Tuesday, September 25, 2012

IMAGES OF THE DAY by Steve Howell: September 21, 2012


Howdy, Birders,
The Hawaiian Petrel on Shearwater Journeys's pelagic trip to Bodega Canyon and Cordell Bank, September 21, 2012 was not the only highlight. Our skilled captain insisted that I put out a menhaden oil slick at a spot where he had seen thousands of storm-petrels a few days earlier. I did this. The resulting mass of dancing storm-petrels absolutely astounded all of the leaders — veterans of decades of seabird trips. I hope you will enjoy Steve Howell's images, below of the dancing show. It was just incredibly spectacular. This trip may have set a record for the sheer numbers of BLACK STORM-PETRELS, in particular, estimated at some 800-1000. FORK-TAILED STORM-PETRELS and ASHY STORM-PETRELS numbered about 1000 each, while 5 WILSON'S STORM-PETRELS put in a show, as well. All images, copyright, Steve Howell. Please do not use without permission.
Mountainous waves with dancing storm-petrels.
 It is very easy to pick out the pearly-gray FORK-TAILED STORM-PETRELS.
 FORK-TAILED STORM-PETRELS blend in well with the swells, below.
 Above it all, a POMARINE JAEGER watches.
Shearwater Journeys's last departure in 2012 from Bodega Bay is Friday, October 26. This is a great time to see fall seabirds and early winter arrivals, including Ancient Murrelets, Northern Fulmar, Short-tailed Shearwater, and possibly, Black-legged Kittiwake. Rarities at this time of year have included Short-tailed Albatross, Parkinsons's and White-chinned Petrels. See you out there!
Storm-petrels forever,
Debi Shearwater

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