Between September 8 and 26 Shearwater Journeys offered fifteen successful pelagic trips from three ports: Monterey, Half Moon Bay and Bodega Bay. Some 552 birders participated in these trips, including the trips for the Monterey Bay Birding Festival, held this past weekend. Leaders on these trips included: Clay Kempf, Jennifer Green, Rick Fournier, Scott Terrill, Linda Terrill, Morten Joergensen, Kate Goldberg, Wes Fritz, Dena Spatz, Lisa Hug, Steve Howell, Peter Pyle, David Wimpfheimer, Tristan McKee, Abe Borker, Russell Bradley, Annie Schmidt, Joe Morlan, Dave Pereksta, Melinda Conners, Adam Fox, Adam Searcy and Debi Shearwater. Participants hailed from Canada, Belgium, The Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, England and 32 states.
Highlights were many, with all of the usual fall seabirds observed during the period. The GREAT-WINGED PETREL was observed by a lucky few birders only 7 miles offshore on the September 17th Half Moon Bay trip. This may well be the same individual Great-winged Petrel as seen on our August 26th Monterey Bay trip. A beautiful adult BROWN BOOBY flew into the wake on the September 9th Monterey Bay trip. A MANX SHEARWATER was spotted, sitting amongst a raft of Sooty Shearwaters on the September 11th Monterey Bay trip. Two LAYSAN ALBATROSSES were found on the September 14th Bodega Bay trip, along with 6 Wilson's, 150 Fork-tailed, 200 Ashy and 12 Black Storm-Petrels. Another LAYSAN ALBATROSS was observed on the September 16th Half Moon Bay trip. "Bonus" TUFTED PUFFINS were spotted on several trips from Monterey and Half Moon Bay and the September 14th Bodega Bay trip. It was an incredible month for seabirds. Many of the Half Moon Bay departures enjoyed excellent views of MARBLED MURRELETS as well as close-up views of the rocky shorebirds: SURFBIRD, WANDERING TATTLER, BLACK OYSTERCATCHER.
Fall migration continues throughout October which could shape up to be a very good month. Winter seabirds should be arriving by mid-October through November. Spaces are available on the following trips:
MONTEREY: OCT 1, 8, 16; NOV 27
HALF MOON BAY: OCT 2, 15; NOV 22
BODEGA BAY: OCT 14
For reservations, please contact Debi Shearwater at: email@example.com
AKA "Annie Auklet" as played by Angelica Huston in the 20th Century Fox movie, "The Big Year" opening at a theater near you on October 14th!
I hope you will enjoy John Schwarz's images from Shearwater Journeys' September 10, 11, 14 and 18 trips. All images copyright, John Schwarz. Please do not use without permission.
South Polar Skua