This is a trip report for Shearwater Journeys' October 13, 2013 pelagic trip departing from Monterey Bay. The day began with seabirds — lots of seabirds, right from the get-go. Many shearwaters were close to shore only one mile off Point Pinos! Flocks of migrating PACIFIC LOONS coursed overhead, while SOOTY, PINK-FOOTED and BULLER'S SHEARWATERS put on quite a show at the stern. Highlights included; FLESH-FOOTED SHEARWATER which showed well, some of the first SHORT-TAILED SHEARWATERS of the fall season, continuing SOUTH POLAR SKUAS, arriving winter gulls: BONAPARTE'S, MEW, HERRING, GLAUCOUS-WINGED and a good show of CASSIN'S and RHINOCEROS AUKLETS. HUMPBACK WHALES continue in the bay, but a STELLER'S SEA LION was a surprise. All images in this report provided by leader extraordinaire, Steve Rottenborn, below. Please do not use without permission.
BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS, below, flying up the wake.
BULLER'S SHEARWATER, below, continued, now closer to shore.
It might even be possible to see BULLER'S SHEARWATER from Point Pinos.
October is the very best month of the year to hope to see FLESH-FOOTED SHEARWATER, below, although there are records for all months of the year.
NORTHERN FULMAR, below are still arriving in large numbers due to the recent northerly weather systems, whereas Black-vented Shearwaters seem to have retreated to the south.
PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATER, below.
PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATER, below. Most will depart for Isla Mocha in the Juan Fernandez Islands to breed soon.
SOOTY SHEARWATER, below, a mostly unnoticed, declining species throughout the Pacific.
THAYER'S GULL, below.
BONAPARTE'S GULL, below.
STEVE ROTTENBORN, one of the leaders on this trip.
Many thanks to the birders who traveled from near and far to join our trip, including from France, Canada and Germany! The leaders on this day were: Clay Kempf, Steve Rottenborn, Scott Terrill, Linda Terrill, Rick Fournier, John Garrett and Debi Shearwater. We had yet, another beautiful day at sea, with glassy-smooth waters for most of the day.
The complete species list for MONTEREY/SANTA CRUZ COUNTIES follows.
OCTOBER 13, 2013 SHEARWATER JOURNEYS MONTEREY BAY
PACIFIC LOON- 43/5
COMMON LOON- 9/0
EARED GREBE- 2/1
WESTERN GREBE- 3/0
BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS- 15/7
NORTHERN FULMAR- 42/10
PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATER- 153/400
FLESH-FOOTED SHEARWATER- 1/0
BULLER'S SHEARWATER- 31/50
SOOTY SHEARWATER- 410/800, a very low count, declining species
SHORT-TAILED SHEARWATER- 4/2, a very low count, declining species
BROWN PELICAN- 143/2
BRANDT'S CORMORANT- 320/2
DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT- 1/0
PELAGIC CORMORANT- 11/0
GREAT EGRET- 4, near the harbor
GREAT BLUE HERON- 1, near the harbor
BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT HERON- 1, near the harbor
SURF SCOTER- 62/0
BLACK TURNSTONE- 4, on Coast Guard jetty
SURFBIRD- 4, on Coast Guard jetty
RED-NECKED PHALAROPE- 60/0
RED PHALAROPE- 15/25
SOUTH POLAR SKUA- 2/2
POMARINE JAEGER- 4/1
PARASITIC JAEGER- 3/0
BONAPARTE'S GULL- 2/1
HEERMANN'S GULL- 70/3
MEW GULL- 1/1
CALIFORNIA GULL- 53/?
HERRING GULL- 5/3
WESTERN GULL- 400/100
GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL- 0/3
ELEGANT TERN- 55/12
COMMON MURRE- 235/400
PIGEON GUILLEMOT- 1/0
CASSIN'S AUKLET- 45/25
RHINOCEROS AUKLET- 165/250
AMERICAN CROW- 3, in the harbor
BELTED KINGFISHER- 2, in the harbor
SEA OTTER- 8
CALIFORNIA SEA LION- 350
STELLER'S SEA LION- 2, offshore
NORTHERN FUR SEAL- 1
HARBOR SEAL- +
HUMPBACK WHALE- 8-10
DALL'S PORPOISE- 12
OCEAN SUNFISH- 1
SPACES ARE STILL AVAILABLE THIS SEASON:
OCTOBER 25 MONTEREY BAY
OCTOBER 27 HALF MOON BAY
NOVEMBER 16 HALF MOON BAY
SEE YOU OUT THERE!