ACTION ALL DAY LONG!
This is a trip report for Shearwater Journeys' pelagic trip departing from Half Moon Bay, August 19, 2016, offshore to the Continental Shelf and Pioneer Canyon. Eight species of tubenoses were recorded: BLACK-FOOTED and LAYSAN ALBATROSS, NORTHERN/PACIFIC FULMAR, PINK-FOOTED and SOOTY SHEARWATERS, and WILSON'S, FORK-TAILED and ASHY STORM-PETRELS. Other highlights included; SABINE'S GULL, ARCTIC TERN, CASSIN'S and RHINOCEROS AUKLETS and one beautiful TUFTED PUFFIN. The single NORTHERN GANNET that has been flying back and forth from the Farallones Islands was standing on the cliff near the satellite domes. A single MARBLED MURRELET was spotted while we were watching the gannet.
Marine mammals included; HUMPBACK, FIN and BLUE WHALES. A pod of 8 to 10 KILLER WHALES put on quite a show! Great sea conditions and loads of fun!
BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS, very common at this time of year.
LAYSAN ALBATROSS, never "common"in our area.
Always a special treat.
This may be the same individual we saw on an earlier August HMB trip.
ASHY STORM-PETREL, scattered individuals often seen during fall.
Sometimes large rafts are encountered.
A near-endemic California species thought to be in decline.
The white-romped, WILSON'S STORM-PETREL, a very uncommon storm-petrel in our region.
Formerly, it was a review species by the California Rare Bird Records Committee.
KILLER WHALES, always a surprise in our region!
There is no predictable time, nor place in our region to find these amazing marine mammals.
The pod of 8 to 10 individuals, including a small calf, put on quite a show.
It is a MYLAR BALLOONwith the exterior design worn off.
All balloons are very dangerous and life-threatening to marine life.
Albatrosses are naturally curious birds.
Black-footed Albatross investigating a mylar balloon.
Image by the late Rich Stallcup.
PLEASE DO NOT LET BALLOONS GO!
One of our many talented leaders, CHRISTIAN SCHWARZ, retrieves the balloon to prevent damage to wildlife.
Christian is well known for his expertise in MUSHROOMS.
He recently co-authored the book above, MUSHROOMS of the REDWOOD COAST.
CHRISTIAN SCHWARZ, when he is not on a pelagic trip!
Christian is available for hire for guided birding or mushrooming, in our area.
Many thanks to all the wonderful and fun folks who joined our Half Moon Bay pelagic trip!
The Shearwater team of leaders included: CHRISTIAN SCHWARZ, TODD MCGRATH, STEVE TUCKER & DEBI SHEARWATER.
THE COMPLETE SPECIES LIST FOR SHEARWATER JOURNEYS' AUGUST 19, 2016 HALF MOON BAY PELAGIC TRIP FOLLOWS:
SAN MATEO/SAN FRANCISCO COUNTIES:
PACIFIC LOON- 10/0
WESTERN GREBE- 3/0
*LAYSAN ALBATROSS- 0/1
BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS- 3/14
NORTHERN/PACIFIC FULMAR- 0/1
PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATER- 98/44
SOOTY SHEARWATER- 1670/6
WILSON'S STORM-PETREL- 1/0
FORK-TAILED STORM-PETREL- 4/3
ASHY STORM-PETREL- 23/8
BROWN PELICAN- 116/0
BRANDT'S CORMORANT- 11/0
PELAGIC CORMORANT- 4/0
**NORTHERN GANNET- 1/0
SURF SCOTER- 7/0
RED-NECKED PHALAROPE- 21/0
RED PHALAROPE- 2/4
PARASITIC JAEGER- 1/0
HERRMANN'S GULL- 290/0
CALIFORNIA GULL- 6/1
WESTERN GULL- 361/19
SABINE'S GULL- 1/6
ELEGANT TERN- 74/0
ARCTIC TERN- 1/0
COMMON MURRE- 368/10
PIGEON GUILLEMOT- in the harbor
MARBLED MURRELET- 1/0
CASSIN'S AUKLET- 9/90
RHINOCEROS AUKLET- 2/5
TUFTED PUFFIN- 1/0
HUMPBACK WHALE- 6
BLUE WHALE- 2
FIN WHALE- 1
KILLER WHALE- 8 -10
PACIFIC WHITE-SIDED DOLPHIN- 80
HARBOR PORPOISE- 10
OCEAN SUNFISH- 1
UPCOMING TRIPS DEPARTING FROM HALF MOON BAY
SEPTEMBER 4 (SOLD OUT), 16, 18
OCTOBER 2, 9
IT IS NOW THE VERY PEAK OF FALL SEABIRD MIGRATION!
HOPE TO SEE YOU OUT THERE!
LIVING THE SALT LIFE,
Images by Christian Schwarz