Total ABA Species Recorded During 2010 - 731

Friday, August 13, 2010

Ft. Bragg CA Pelagic I

Today was the first of two pelagic trips out of Ft. Bragg CA, a quaint town with a harbor allowing us access to the near shore waters of the Pacific Ocean.  We managed to get out about twenty miles or so.  The weather was quite cold with the temperature in the fifties.  There was also a lot of fog and the sun peeked through very rarely.  But we had birds around us the whole day.  We had a fine Long-tailed Jaeger show (photo) with as many as a dozen over and around us at times.  We also encountered several flocks of Buller's Shearwaters (formerly New Zealand Shearwater) sitting on the water (photo).  Their capped look reminds me of Great Shearwater.  We had many Black-footed Albatrosses but with numbers not quite as high as the trip out of Bodega Bay.  Late in the day we picked up a Laysan Albatross which followed us almost back to the harbor.  We didn't see many storm-petrels but the two we saw were noteworthy.  A Wilson's Storm-Petrel was great for the west coast crowd but not much of a thrill for an easterner.  However, the Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel that appeared in the slick in the wake of the boat was a crowd pleaser for everybody and was bird #688 for the year.  Back on shore we checked into our new motel.  There's a soccer tournament in town so accommodations are squeezed.  We had dinner at an upscale Mexican restaurant where I had a chili relleno plate.  The chili was a spicy one, not the more usual mild poblano.  The Cards beat their dreaded rivals the Cubs.  All is well.
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