Sunday, August 21, 2016

FINDING LAWRENCE'S GOLDFINCHES 
in the
LOST COUNTY of SAN BENITO

Lawrence's Goldfinch is one of the most prized passerines in our region. Little known and rarely studied, many sources state that they are unpredictable, erratic and nomadic. While that may be true for many regions where this species occurs, that is most definitely not the case in San Benito County, California. 
San Benito County, California plays host to year-round populations of Lawrence's Goldfinches. The fact that the birds of San Benito County have rarely been studied most likely contributes to this lack of published information regarding a year-round population. As far as I know, the county has never had a thorough ornithological survey. Counties that border us, Monterey, Santa Cruz, and Santa Clara have drawn the attention of many birders. Thus, much is known about these counties. While small portions of San Benito County are similar to neighboring counties, much of it is not similar at all. In my retirement I shall endeavor to add significantly to the avian knowledge base of San Benito County, The Lost County, as I call it. Nonetheless, I have been birding the county for the past 25 years. 

 The single best and most convenient location for finding LAWRENCE'S GOLDFINCHES is PINNACLES NATIONAL PARK, EAST ENTRANCE at this time of year. Our newest national park, PNP is located about 30 miles south of Hollister along Highway 25, a very scenic road.  Driving time is about 45 minutes. The entrance road to the park is well signed from Highway 25. Watch for YELLOW-BILLED MAGPIES en route. Note, however, that stopping along Highway 25 can be tricky and is not recommended. Be sure to top off your vehicle with fuel and pick up food supplies, especially liquids, prior to leaving Hollister.
PRECISE LOCATION for LAWRENCE'S GOLDFINCHES: You will arrive at the turn off for the campground and park office/store building on your left. You'll need to check in at the office to pay a fee and obtain a pass. Behind the store is the swimming pool and the shower/restroom. Directly behind the store is an air conditioning unit. On the other side of this unit is a DRIPPING FAUCET and a PUDDLE. The LAWRENCE'S GOLDFINCHES will fly to this puddle and dripping faucet as long as you do not stand too closely to the area. In the very early morning, the goldfinches will land on the cyclone fencing or grassy areas around the swimming pool. They goldfinches fly in from the tops of trees, either the large oak tree opposite the pool, or the sycamore trees around the store. Listen for their bell-like tinkling sounds. BEST TIME OF DAY: is early morning, at least by 7 a.m. prior to activity at the pool or restroom, although the goldfinches continue to use the faucet throughout the day. The park office does not open until 9:30 a.m. However, you can arrive prior to opening hour. I have alerted park personnel regarding these very special birds. One of the best ways to see the goldfinches and other birds is to came at Pinnacles. Many birds are extremely tame allowing for great photography. HOW LONG WILL THEY STAY: During this time of year, Lawrence's Goldfinches are never found very far from water. If you see a Lawrence's Goldfinch, chances are there is water nearby, even if only a puddle. They will stay until it RAINS! Once the rains arrive water becomes available in other places causing them to spread out. Let's hope the rains arrive this year! In my area the will not be until November (earliest), or January — if we see any rain at all!
It appears that LAWRENCE'S GOLDFINCHES have had a banner breeding season in 2016 owing to the spring rains. San Benito County has been in a extremely severe drought. Winter and spring rains this year helped, but were not enough to bring us out of the drought. Nevertheless, several notable species of birds seem to have benefited from the brief rains. These species include: California Quail, American Kestrel, Cassin's Kingbird, Lawrence's Goldfinch and Bell's Sparrow, below.
 
Both BELL'S SPARROW (begging fledgling, above) and LAWRENCE'S GOLDFINCH are closely associated with chemise dominated chaparral. Bell's Sparrows can be found many places in Pinnacles National Park.

OTHER BIRDS AT PINNACLES: BELL'S SPARROW and CALIFORNIA CONDOR are probably the two most sought after species at the park. Presently a pair of condors are feeding a fledgling in the nest. If this condor successfully fledges, it will be the first such fledgling in over 100 years! Most of the condors are not coming to their usual roost trees in the evening. The best chances of seeing a condor at this time would be to hike the High Peaks Trail. Additional specialty birds found at Pinnacles include: PRAIRIE FALCON, GOLDEN EAGLE, GREATER ROADRUNNER, NUTTALL'S WOODPECKER, ROCK and CANYON WRENS, CALIFORNIA THRASHER, CALIFORNIA TOWHEE, WRENTIT, and more. Altogether, Pinnacles is an excellent park for birding. 

eBIRDING at PINNACLES NATIONAL PARK: Please check eBird prior to your visit for the long list of hot spots in this park. Many of the trails are hot spots. The campground is a hot spot. It is strongly preferred that one uses a hot spot rather than dumping the data into one general location such as the hot spot for the entire park. If using the app, you most likely will not have cell phone coverage in the park. Also: be aware that Chestnut-backed Chickadee is a very rare bird anywhere in the park. It sounds remarkably like the Oak Titmouse. Many experienced birders has difficulty separating the two by sound. Please report your sightings! Thank you!

FIRE: Currently, the Big Sur Coast is being impacted by the Soborannes Fire. Finding CALIFORNIA CONDORS along Highway 1 on the coast may be impossible, although there are a couple recent eBird reports. This fire is expected to burn until late September. I highly recommend heading to Pinnacles National Park. 

BIRDING ON THE FAULT LINES
of the
Lost County
Debi Shearwater
debi@shearwaterjourneys.com
All images by Beth Hamel, copyright.
Please do not use without permission.



Tuesday, August 16, 2016


THE MIXING ZONE
HALF MOON BAY PELAGIC TRIP REPORT
AUGUST 13, 2016
Shearwater Journeys' August 13, 2016 pelagic trip departing from Pillar Point, Half Moon Bay was simply put— over the top — with very exciting seabirds, whales and dolphins. Highlights included: the NORTHERN GANNET at Pillar Point; a BROWN BOOBY on a rusting barrel offshore; a GRAND SLAM: POMARINE, PARASITIC, LONG-TAILED JAEGERS & SOUTH POLAR SKUA; SABINE'S GULLS; ARCTIC TERNS; and SCRIPPS'S & CRAVERI'S MURRELETS; ASHY, WILSON'S and FORK-TAILED STORM-PETRELS. Cetacean highlights included: 11 BLUE WHALES, 4 FIN WHALES, 120 HUMPBACK WHALES; 350 PACIFIC WHITE-SIDED DOLPHINS and 4 NORTHERN RIGHT WHALE DOLPHINS.

The sea surface temperature chart showed a messy area of mixing temperatures near the weather buoy. Indeed, we tracked temperatures throughout the day as they rose from 54 F to 59.45 F. The "mixing zone" turned out to be loaded with feeding seabirds and marine mammals. 
Chart used by permission of Terrafin, a service that I subscribe to.
SCRIPPS'S MURRELET, above, was one of two that we observed. 
Two CRAVERI'S MURRELETS popped off the water almost immediately as they were called out. They did what so many murrelets do: fly over the edge of the Earth! 
At least a few lucky and fast birders saw and photographed them. 
The dusky wing-linings are a definitive ID characteristic.
An adult BROWN BOOBY was sitting on a rusty barrel well offshore.
Brown Boobies have not been as common this season as last year.


Some high flying folks were on board. 
OLAF DANIELSON who is doing a BIG YEAR, above with L.

CHRISTIAN HAGENLOCHER, who is also doing a BIG YEAR, above with good friend, Casey.
This was the first trip of the season to hit a GRAND SLAM:
POMARINE, PARASITIC (above), & LONG-TAILED JAEGERS
SOUTH POLAR SKUA
A POMARINE (right) and PARASITIC JAEGER (left).
A great group of fun, young birders on board!
Many thanks to all of the fun participants who joined us from near and far for this almost 12 hour pelagic trip. This was an excellent day at sea for both seabirds and marine mammals. 

It takes a team to make such a day. Leaders on this trip included: PETER PYLE, STEVE TUCKER, JIM HOLMES, WILL BROOKS, and DEBI SHEARWATER. This trip was submitted to eBird following pelagic eBird protocol. 

THE COMPLETE SPECIES LIST FOR SHEARWATER JOURNEYS'
AUGUST 13, 2016 HALF MOON BAY PELAGIC TRIP FOLLOWS:
SAN MATEO/SAN FRANCISCO COUNTIES:

COMMON LOON- 4/0
WESTERN GREBE- 2/0
BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS- 20/40
NORTHERN/PACIFIC FULMAR- 0/5
PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATER- 75/150
SOOTY SHEARWATER- 2,000/250
WILSON'S STORM-PETREL- 1/0
ASHY STORM-PETREL- 10/20
FORK-TAILED STORM-PETREL- 1/1
BROWN BOOBY- 0/1
NORTHERN GANNET- 1/0
BROWN PELICAN- 30/0
BRANDT'S CORMORANT- 15/0
DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT- 2/0
PELAGIC CORMORANT- 2/0
RED-NECKED PHALAROPE- 80/30
RED PHALAROPE- 10/2
SOUTH POLAR SKUA- 0/1
POLMARINE JAEGER- 0/1
PARASITIC JAEGER- 1/1
LONG-TAILED JAEGER- 0/3
HERRMANN'S GULL- 10/0
CALIFORNIA GULL- 10/8
WESTERN GULL- 200/25
SABINE'S GULL- 0/12
COMMON TERN- 0/1
ARCTIC TERN- 0/3
COMMON MURRE- 400/40
PIGEON GUILLEMOT- 7/0
SCRIPPS'S MURRELET- 2/0
CRAVERI'S MURRELET- 1/2
CASSIN'S AUKLET- 450/450
RHINOCEROS AUKLET- 7/2
BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD- 0/1, offshore
CALIFORNIA SEA LION- 35
STELLER'S SEA LION- 2
NORTHERN ELEPHANT SEAL- 3
MINKE WHALE- 1
BLUE WHALE- 11
FIN WHALE- 4
HUMPBACK WHALE- 120
NORTHERN RIGHT WHALE DOLPHIN- 4
PACIFIC WHITE-SIDED DOLPHIN- 350
HARBOR PORPOISE- 20
UNIDENTIFIED CETACEAN-1 (thought to be a large dolphin, best left unidentified)
OCEAN SUNFISH- 4

UPCOMING TRIPS DEPARTING FROM HALF MOON BAY
AUGUST 19
SEPTEMBER 4, 16, 18
OCTOBER 2, 9
UPCOMING TRIPS DEPARTING FROM MONTEREY BAY
AUGUST 26
SEPTEMBER 3, 7, 8, 9, 11, 14, 15, 23, 24, 25
OCTOBER 1, 8, 16
GREAT TIME TO HEAD OFFSHORE!
LIVING THE SALT LIFE,
Debi Shearwater
debi@shearwaterjourneys.com
Seabird images by Nathan Goldberg







Wednesday, July 27, 2016

BEAT THE HEAT
SAVOR A SALTY SEA BREEZE!

PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATER flying up the wake of the vessel.

Howdy, Birders,

Take a break from the sweltering heat and chill out on a pelagic trip! Shearwater Journeys’ first pelagic trips are coming up very soon. We could not be more excited to get out there with you! Over 65,000 birders and marine enthusiasts have participated on thousands of Shearwater Journeys’ trips over the past 40 years. 

Below, please find out full program including our stellar line up of leaders. All of our trips have spaces available.

AUGUST 7: Gerry McChesney, Mary Gustafson, John Garrett, Debi Shearwater
AUGUST 14: Gerry McChesney, Will Brooks, John Garrett, Debi Shearwater
Departs from Sausalito at 7:30 am on the beautiful catamaran, Outer Limits. Sail under the Golden Gate Bridge! 100% success rate on finding Tufted Puffins, the target bird for the day. Last year, we also saw the Northern Gannet, Brown and Blue-footed Boobies!

AUGUST 6: Peter Pyle, Mary Gustafson, Will Brooks, Steve Hampton, Debi Shearwater
AUGUST 13: Peter Pyle, Steve Tucker, Jim Holmes, Debi Shearwater
AUGUST 19: Nick Levendosky, Steve Tucker, Christian Schwarz, Debi Shearwater
SEPTEMBER 4: Mary Gustafson, Steve Hampton, Russ Bradley, Debi Shearwater
SEPTEMBER 16: Steve Tucker, Jim Holmes, Steve Hampton, Abe Borker, Debi Shearwater
SEPTEMBER 18: Jim Holmes, Alex Rinkert, Steve Hampton, Scott Terrill, Linda Terrill, Debi Shearwater
OCTOBER 2: Steve Tucker, Jim Holmes, Steve Hampton, Debi Shearwater
OCTOBER 9: Tim Miller, Nick Levendosky Abe Borker, Tim Miller, Steve Hampton, Debi Shearwater

JULY 29: Nick Levendosky, Will Brooks, Christian Schwarz, Alex Rinkert, Debi Shearwater
AUGUST 26: Nick Levendosky, Alex Rinkert, Scott Terrill, Debi Shearwater
SEPTEMBER 3: Nick Levendosky, Mary Gustafson, Debi Shearwater
SEPTEMBER 7: Mary Gustafson, Christian Schwarz, Debi Shearwater
SEPTEMBER 8: Scott Terrill, Christian Schwarz, Mary Gustafson, Debi Shearwater (limited spaces available)
SEPTEMBER 9: Mary Gustafson, Debi Shearwater ** This trip spends time in Santa Cruz County.
SEPTEMBER 10: ALBACORE GROUNDS: Scott Terrill, Linda Terrill, Mary Gustafson, Nick Levendosky, Alex Rinkert, Debi Shearwater (4 spaces available)
SEPTEMBER 11: Mary Gustafson, Debi Shearwater
SEPTEMBER 14, Rob Fowler, Debi Shearwater (newly added trip)
SEPTEMBER 15: Nick Levendosky, Jim Holmes, Debi Shearwater (limited spaces available)
SEPTEMBER 23: Nick Levendosky, Christian Schwarz, Debi Shearwater
SEPTEMBER 24: Scott Terrill, Linda Terrill, Abe Borker, Dena Spatz, Alex Rinkert, Tim Miller, Debi Shearwater
SEPTEMBER 25: Abe Borker, Nick Levendosky, Tim Miller, Debi Shearwater
OCTOBER 1: Jim Holmes, Nick Levendosky, Christian Schwarz, Alex Rinkert, Debi Shearwater
OCTOBER 2: Alex Rinkert, Tim Miller, Christian Schwarz, Debi Shearwater
OCTOBER 16: Scott Terrill, Linda Terrill, Nick Levendosky, Alex Rinkert, Debi Shearwater

Monterey trips meet at 7 am at Chris’ Fishing on Fisherman’s Wharf, Monterey and return about 3 pm. The Albacore trip meets at 5:15 am and returns at 5:30 pm at Chris’ Fishing on Fisherman’s Wharf, Monterey. Half Moon Bay trips meet at 7 am at H dock, Johnson Pier at Pillar Point, Half Moon Bay, El Granada and return between 4-6 pm. 

Note that additional leaders may be added to trips. Leaders may change without notice. All leaders are volunteers who absolutely love leading trips— that’s one reason why we have so many leaders on board. We will be tracking county lines and following eBird pelagic protocol for checklists. 

The latest sea surface temperatures are showing lots of cold and very cold water— and, we know what that means— food!! La Nina conditions are favored to develop as early as August - October. 

We’ve been out there in the wild blue through four decades of El Nino’s and La Nina’s— every single year has been different. Let’s see what is in store for this fall season! 

Advance reservations are highly recommended. Contact: debi@shearwaterjourneys.com

Living the Salt Life,
Debi Shearwater

HUMPBACK WHALE TAIL-SLPPING off Moss Landing, Monterey Bay.

Images, copyright, Beth Hamel. Please ask for permission to use.

DEBRA SHEARWATER
Shearwater Journeys, Inc.
PO Box 190
Hollister, CA 95024
831.637.8527
debi@shearwaterjourneys.com
www.shearwaterjourneys.com
www.shearwaterjourneys.blogspot.com


Saturday, February 20, 2016


41 YEARS OF CALIFORNIA SEABIRDING 
SHEARWATER JOURNEYS

Welcome to Shearwater Journeys, the premier seabirding company in North America which has served generations of birders. From Eureka in northern California to San Diego, Shearwater Journeys has, at one time or another offered offshore pelagic trips along the entire coastline. Indeed, we were the pioneers of such amazing trips to the Davidson Seamount in the 1970’s, now protected as part of the marine sanctuary. Many new seabird records for the State of California and North America have been discovered on our trips — more than any others, adding immensely to the avifauna data base. In recent years, we’ve concentrated our trips along the rich California Current, offering trips departing from Monterey, Half Moon Bay, and Sausalito. This is quite possibly the single most productive ocean area in the entire world. 

Forty years, thousands of trips, and tens of thousands of birders have joined our trips where we have observed hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of seabirds. There is no comparison. We have some 24 trips on offer for the coming fall season. Join the fun and exciting world of seabirds and marine mammals with Shearwater Journeys, the folks who have introduced generations of birders to this unique world. There is only one Shearwater Journeys! 

EXPEDITION VOYAGE: ENCHANTED GALAPAGOS, November 1- 14, 2017 is a charter voyage for only 15 guests. Join Debi as she returns to these fabulous islands. We shall target the endemic birds and wildlife, hiking on all of the key islands. UPDATE: Remarkably, this voyage sold out within 24 hours! I added second voyage, November 15 - 28, 2017 which has also sold out. We are now taking a WAITING LIST. To put your name on the wait list, please email Debi for more information: debi@shearwaterjourneys.com.

2016 CALENDAR OF TRIPS

May 27-Jun. 20 RUSSIA’S RING OF FIRE VOYAGE- SOLD OUT
Jun. 9 -20 RUSSIA’S SEA OF OKHOTSK VOYAGE- SOLD OUT                
Jul. 29, Fri. Monterey Bay: Albatrosses & Early Fall Seabirds $168
Aug. 6, Sat. Half Moon Bay: Albatrosses & Early Fall Seabirds $198
Aug. 7, Sun. Farallon Islands: Tufted Puffins & Breeding Seabirds $189
Aug. 13, Sat. Half Moon Bay: Albatrosses & Early Fall Seabirds $198
Aug. 14, Sun. Farallon Islands: Tufted Puffins & Breeding Seabirds $189
Aug. 19, Fri.   Half Moon Bay: Albatrosses & Fall Seabirds $198
Aug. 26, Fri. Monterey Bay: Albatrosses & Fall Seabirds $168
Sep. 3, Sat. Monterey Bay: Fall Seabird Classic $168
Sep. 4, Sun. Half Moon Bay: Albatrosses, Petrels & Storm-Petrels $198
Sep. 7, Wed. Monterey Seavalley: Fall Seabird Classic $168
Sep. 8, Thu. Monterey Bay: Fall Seabird Classic $168
Sep. 9, Fri. Monterey Seavalley: Fall Seabird Classic $168
Sep. 10, Sat. Albacore Grounds: Offshore Monterey $198
Sep. 11, Sun. Monterey Bay: Fall Seabird Classic $168
Sep. 15, Thu. Monterey Seavalley: Fall Seabird Classic $168
Sep. 16, Fri. Half Moon Bay: Fall Seabird Classic $198
 Sep. 23, Fri. Monterey Bay: Fall Seabird Classic $168
Sep. 24, Sat. Monterey Bay: Fall Seabird Classic $168
Sep. 25, Sun. Monterey Seavalley: Fall Seabird Classic $168
Oct. 1, Sat. Monterey Bay: Fall Seabird Classic $168
Oct. 2, Sun. Half Moon Bay: Fall Seabird Classic $198
Oct. 8, Sat. Monterey Bay: Fall Seabird Classic $168
Oct. 9, Sun. Half Moon Bay: Fall Seabird Classic $198
Oct. 16, Sun. Monterey Bay: Fall Seabird Classic $168

2017
Nov. 1-14 ENCHANTED GALAPAGOS ISLANDS VOYAGE $7990- SOLD OUT- TAKING WAITING LIST
Nov. 15-28: ENCHANTED GALAPAGOS ISLANDS VOYAGE $7990- SOLD OUT- TAKING WAITING LIST

The year 2015 was one of the single most amazing years along the central coast of California. We observed a record 20 species of tubenoses: albatrossses, petrels, shearwaters, and storm-petrels! One of many highlights was a WHITE-CHINNED PETREL on the September 15th Half Moon Bay trip that flew into the wake and sat on the water for 45 minutes! Our August 9th trip to the Farallon Islands not only saw scads of TUFTED PUFFINS, but also NORTHERN GANNET, BROWN BOOBY, and BLUE-FOOTED BOOBY! Our trips to the Farallon Islands have a 100% success rate in finding Tufted Puffins, and always sell out early. Departing from Sausalito on a very stable catamaran, we sail under the iconic Golden Gate Bridge for a unique perspective. Monterey Bay trips this past fall season were over the top with seabirds and lunge-feeding and breaching HUMPBACK WHALES. El Nino sent thousands of BLACK-VENTED SHEARWATERS to Monterey Bay and a handful of LEAST STORM-PETRELS. Every single day is completely different — just ask the folks who did 5 trips in a row from Monterey with us! Our friendly and knowledgable leaders are ready to enchance your day at sea! Join us!

DISCOUNTS: In recognition of our fourth decade of pelagic trips, we offer you a $40 per person, per trip discount on any Monterey trip on this schedule except for the September 10 Albacore trip; and a $20 per person, per trip discount on any Half Moon Bay and Farallon Island trip, if booked prior to JULY 1. Discounts must be deducted from your payment at the time of booking. All discounted trips are NON-REFUNDABLE for any reason. Note that all of our scheduled trips for 2014 and 2015 operated and none were canceled for lack of sign ups, neither were any of those trips weathered out. Many trips sold out well in advance: Farallon Islands, Albacore and many others. Book early!

RESERVATIONS: Payment, in full by check or money order, is required at the time of booking. Please include the name, home address, phone/email of each person in your party as required by the USCG. For payments outside of the USA, please email Debi. Send reservations to: Debi Shearwater, POB 190, Hollister, CA 95024. Email: debi@shearwaterjourneys.com. Please see our web site and blog for more information and updates. Please note: Debi will be out of the office from May 17 through June 24 while leading expedition voyages in the Russian Far East. You are encouraged to send in your reservation(s) during that period. Your reservation will be acknowledged after June 25. Looking forward to birding with you in our 41st year offshore! — Debi Shearwater



PO BOX 190
HOLLISTER, CA 95024

831.637.8527

Brown Booby image by Beth Hamel, copyright, Farallon Islands, August 9, 2015.
Please do not use without permission.




Sunday, December 27, 2015


Wishing everyone a very happy holiday season 
with
Thanks & Gratitude 
for the many thousands of birders who have set out to sea with us over the past 
40 years! 

Debi Shearwater
Shearwater Journeys
1976 —2015



Monday, September 7, 2015

MONTEREY SEABIRDS ROCK ON: SEPTEMBER 5, 2015

Monterey Bay seabirds and the humpback whales at Moss Landing put on a great show for our September 5, 2015 pelagic trip. Shearwater Journeys' trip headed into Santa Cruz County where many trips do not venture and found some great birds! Highlights included a JAEGER GRAND SLAM: POMARINE, PARASITIC, LONG-TAILED & SOUTH POLAR SKUA; EIGHT SPECIES OF TUBENOSES; COMMON TERNS; SABINE'S GULLS; and 52 HUMPBACK WHALES!
 SUNRISE at the Monterey Bay harbor.
 A female SEA OTTER, eating a clam breakfast.
We know she is a female because her nose is red.
Males bite the females on the nose when mating. 
 A COMMON MURRE preens in the harbor. 
It is quite unusual to see murres in the harbor and standing on jetties. 
There has been a huge die-off of murres, causes unknown, so far.
 ELEGANT TERN, one of the inshore species of birds that we search for. 
A father murre with his chick.
We saw huge nursery schools on the Santa Cruz side of the bay, as is common at this time of year. 
 PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATER, above. 
 ELEGANT TERNS are followed by their begging chicks all the way from Southern California where they nested this year. 
 LONG-BEAKED COMMON DOLPHINS put on a show. 
 In total, we saw some 52 HUMPBACK WHALES, but this whale above, kept surfacing in a huge kelp patty. That's kelp hanging off the tail flukes!
 COMMON TERNS have been relatively scarce this season. 
So, it was great to see this one, above. 
They must be migrating further offshore this year. 
 BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS numbers usually drop off during September, 
but we had a good show with 31.
Many seabirds fly right up the wake. 
NORTHERN/PACIFIC FULMAR, above and below. 
PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATERS are great followers at sea.
Give that RED PHALAROPE a surfboard!
 We had some great comparison moments of both RED-NECKED, lower left, and RED PHALAROPES, upper right. 
A single SOUTH POLAR SKUA put on a great show! 
The ultimate bully of the sea, SOUTH POLAR SKUAS have been thin this year. 
 The dainty and beautiful, SABINE'S GULL
 SOUTH POLAR SKUA, cruising around our boat.
 POMARINE JAEGER harassing gulls. 
 We had a JAEGER GRAND SLAM: POMARINE, PARASITIC & LONG-TAILED!
 Jaegers will also chase COMMON TERNS
 BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS flying effortlessly using dynamic soaring. 
 PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATER, showing its pink feet!
 Heading off to Santa Cruz County.
Many thanks to all of the participants who joined us from near and far —birders from Germany, Australia, England who ticked 10-15 life birds — and, from Lois Goldfrank, leader of the Santa Cruz birders who ticked some new county birds and even a life bird, or two. It was a banner day for County Birder! Even though the marine forecast was not the best, we made a good trip out of it by heading straight to Moss Landing where the HUMPBACK WHALE SHOW and STREAMING SOOTY SHEARWATERS, continue. After that, we followed the 50 - 100 fathom line north into Santa Cruz County, hiding in the lee of the Santa Cruz Mountains for protection from the northwest wind. All in all a great day! 

It takes a team to pull off such a great day. Leaders on this day were: TIM MILLER, CLAY KEMPF, NICK LEVENDOSKY, JENNIFER GREEN, MEL PRESTON, ALEX RINKERT, DEBI SHEARAWATER.

THE COMPLETE SPECIES LIST FOR SHEARWATER JOURNEYS' SEPTEMBER 5, 2015 TRIP FOLLOWS: 
MONTEREY/SANTA CRUZ COUNTIES/TOTAL:

COMMON LOON- 1/1/2
BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS- 6/25/31
NORTHERN FULMAR- 18/12/30
PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATER- 400/50/450
BULLER'S SHEARWATER- 0/2/2
SOOTY SHEARWATER- 850/150/1000
BLACK-VENTED SHEARWATER- 35/0/35
WILSON'S STORM-PETREL- 0/2/2
ASHY STORM-PETREL- 7/19/26- most of the storm-petrels were found in 50-70 fathoms which is unusual. I think these are "scouts."
BROWN PELICAN- 30/4/34
BRANDT'S CORMORANT- 1055/9/1064
PELAGIC CORMORANT- 4/0/4
BLACK TURNSTONE- 11/0/11
SURFBIRD- 17/0/17
RED-NECKED PHALAROPE- 100/70/170
RED PHALAROPE- 7/15/22
SOUTH POLAR SKUA- 0/1/1
POMARINE JAEGER- 6/4/10
PARASITIC JAEGER- 5/1/6
LONG-TAILED JAEGER- 0/1/1
HEERMANN'S GULL- 50/0/50
CALIFORNIA GULL- 150/20/170
WESTERN GULL- 200/60/260
SABINE'S GULL- 0/3/3
ELEGANT TERN- 130/0/130
COMMON TERN- 7/4/11
COMMON MURRE- 2500/560/3060- many dad/chick pairs
CASSIN'S AUKLET- 1/0/1
RHINOCEROS AUKLET- 9/15/24
GREAT EGRET- 7/0/7
SNOWY EGRET- 1/0/1
SEA OTTER-7
CALIFORNIA SEA LION- 255
HARBOR SEAL- 1
HUMPBACK WHALE- 52
LONG-BEAKED COMMON DOLPHIN- 60
RISSO'S DOLPHIN- 6
OCEAN SUNFISH- 5
EGG YOLK JELLIES=+
MOON JELLIES- +
UPCOMING TRIPS FROM MONTEREY:
SEPTEMBER 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 16, 25, 26, 27, 28
OCTOBER 3, 10
UPCOMING TRIPS FROM HALF MOON BAY:
SEPTEMBER 20 (limited spaces open)
OCTOBER 4, 11
GREAT WHITE SHARK SEARCH:
OCTOBER 18 departing from SAUSALITO 
to the 
FARALLON ISLANDS
THEY'RE OUT THERE!!!
LIVING THE SALT LIFE,
Debi Shearwater
debi@shearwaterjourneys.com

All images, Copyright, JEFF BLEAM.
Please do not use without permission.