Thursday, September 11, 2008

Late Report: August 29, 2008 Monterey Pelagic Trip

Hello, Seabirders,

This is a late report for the August 29, 2008 Shearwater Journey's Monterey Bay pelagic trip, written by Linda Terrill. I thank all of the trip participants and the leaders who made this trip a success in my absence. The leaders for August 29 were: Linda Terrill, Scott Terrill, Clay Kempf, and Jennifer Green. 

Shearwater Journeys had another great day at sea on Friday, August 29th, despite (again) a heavy marine layer limiting visibility much of the day.  The Long-tailed Duck in the harbor cooperated for excellent viewing right out of the slip, as a Belted Kingfisher perched on a mast to seemingly check out what we were all looking at. Rounding the breakwater full of Brandt's Cormorant's and a few Black Turnstones, we headed out, where Sooty and Pink-footed Shearwater numbers were both up from recent trips, and Buller's Shearwaters are increasing for their regular fall showing, with many graceful passes near the boat for the ooh's and ahh's these beautiful birds deservedly elicit.  Our wonderful eclectic  passenger group that had gathered from far and wide enjoyed the camaraderie of excitement for the first of almost 20 Black-footed Albatross of the day that made a rather quick but satisfying pass by the expert chumming at that back of the boat, to return shortly and sit for viewing and photo ops.  The cry of "Laysan" refocused all a bit later, as i t cruised straight for the boat, sailed majestically around the boat a few times, then sat for all to enjoy.  Ashy Storm-petrels in ones and twos kept largely to the edge of the fog, scattered through the day, and a group of Whimbrels flew over the boat on their search for land. A juvenile Black Tern was an unusual visitor out over the canyon, and one lone heavily-molting Pigeon Guillemot was spotted on the water on our way in. Red-necked Phalarope numbers were up, and a few scattered Red's made a showing.  Other highlights included a South Polar Skua harassing gulls in the wake for an extended show near the end of the day.  The marine mammal show was fun and varied, with three Humpback Whales giving good viewing, and three species of dolphins bow-riding, plus a very nice show by Risso's Dolphins.  A young male Elephant Seal uncharacteristically popped his head up near the boat repeatedly – seeming to check us out, as much as we were him.  The reciprocal curiosity was again displayed by a very cooperative (and yes, beautiful!) Blue Shark swimming on the surface next to the boat for extended viewing.




Species list:


Laysan Albatross – 1
Black-footed Albatross – 19
Pink-footed Shearwater – 180
Buller's Shearwater – 32
Sooty Shearwater – 2750
Ashy Storm-petrel – 47
Brown Pelican – 12
Brandt's Cormorant – 400
Pelagic Cormorant – 2
Surf Scoter – 2
Long-tailed Duck – 1
Kingfisher – 1
Whimbrel – 24
Black Turnstone – 5
Red-necked Phalarope – 590
Red Phalarope – 6
Sough Polar Skua – 1
Pomarine Jaeger – 9
Parasitic Jaeger – 2
Parasitic/Long-tailed Jaeger – 1
Heermann's Gull – 32
California Gull – 85
Western Gull – 65
Sabine's Gull – 6
Elegant Tern –f 17
Common Tern – 1
Black Tern – 1
Caspian Tern – 1
Common Murre – 165
Pigeon Guillemot – 1
Cassin's Aucklet – 60
Rhonoceros Aucklet – 78


Marine Mammals:
Sea Otters
California Sea Lions
Northern Elephant Seal – 1
Harbor Seals
Humpback Whale – 3
Northern Right Whale Dolphon – 35
Risso's Dolphon – 45+
Pacific White-sided Dolphon – 20
Dall's Porpoise – 25
Blue Shark – 2
Egg-yolk (many) and Moon (a few) Jellies

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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