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  1. cruiseship May7-8: Hawaiians, Murphy's, Laysans, Leach's glut, Bank Swallow, overall numbers LINK
    DATE: May 9, 2018 @ 7:45am, 6 month(s) ago
    On
    May 7-8, we were southbound on the “Emerald Princess” on our
    12-day round-trip
    from Los Angeles to southeast Alaska and back. Some highlights
    from the last
    couple days and the trip overall: Southbound
    saw a continuation of mostly light winds (except for the final
    afternoon) that
    has been typical of this spring (and which typically reduces
    the numbers of
    pterodromas seen) and we also “lost” several hours off n. CA
    due to dense fog. Overall
    numbers of pelagics this spring in the OFFSHORE zone where
    cruise-ships run
    seem OK for some species and clearly down for some others.
    Continuing a trend now
    for the second year, between southern California and southern
    British Columbia,
    number of most alcids seem WAY down (especially Common Murres
    and Cassin’s
    Auklets, but also including Rhinos), as definitely do the
    numbers of
    phalaropes. The
    past two days: May
    7: very light winds and flat seas off Del Norte and Humboldt =
    a good count of
    1150 Leach’s Storm-Petrels (1100 in HUM). Also, the usual
    moderate-sized pod of
    N. Right Whale Dolphins I see on most cruises off Cape
    Mendocino. Earlier in
    the day, off Oregon, we had 2 Murphy’s Petrels, 1 Laysan, and
    a good spring
    count of 20 Long-tailed Jaegers. May
    8: Hawaiian
    Petrel:   2 together 69
    km off southern
    San Luis Obispo County (closest point of land) although due
    west of Santa
    Maria, SBA. Murphy’s
    Petrel: 1 was 66 km off southern San Luis Obispo County Laysan
    Albatross:   1 seen 74
    km off San Mateo
    County (in the dense fog…) BANK
    Swallow:   not exactly
    one’s typical
    pelagic fare, 1 was 69 km off southern San Luis Obispo Co.   (We also had a Tree
    Swallow a couple days
    earlier 200 km off Vancouver Island; where also many flocks of
    northbound
    puddle ducks far offshore.)   I
    am now turning around, on the same ship, and doing a “quick”
    repositioning trip
    for three days up to Victoria/Vancouver. We are supposed to
    have a good deal of
    wind on this trip! --Paul
    Lehman,   San Diego  
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