Monday, August 6, 2012


Howdy, Seabirders,
Below, you can enjoy some images by Christian Haass from Germany of seabirds on Shearwater Journeys' August 3, 2012 pelagic trip from Monterey Bay. All images copyright, Christian Haass. Please do not use without permission.
 The morning began with a big bang, right outside the harbor with many POMARINE JAEGERS, above and below, chasing Elegant Terns.
RED PHALAROPES far outnumbered the RED-NECKED PHALAROPES, even close to shore, possibly owing to the high winds of the previous few days.
SABINE'S GULLS appeared just as we reached Point Pinos. By day's end we would tally 47 individuals, often flying up the wake. This is a good count for this early in the fall season.
PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATERS appeared about the same time and often flew up the wake, as did this individual, below.
 BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSSES were attracted to the bird commotion behind the boat.
Shortly, even the majestic albatross was swimming toward the vessel.
Only a handful of CASSIN'S AUKLETS were found. Most of these birds might well be found further north, near the Farallon Islands or off Half Moon Bay at this time.
The real surprise of the day was the storm-petrels. Many ASHY STORM-PETRELS were noted.
The image, above, shows a white-rumped LEACH'S STORM-PETREL second bird from the left.
West Coast storm-petrels are never easy to photograph, as more often than not, they do not approach the vessel closely.
 LEACH'S STORM-PETRELS, above and below.
 Heading south, we encountered small flocks of 6-12 storm-petrels, rafting on the water. In one such flock, birders were able to see three species at once: ASHY, LEACH'S and the distinctly larger and blacker, BLACK STORM-PETREL.
 Although Leach's Storm-Petrels are common 50+ to 100 miles offshore Monterey, on this trip we set a record high count for nearshore LEACH'S STORM-PETRELS!
Whereas ARCTIC TERNS were extremely scarce during the 2011 fall migration, it appears that this fall we might find good numbers of them. 
Many thanks to Christian for the above images. 
Jump on board with us to experience West Coast fall seabird migration
Shearwaters forever,
Debi Shearwater

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