Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Hello, Seabirders,

This is a late report of a great Shearwater Journey's pelagic trip from Monterey Bay on August 15th, written by Linda Terrill. Sounds like a fantastic day!

For a day that began with extremely limited visibility due to heavy marine fog (which never completely left us all day) Friday turned out to be one great day!  The seas were from calm to slightly choppy, giving us great looks at birds and marine mammals alike. There were hundreds of Moon jellies and dozens of Egg-yolk jellies as we headed out in the morning.  The first Black-footed Albatross was sighted at 9:15 a.m., coming right into the wake chumming, and we weren't without one, and sometimes up to a dozen at a time, the rest of the day.  It was a few hours before the cry of "Laysan Albatross" came from the bow.  We all watched as it zoomed straight for us, sailed into the wake chumming, and sat down for all to ogle and photograph.  The many big lenses on board were adjusted appropriately as a Xantus murrelet sat for all to study and photograph, flying a little way for great underwing views, then sitting again for more portraits.  Toping off a great day, a Manx Shearwater zoomed by the boat as we approached shore.  Squeezing in one last bonus, a Long-tailed Duck and a Harlequin Duck were sitting at the end of the pier as we docked!  In between, we picked raft after raft of Sooty Shearwaters out of the fog, with Pink-footed Shearwaters peaking around the Humpback Whales – and did the whales ever give us a show!  One very large Humpback surprised us with a full breech 100 yards from the boat – wouldn't have wanted it any closer!  A bit later, Captain Tinker turned the boat off when we saw we might have "friendlies", and the behemoths proceeded to scare the daylights out of some of us, surfacing right under our faces at the side of the boat, bellowing loudly as they sprayed their lovely "whale breath" for all to enjoy.  Bow-riders during the day included Short-beaked Common Dolphins, Northern Right Whale Dolphins, and Pacific White-sided Dolphins, each of these also putting on leaping shows.  Several Harbor Porpoises gave more of a show than usual, and the hundreds of Risso's Dolphins gave great looks on the way into shore.  Thanks to everyone on board for the great camaraderie enjoying our wonderful marine life!


The complete species list for AUGUST 15, 2008 MONTEREY BAY FOLLOWS:


*Laysan Albatross (1)
Black-footed Albatross (43)
Northern Fulmar (6)
Pink-footed Shearwater (45)
Sooty Shearwater (10,000)
*Manx Shearwater (1)
Ashy Storm-petrel (1)
Brown Pelican (150)
Brandt's Cormorant (400)
Pelagic Cormorant (5)
Harlequin Duck (1)
Long-tailed Duck (1)
Least Sandpiper (1)
Red-necked Phalarope (165)
Pomarine Jaeger (2)
Parasitic Jaeger (2)
Parasitic/Long-tailed Jaeger (1)
Long-tailed Jaeger (1)
Heermann's Gull (check)
California Gull (check)
Western Gull (check)
Sabine's Gull (3)
Elegant Tern (75)
Comon Murre (725)
Pigeon Guillemot (11)
Xantus's Murrelet (1)
Cassin's Auklet (12)
Rhinoceros Aucklet (90)



Sea Otter (check)
CA Sea Lion (check)
Steller's Sea Lion (1)
Harbor Se al (check)
Humpback Whale (14)
Short-beaked Common Dolphin (5)
Northern Right Whale Dolphin (20)
Risso's Dolphin (191)
Pacific White-sided Dolphin (550)
Harbor Porpoise (15)
Ocean Sunfish (1)
Moon Jellies ( ++ )
Egg Yolk Jellies (check)

We thank all of the participants on this trip. The leaders were: Linda Terrill, Clay Kempf, and Jennifer Green.

Spaces are still available on our next trip, Friday, August 22. For a reservation, please contact Debra Shearwater (below). Spaces are available on all trips on our schedule, except for the September 7 trip from Monterey. Please see our web site for more information about trips and past trip reports. Please note: Debra will be out of the office from August 23 until September 6. Please contact Linda Terrill by email, if you have any questions during this period.

Shearwaters forever,

Debra Shearwater
Shearwater Journeys, Inc.
PO Box 190
Hollister, CA 95024

*Antarctica, South Georgia, & The Falkland Islands, January 5-24, 2010* 
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