Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sept. 10 trip report

It is strange how things change on the Monterey Bay. Last weekend’s trip we called the Sooty Shearwater Study Tour when we found only one each of Buller’s and Pink-footed Shearwaters. A week later we find more PINK-FOOTS than I’ve ever seen in one day on the bay. I estimate we saw about 1,000 for the day and they outnumbered the Sooties by a wide margin. There was a PFSH in view almost continuously after we passed Pt. Pinos.

All photos copyright by permission only Martijn Verdoes/www/
Pink-footed Shearwater

BULLER’S SHEARWATERS still remain scarce with only 16 seen on the day but we did manage to find a grand total of 3 FLESH-FOOTED SHEARWATERS to the excitement of the visiting group of birders from Denmark. The shot below is not photoshopped!

Flesh-footed (L) and Pink-footed Shearwaters

The first of fall SHORT-TAILED SHEARWATER was photographed by Martijn Verdoes to give us five species of shearwater for the day.

Martijn adjusted the size of the Sooty in this photoshopped comparison so it would match the Short-tailed Shearwater on the right.

We were able to achieve the Skua Slam with sightings of PARASITIC, POMARINE and LONG-TAILED JAEGERS and 2 SOUTH POLAR SKUAS.

Other good bonus birds seen this day included 2 BLACK TERNS and a single TUFTED PUFFIN.

Tufted Puffin

Weirdest sighting of the day was of a DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT that we saw 10 miles from land. Add 2 BROWN-HEADED COWBIRDS and a TOWNSEND’S WARBLER and we totaled 28 species on the day which is pretty good for a Monterey Bay pelagic.

Brown-headed Cowbird and friend

eBird report

Monterey Bay pelagic (MTY Co.), Monterey, US-CA Sep 10, 2011 8:15 AM - 2:45 PM Protocol: Traveling 40.0 mile(s) Comments:     Monterey Seabirds trip w/ Todd Easterla, Martijn Verdoes, Matthew Dodder, Richard Ternullo skipper and Alex Rinkert chummer. Also Martin Meyers and Ken Peterson and the Danish Field Ornithologists (DOF) Confused seas and wind kept us from going to the north coast so we spent the day in Monterey County waters. Seas were Beaufort 3 at times with high overcast marine layer all day but good visibility. 28 species (+1 other taxa) 

Black-footed Albatross  100
Northern Fulmar  25
Pink-footed Shearwater  1000
Flesh-footed Shearwater  3
Buller's Shearwater  16
Sooty Shearwater  750
Sooty/Short-tailed Shearwater  1     photographed
Ashy Storm-Petrel  10
Double-crested Cormorant  1     10 miles from shore
Brown Pelican  30
Red-necked Phalarope  12
Red Phalarope  20
Sabine's Gull  20
Heermann's Gull  50
Western Gull  80
California Gull  30
Black Tern  2
Common Tern  5
Elegant Tern  3
South Polar Skua  2
Pomarine Jaeger  8
Parasitic Jaeger  8
Long-tailed Jaeger  10
Common Murre  300
Cassin's Auklet  15
Rhinoceros Auklet  120
Tufted Puffin  1
Townsend's Warbler  1
Brown-headed Cowbird  2 

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