Monday, September 10, 2012

Sept. 9 LITTLE GULL trip report

To cut to the chase our Sept. 9 outing had to deal with some fierce northwest winds and to be honest things were looking pretty slow until all hell broke loose when a small gull flew up the wake and Matthew Dodder got everyone on it. Fortunately the bird flew around the boat a few times and everyone on the boat got a look or a photo of it. Then we all started scratching our heads and chimping over the digital cameras. All of us leaders were in different camps as to whether the bird was a Black-legged Kittiwake or aberrant Sabine's but Martijn Verdoes did think right away that it was a Little Gull. We were discussing it when the bird returned for a second look thanks to Alex Rinkert's diligent chumming. Subsequent review of some photos and perusing of references by Dan Singer and Don Roberson concluded that this was indeed a juv. LITTLE GULL. The fifth record for Monterey county and as far as I can tell the only fall record in California. ( I only have access to CBRC records that are online)

Here is a nice shot by Jim Holmes that shows the collar and partial cap:
juv. Little Gull

And here is a collage of pics by Martijn Verdoes:

juv. Little Gull

We have 8 spaces that are open for our next outing on Sunday, September 16 for anyone interested.
Go to the Monterey Seabirds website to register or call the shop at 831 375 4658. $130 pp.

Here are some more shots by Martijn from the day and Don's eBird reports:

Long-beaked Common Dolphins

Monterey Bay pelagic (MTY Co.), Monterey, US-CA
Sep 9, 2012 7:50 AM - 12:05 PM
Protocol: Traveling
25.0 mile(s)
Comments:     aboard 'Pt Sur Clipper' with Mike Johns, skipper; Mark Merlow, deck; leaders Roger Wolfe, Martjin Verdoes, Dan Singer, Matthew Dodder, Blake Matheson, Rod Norden, and me (D. Roberson); chum Alex Rinkert; with Bill Bousman, Don Glasco, Rick Bern, John Brown, Jeff Poklen, Elinor Gates, and more. A sunny but very windy, cool day. Route from Monterey harbor towards Pt. Pinos, then across Mty Bay to Soquel Cyn and into SCZ waters (for 2.5 hrs; see separate checklist) over 'the fingers', then NW into swell & wind until we turned and rode the waves back to Monterey (but in sun glare). This checklist MTY waters offshore, both outboard (2.5 hours) and inbound (2 more hours). Winds started at Beaufort 4 but up to Beaufort 6 (=20 knots or so) by afternoon. No whales but two large pods of Long-beaked Common Dolphin (1 in MTY, 1 in SCZ, each pod ~200 beasts), plus some Dall's Porpose, a N. Fur-Seal, several molas. All checklist offshore (>1 nmi) only, except for the "inshore" checklist (separate) that includes harbor area & along Cannery Row.
23 species (+1 other taxa)

Black-footed Albatross  6
Pink-footed Shearwater  150
Buller's Shearwater  1
Sooty Shearwater  500
Ashy Storm-Petrel  2
Brandt's Cormorant  3
Red-necked Phalarope  50
Red Phalarope  1
Sabine's Gull  1
Little Gull  1     juv briefly following boat ~8 nmi NW of Pt. Pinos, and then briefly returning 5 minutes later for another pass, caused much excitement and confusion. It was plumage with which most of us were completely unfamiliar, and issues of kittiwake & Sabine's Gull were raised. Fortunately good photos were obtained by several, this is my only shot.
<a href="" title="LIGU-j9Sep12MtyBay_3379ww by Rita Carratello, on Flickr"><img src="" alt="LIGU-j9Sep12MtyBay_3379ww"></a>
Heermann's Gull  5
Western Gull  100
California Gull  50
Common Tern  1
Elegant Tern  3
Pomarine Jaeger  9
Parasitic Jaeger  4
jaeger sp.  1
Common Murre  100
Scripps's Murrelet  4     Seen in flight flying away
Cassin's Auklet  8
Rhinoceros Auklet  20
Tufted Puffin  1     full adult plumage, flying right at & past us, at 3.5 nmi NW of Pt. Pinos
Merlin  1     about 2 mi off Pt. Pinos, flying past us and heading toward Point

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (
Black-footed Albatross

 Santa Cruz County waters
Common Loon  1
Black-footed Albatross  5
Pink-footed Shearwater  50
Sooty Shearwater  50
Ashy Storm-Petrel  1
Brandt's Cormorant  1
Osprey  1     over the boat about 7 miles offshore, the bird seemed to be flying towards the Mty Pen
Red-necked Phalarope  20
Red Phalarope  2
Heermann's Gull  3
Western Gull  75
California Gull  40
Arctic Tern  1
Common/Arctic Tern  1
Elegant Tern  1
Pomarine Jaeger  6
Common Murre  30
Cassin's Auklet  10
Rhinoceros Auklet  4

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (
Pink-footed Shearwater
Monterey Harbor inshore that includes harbor area & along Cannery Row.
15 species

Pacific Loon  4     early arrivals?
Brandt's Cormorant  100
Pelagic Cormorant  1
Brown Pelican  20
Great Egret  2
Black Oystercatcher  1     looked like it could be a short-billed juv
Black Turnstone  10
Surfbird  3
Red-necked Phalarope  3
Heermann's Gull  25
Western Gull  150
California Gull  25
Elegant Tern  15
Common Murre  4
Peregrine Falcon  1     atop Aquarium tower

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (


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