photos where available.
v1.12 - 11/22/11 - Added multiple input boxes for additional refinement, negative search criteria (eg. -keyword).
v1.11 - 11/22/11 - Added banding code, species look-up. Also direct link to recent eBird observations.
 v1.1 - 11/22/11 - Added 'date' functionality. Shows top 'month/year' combinations for a query. Restrict results to that 'month/year'.
 v1.0 - 11/21/11 - Initial version coded. Currently archiving 'lacobirds' and 'calbirds'.