I hope you will enjoy the images below by fellow traveler, birder and photographer, Jean Myers. All images shot while on board the fabulous Shearwater Journeys' pelagic trip to the Farallon Islands, August 5, 2012. All images, Copyright, Jean Myers, all rights reserved. Please do not use without permission. View more of Jean's images and her restoration work at Casa Dos Rios.
Adult TUFTED PUFFIN, above is always the highlight of our Farallon Islands trip. This year, it was eclipsed at the end of the day by a very special seabird, the Northern Gannet.
CASSIN'S AUKLET, above, the smallest alcid that occurs in our area and is all dark to the water line.
Two BLUE WHALES, above, the largest animal to ever live on Earth. Their steely, blue color and small dorsal fin are good field marks. Amazingly, the mighty blue whale feeds on the same small, shrimp-like krill, as the Cassin's Auklet, above. It was no surprise to see them in the same area.
BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS taking off, above. If we had spent more time off the edge of the Continental Shelf, we might have seen more of the "real seabirds", but---
HUMPBACK WHALE double tail flukes— the underside of the flukes are used to identify individual humpbacks. A whale watching boat in the background.
A "SKUNK HEAD" SOOTY SHEARWATER, above and normal colored SOOTY SHEARWATER, below.
A call from the island sent us scurrying back to see the NORTHERN GANNET at Saddle Rock. We had failed to find it during a two hour search earlier in the day.
Remarkably, this NORTHERN GANNET was seen carrying nesting material in June by a seabird biologist! One wonders what might happen should another gannet show up!
It was one of those days that we ocean folk live for!
Real birds eat squid,