Friday, October 7, 2011

California Part 3 -Monterey Bay pelagic Sept 22

Black-footed Albatross
Sooty Shearwater raft

Sooty Shearwater feeding next to boat

Northern Fulmar (dark morph)

Pink-footed Shearwater
On September 22 I joined an all day pelagic trip into Monterey Bay by way of the well known Shearwater Journeys.  The trip began at 7am and ended around 3:30pm.  The weather for the most part stayed overcast with some fog and occasional drizzle as well as large swells well out in the bay.  The sun finally broke through as we came back into the harbor.  The day was a great success with many great birds and fabulous looks at them.  The conditions made it a bit difficult to get great photos but I got some fair ones that give a representations of the birds that day.  The list of birds for the day included Buller's, Pink-footed Shearwaters, and Sooty Shearwaters (with one, maybe two leucistic individuals..more on that bird later), all three jaegers, a South Polar Skua, Ashy, Leach's and Black Storm-Petrels, Black-footed Albatross, Sabine's Gull, Northern Fulmar, Rhinoceros and Cassin's Auklets and Common Murre.  There were many highlights to the day but one of the most memorable was when we found ourselves in the midst of a large feeding group of Sooty Shearwaters (thousands of birds) just out of the harbor that fed right next to the boat.  They were so close my camera could not focus at times.  Even the guides on board had not been within such a large feeding group in a few years.  Despite the occasional large swells I had a great day and was very happy with the trip.  A day well spent indeed.

Sabine's Gull with Northern Fulmar (light morph) in background

Common Murre

No comments:

Post a Comment