Total ABA Species Recorded During 2010 - 731

Friday, June 25, 2010

Offshore from Monterey

Monterey is a well-known Calfiornia location to many people.  Certainly golf tournaments at Pebble Beach is one such reason.  But to birdwatchers it is the chance to go offshore on one of Debi Shearwater's many birdwatching pelagic trips.  Today John and I were on such a trip.  Greg Miller, one of the big year trio from a few years back, was also on board.  I had a nice chat with him about our hits and misses.  He was very encouraging about our chances of ending up with a good year's list.  Our current pace is ahead of his during his big year.  The boat ended up about 30 miles offshore where we reached the 1500 fathom line and some warmer water.  At the start of the trip in the harbor we had many Brandt's Cormorants (some on nests), Heerman's Gulls, plenty of Western Gulls, and Pigeon Guillemots.  A few of those cute Sea Otters, too.  Along the way out we saw several Black-footed Albatrosses (photo), Sooty and Pink-footed Shearwaters, Northern Fulmars, Cassin's and Rhonoceros Auklets, Xantu's Murrelets. and couple Common Murres.  We also saw Fin and Humpback Whales, Northern Right-whales, Risso's, and Pacific Whitesided Dolphins, and Doll's Porpoise.  But the highlight for us occurred when a succession of three South Polar Skuas arrived at the boat, all of whom had missing primaries (photo).  At times all three were in view at once.  The boat ride back to port brought more auklets and a nice string of Sooty Shearwaters working the submarine canyon at the mouth of Monterey Bay.  Once on shore we found our car and pointed it toward San Francisco airport where our motel for the night was located.  Dinner was at an IHOP next door.  Tomorrow John and fly home but at different times.  The skua brought the list total to 641.

1 comment:

  1. Wow that was quite a trip! And you had the sun to your back both out and in! Not like those east coast trips where you get blinded in the morning.