All, Monterey Seabirds had a fantastic pelagic out of Monterey today. The trip took a Sacramento Audubon charter out through both Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties today 9/30.
Spotters Dorian Anderson, Fred Hochstaedter, Peter Metropolis, and Francis Toldi put in an incredible day's work and cannot be thanked enough.
Oddly, our only COMMON TERN was spotted by Fred before we even got on the boat in Monterey Harbor. Upon boarding, we tracked it down for a few extra looks.
PINK-FOOTED, SOOTY and BULLER'S SHEARWATERS occurred today in both Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties. I haven't yet finished eBirding our totals, but the BULLER'S SHEARWATER total was probably near a couple hundred, many of which were in Santa Cruz or very near the county line.
Upon arrival into Santa Cruz Co., there was a great frenzy of feeding marine animals of all kinds. Sorting through one group of about a dozen HUMPBACKS and sea lions, Fred called a great bird, "FLESH-FOOTED SHEARWATER!" Our captain motored off and we chased it for a while until we caught up with it resting on the water. At that point, it became a bit unclear whether there were two birds or just one. At any rate, another FLESH-FOOTED SHEARWATER was seen miles north of that location in the vicinity of some BLUE WHALES. Confidently, we can say we had two, though some folks may have had a third. I believe some reasonable photos of the Flesh-footeds were obtained and will post them soon.
Before leave Santa Cruz Co. , Dorian spotted a TUFTED PUFFIN sitting on the water.
Upon returning into Monterey Co., Peter spotted the first ASHY STORM-PETRELS and we turned up about ten more as we motored back towards Monterey.
Jaegers also made for a good show. We had both POMARINE and PARASITIC in both counties. Additionally, one LONG-TAILED JAEGER buzzed by the boat at very close range in Monterey Co.
Additionally, NORTHERN FULMAR, BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS, RHINOCEROS AUKLET(good numbers in MTY), CASSIN'S AUKLET(marked increase since our previous trips), and RED-NECKED PHALAROPE were encountered in both Monterey and Santa Cruz Co. Another bird that showed up in both counties was COMMON LOON, a few of which were fairly far offshore.
Finally, seen during the trip were a BLUE SHARK, RISSO'S DOLPHNS, DAHL'S PORPOISES and a single MOLA MOLA.
Thanks again to all the spotters and to Sacramento Audubon for bringing such a great group.
We've got just a few more trips going out this season including one tomorrow OCT.1 that still has some space.
Our last trips are running Oct. 15 (8 hour) and Oct. 16 (12 hour). If you want to join, call (831) 375-4658 or visit montereyseabirds.com
I'll post photos on the eBird lists and at our facebook page very soon.
Can't wait to do it again tomorrow.