AUGUST 13, 2016
Shearwater Journeys' August 13, 2016 pelagic trip departing from Pillar Point, Half Moon Bay was simply put— over the top — with very exciting seabirds, whales and dolphins. Highlights included: the NORTHERN GANNET at Pillar Point; a BROWN BOOBY on a rusting barrel offshore; a GRAND SLAM: POMARINE, PARASITIC, LONG-TAILED JAEGERS & SOUTH POLAR SKUA; SABINE'S GULLS; ARCTIC TERNS; and SCRIPPS'S & CRAVERI'S MURRELETS; ASHY, WILSON'S and FORK-TAILED STORM-PETRELS. Cetacean highlights included: 11 BLUE WHALES, 4 FIN WHALES, 120 HUMPBACK WHALES; 350 PACIFIC WHITE-SIDED DOLPHINS and 4 NORTHERN RIGHT WHALE DOLPHINS.
The sea surface temperature chart showed a messy area of mixing temperatures near the weather buoy. Indeed, we tracked temperatures throughout the day as they rose from 54 F to 59.45 F. The "mixing zone" turned out to be loaded with feeding seabirds and marine mammals.
Chart used by permission of Terrafin, a service that I subscribe to.
SCRIPPS'S MURRELET, above, was one of two that we observed.
Two CRAVERI'S MURRELETS popped off the water almost immediately as they were called out. They did what so many murrelets do: fly over the edge of the Earth!
At least a few lucky and fast birders saw and photographed them.
The dusky wing-linings are a definitive ID characteristic.
An adult BROWN BOOBY was sitting on a rusty barrel well offshore.
Brown Boobies have not been as common this season as last year.
Some high flying folks were on board.
This was the first trip of the season to hit a GRAND SLAM:
POMARINE, PARASITIC (above), & LONG-TAILED JAEGERS
SOUTH POLAR SKUA
A POMARINE (right) and PARASITIC JAEGER (left).
A great group of fun, young birders on board!
Many thanks to all of the fun participants who joined us from near and far for this almost 12 hour pelagic trip. This was an excellent day at sea for both seabirds and marine mammals.
It takes a team to make such a day. Leaders on this trip included: PETER PYLE, STEVE TUCKER, JIM HOLMES, WILL BROOKS, and DEBI SHEARWATER. This trip was submitted to eBird following pelagic eBird protocol.
THE COMPLETE SPECIES LIST FOR SHEARWATER JOURNEYS'
AUGUST 13, 2016 HALF MOON BAY PELAGIC TRIP FOLLOWS:
SAN MATEO/SAN FRANCISCO COUNTIES:
COMMON LOON- 4/0
WESTERN GREBE- 2/0
BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS- 20/40
NORTHERN/PACIFIC FULMAR- 0/5
PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATER- 75/150
SOOTY SHEARWATER- 2,000/250
WILSON'S STORM-PETREL- 1/0
ASHY STORM-PETREL- 10/20
FORK-TAILED STORM-PETREL- 1/1
BROWN BOOBY- 0/1
NORTHERN GANNET- 1/0
BROWN PELICAN- 30/0
BRANDT'S CORMORANT- 15/0
DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT- 2/0
PELAGIC CORMORANT- 2/0
RED-NECKED PHALAROPE- 80/30
RED PHALAROPE- 10/2
SOUTH POLAR SKUA- 0/1
POLMARINE JAEGER- 0/1
PARASITIC JAEGER- 1/1
LONG-TAILED JAEGER- 0/3
HERRMANN'S GULL- 10/0
CALIFORNIA GULL- 10/8
WESTERN GULL- 200/25
SABINE'S GULL- 0/12
COMMON TERN- 0/1
ARCTIC TERN- 0/3
COMMON MURRE- 400/40
PIGEON GUILLEMOT- 7/0
SCRIPPS'S MURRELET- 2/0
CRAVERI'S MURRELET- 1/2
CASSIN'S AUKLET- 450/450
RHINOCEROS AUKLET- 7/2
BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD- 0/1, offshore
CALIFORNIA SEA LION- 35
STELLER'S SEA LION- 2
NORTHERN ELEPHANT SEAL- 3
MINKE WHALE- 1
BLUE WHALE- 11
FIN WHALE- 4
HUMPBACK WHALE- 120
NORTHERN RIGHT WHALE DOLPHIN- 4
PACIFIC WHITE-SIDED DOLPHIN- 350
HARBOR PORPOISE- 20
UNIDENTIFIED CETACEAN-1 (thought to be a large dolphin, best left unidentified)
OCEAN SUNFISH- 4
UPCOMING TRIPS DEPARTING FROM HALF MOON BAY
SEPTEMBER 4, 16, 18
OCTOBER 2, 9
UPCOMING TRIPS DEPARTING FROM MONTEREY BAY
SEPTEMBER 3, 7, 8, 9, 11, 14, 15, 23, 24, 25
OCTOBER 1, 8, 16
GREAT TIME TO HEAD OFFSHORE!
LIVING THE SALT LIFE,
Seabird images by Nathan Goldberg