Tuesday, October 9, 2012

IMAGES OF THE DAY by Bruce Hallett: September 30, 2012

Howdy, Birders,

Shearwater Journeys's pelagic trip to the Farallones Islands on September 30, 2012 was quite spectacular. Nearly all of the wildlife seemed to jump out at us within one hour. Our usual route is to head straight away to the islands. However, as most folks wanted to see some of the offshore seabirds, and as the NORTHERN GANNET was most visible in the afternoons, I decided to head offshore first, and then proceed to the islands. Departing from Sausalito under bright, sunny skies, we had stunning views of the GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE. Traveling eight miles beyond the North Islands, we reached the edge of the shelf, where Bruce Hallett snapped this image of a BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS, below. The action came fast and furiously, as we encountered many shearwaters feeding with some PACIFIC WHITE-SIDED DOLPHINS. Amongst the shearwaters, was one MANX. A previously reported Wedge-tailed Shearwater has been "recalled" due to too brief a view in harsh lighting. Suddenly, a large dorsal fin emerged near the vessel and I rapidly called out for our captain to put the boat broadside to the disappearing male KILLER WHALE. Just as suddenly, someone yelled that a fin was right beside our boat. Again, I called for the captain STOP! Another adult KILLER WHALE, along with a female appeared alongside our vessel. Images of this male killer whale, and other images below, are by Bruce Hallett. I also include his comments. All images, copyright, Bruce Hallett. Please do not use without permission.
 BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS, trying to get airborne.
 Team captain calling in coordinates for an air strike.
 Ever vigilant.
 Raise your hand, if it is your first pelagic trip.
 Let's see Pyle, "You received a C- on your paper on ocean dynamics, so see me later."
 Speaks for itself. Pride of the fleet.
 Longest and fastest pig tail in the West.
 Returning home, under "the bridge."
 Golden Gate Bridge.
 Male KILLER WHALE dorsal fin.
Male KILLER WHALE — all powerful.
What Bruce had to say about the day:
"Thank you for the two pelagic trips that  I went on during the WFO conference-Bodega and the Farallones.  I thought they were well done and obviously you had a great deal to do with that.  Good trip report on line also."
Shearwaters forever,
Debi Shearwater

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