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   Ashy Storm-Petrel (Oceanodroma homochroa) - ASSP (recent eBird sightings, view CBRC records, range map
)

  1. Laysan Albatross - Half Moon Bay pelagic. LINK
    DATE: Sep 14, 2018 @ 10:46am, 5 day(s) ago
    Hello all, Great boat trip yesterday out of Half Moon Bay, it started off slowly but built up to a nice finish. We covered water in San Mateo and San Francisco counties. The highlight was a Laysan Albatross with orange-red band (presumably from Mexican breeding population), it was feeding on a big dead Humboldt Squid! We also found a near adult Brown Booby. Both of these birds were in San Mateo. A South Polar Skua, all three species of jaegers, as well as the regularly occurring shearwaters (Sooty, Pink-footed and Bullers), Black-footed Albatross, and alcids (Rhinoceros Auklet, Common Murre, as well as Marbled Murrelet). Both Arctic and Common terns were found, but only a single Sabines Gull. We did find small flocks of Ashy Storm-Petrel, and a single Fork-tailed but no Black SP yesterday. Blue Whale was great to see. We are looking forward to our trips this weekend, there is room on tomorrow and Sundays boat. http://alvarosadventures.com/boat-trips/pelagics/ Good birding Alvaro Alvaro Jaramillo alvaro@... www.alvarosadventures.com 
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  3. MTY PELAGIC REPORT: MASKED BOOBY & EVEN SEAS LINK
    DATE: Aug 28, 2018 @ 10:36am, 22 day(s) ago
    Hello, Calbirders,
    
    This is a report for Shearwater Journeys August 24, 2019 Monterey Bay pelagic trip. We had a fantastic day with calm seas and nearly non-stop seabirds. The most exciting seabird occurred during our return to Point Pinos at the end of the day when leader, Steve Tucker spotted a very distant booby.
    
    An exhilarating chase to keep up with the booby which was often flying through the blows of humpback whales ensued. The booby made multiple passes directly over our bow, thanks to the skill of our captain. We saw it plunge-diving amongst the many feeding seabirds and whales. Many images were made. After reviewing the images, and with input from Peter Pyle and Todd McGrath, the identification is presumed MASKED BOOBY about 10 months of age.
    
    It has been a great year for tropical boobies along the California coast, especially southern California. As we returned to the harbor, everyone was on high alert, hoping for a booby! And, it happened! Im sure this wont be the last booby sighted in Monterey this season.
    
    In addition to the MASKED BOOBY, we found a good assortment of fall seabirds. Highlights included: BULLERS SHEARWATERS, ASHY STORM-PETRELS; POMARINE, PARASITIC, and LONG-TAILED JAEGERS; SABINES GULLS; RHINOCEROS AUKLETS; and a beautiful TUFTED PUFFIN. We saw many HUMPBACK WHALES, 2 traveling BLUE WHALES, RISSOS DOLPHINS, DALLS PORPOISE, and NORTHERN FUR SEALS.
    
    EVEN SEAS: The sea surface temperature remained near 60 F throughout the day. So, although the flat-calm seas and the 60 F SST might tend to make one think that the conditions were good for finding Craveris, Scrippss, or Guadalupe Murrelets, this was not the case.
    Over my four decades of experience, finding these murrelets requires more than just warm water. Two additional conditions are needed: a temperature break and clear water. For instance, on our August 11th Half Moon Bay trip, the SSTs ran from 54 F to 58F over a short distance. And, the 58 F waters were clear. So, we had both a temp break and clear water. And, we found Scrippss Murrelets. Conversely, on this August 24th trip, we had pea soup green water, not clear at all. Of course, there will always be the odd exception, but in general, Ive observed that finding murrelets requires three things: 1. calmer seas, 2. temp break, and 3. clear water.
    
    Our next trip with spaces available is FRIDAY, AUGUST 31 with leaders Christian Schwarz, Alex Rinkert, Jim Holmes, and Debi Shearwater. We will be spending time in Santa Cruz County , a hard county for ticking seabirds! Spaces are available.
    
    The complete species list for AUGUST 24, 2019 SHEARWATER JOURNEYS MONTEREY BAY PELAGIC TRIP:
    All birds were recorded in Monterey County.
    
    COMMON LOON- 1
    BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS- 20
    NORTHERN FULMAR- 15
    PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATER- 75
    BULLERS SHEARWATER- 4
    SOOTY SHEARWATER- 8500
    ASHY STORM-PETREL- 26
    ****MASKED BOOBY- 1
    BROWN PELICAN- 80
    BRANDTS CORMORANT- 500
    DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT- 2
    PELAGIC CORMORANT- 2
    WESTERN SANDPIPER- 33
    DOWITCHER SP.- 8
    BLACK TURNSTONE- 2
    SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER- 2
    RED-NECKED PHALAROPE- 125
    RED PHALAROPE- 18
    POMARINE JAEGER- 6
    POMARINE/PARASITIC JAEGER- 4
    PARASITIC JAEGER- 8
    PARASITIC/LONG-TAILED JAEGER- 2
    LONG-TAILED JAEGER- 9
    JAEGER SP.- 10
    HEERMANNS GULL- 40
    CALIFORNIA GULL- 15
    HERRING GULL- 1
    WESTERN GULL- 100
    SABINES GULL- 2
    ELEGANT TERN- 40
    COMMON MURRE- 550
    PIGEON GUILLEMOT- 7
    CASSINS AUKLET- 1
    RHINOCEROS AUKLET- 70
    *TUFTED PUFFIN- 1
    SEA OTTER- +
    CALIFORNIA SEA LION- +
    NORTHERN FUR SEAL- 4
    HARBOR SEAL- +
    BLUE WHALE- 2
    HUMPBACK WHALE- 20
    RISSOS DOLPHIN- 17
    DALLS PORPOISE- 2
    OCEAN SUNFISH- 1
    
    Leaders on the August 24, 2019 trip included: Steve Tucker, Christian Schwarz, Alex Rinkert, Nick Levendosky, Will Brooks, and Debi Shearwater. Many thanks to the keen-eyed leaders and birders from near and far for making this trip possible.
    
    Conditions on this August 24th trip were very different from our first trip on August 3rd where we encountered a strong red tide near shore, and very cold water (51 F, SST).
    
    One thing we can be certain of conditions will change, again. Perhaps, well get some clearing of the high chlorophyll conditions and a temperature break. On the other hand, perhaps, the conditions were just right for the MASKED BOOBY!
    
    Seabirding for Science,
    Debi Shearwater
    
    DEBRA SHEARWATER
    Shearwater Journeys, Inc.
    PO Box 190
    Hollister, CA 95024
    831.637.8527
    debi@...
    www.shearwaterjourneys.com
    www.shearwaterjourneys.blogspot.com
    
    Celebrating 43 Years of Seabirding with Shearwater Journeys
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  5. San Diego pelagic: LAYSAN, 2 new RED-FOOTED & new MASKED Boobies, 12 Craveri's, S.P. Skua, B-f Albatross LINK
    DATE: Aug 20, 2018 @ 5:42am, 31 day(s) ago
    The 12-hour pelagic trip from San Diego on Sunday, 19 August, out as far
    
    as the 30-Mile Bank aboard GRANDE and sponsored by Buena Vista Audubon
    
    Society was wildly successful for quality birds. Best for San Diego
    
    waters was the LAYSAN ALBATROSS that plopped down near the boat only
    
    10.5 nm WSW of Sunset Cliffs (Point Loma), on our way back in. Before
    
    that, the best birds had been yet another, new RED-FOOTED BOOBY 24.4 nm
    
    WSW of La Jolla, also sitting on the water near the boat, and a close
    
    fly-by sub-adult MASKED BOOBY at the "182" site on the 30-Mile Bank.
    
    (Both of these birds were recognizably DIFFERENT from the ones we saw in
    
    the same general waters just two days earlier!!) At the end of the day,
    
    we heard that yet another RED-FOOTED BOOBY was riding along on another
    
    fishing boat, so we met that boat at the mouth of the bay and enjoyed
    
    following that bird back to the dock! Combined with the 3 BROWN BOOBIES
    
    seen, we had a three-booby day. A BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS made repeated
    
    passes close to the boat out at the 30-Mile, where there was also a
    
    distant SOUTH POLAR SKUA. And a total of 12 (6 pairs) of flighty
    
    CRAVERI'S MURRELETS were tallied, all well offshore. A BLACK TERN was
    
    seen by some, as was a WHITE-WINGED DOVE as we left the dock in the
    
    early morning. Photos of many of these birds will undoubtedly be posted
    
    by others. Offshore totals for the trip included:
    
    LAYSAN ALBATROSS: 1
    
    BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS: 1
    
    Pink-footed Shearwater: 90
    
    Sooty Shearwater: 2
    
    Black-vented Shearwater: 300
    
    Black Storm-Petrel: 350
    
    Ashy Storm-Petrel: 4
    
    Leach's Storm-Petrel: 15 (high)
    
    Least Storm-Petrel: 0 (a couple "maybe's" that were not seen well
    
    enough or photo'd)
    
    MASKED BOOBY: 1
    
    Brown Booby: 3
    
    RED-FOOTED BOOBY: 2
    
    Red-necked Phalarope: 50
    
    Red Phalarope: 200
    
    Pomarine Jaeger: 5
    
    Parasitic Jaeger: 2
    
    Long-tailed Jaeger: 1
    
    CRAVERI'S MURRELET: 12
    
    Cassin's Auklet: 6
    
    Sabine's Gull: 10
    
    BLACK TERN: 1
    
    WHITE-WINGED DOVE: 1
    
    Blue Whale: 1
    
    The next San Diego pelagic trips are scheduled for 23 September and 21
    
    October. See sandiegopelagics.com for more information.
    
    --Paul Lehman and leader contingent, San Diego
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  7. offshore San Diego: RED-FOOTED & MASKED Boobies, Least Stormies, Craveri's, Long-taileds LINK
    DATE: Aug 17, 2018 @ 3:40pm, 33 day(s) ago
    Several of us headed offshore on Friday the 17th from San Diego for 7+
    
    hours out to the 30-Mile Bank and return. Some good birds found, some
    
    late-summer specialties, and some dead zones. Totals offshore included:
    
    RED-FOOTED BOOBY: a dark-morph bird flew right by the boat 25.9 nm W of
    
    La Jolla. Photos. This bird looks very much like the bird(s) seen a
    
    week or so ago both at the end of the Mission Bay Jetty and offshore
    
    from a whalewatch boat (but which was much closer to shore than our bird).
    
    MASKED BOOBY: a near-adult was sitting on the water also near the
    
    30-Mile Bank, some 23.1 nm W of Point Loma. Photos. It seems as
    
    though, as of late, that Masked has become rarer than Nazca off CA....
    
    Least Storm-Petrel: total of 8, all at or near the 30-Mile Bank. None
    
    closer to shore.
    
    Craveri's Murrelet: total of 6 (plus 2 murrelet sp.), all pairs at or
    
    near the 30-Mile Bank
    
    Long-tailed Jaeger: 2 juveniles, one only 6.6 nm W of La Jolla, and the
    
    other out at the 30-Mile Bank where more typical
    
    Other species seen:
    
    Pink-footed Shearwater: 25
    
    Sooty Shearwater: 1
    
    Black-vented Shearwater: 50
    
    Ashy Storm-Petrel: total of ca. 30 birds is quite high for this late in
    
    the season off San Diego; peak numbers often in late May and June
    
    Black Storm-Petrel: total of 1800 included 1600 in several rafts on
    
    30-Mile Bank
    
    Cassin's Auklet: 3
    
    Pomarine Jaeger: 3
    
    Parasitic Jaeger: 1
    
    Red Phalarope: 100+
    
    Red-necked Phalarope: 40
    
    Sabine's Gull: 3 (incl. 1 juv.)
    
    Western Gull: 50
    
    Elegant Tern: 25
    
    The next scheduled pelagic trip off San Diego is this coming Sunday, but
    
    it is sold out. The next trip after that is in latter September and
    
    still has space. See sandiegopelagics.com for more information.
    
    --Paul Lehman and group, San Diego
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  9. Farallons trip report - Horned Puffin and more. LINK
    DATE: Aug 16, 2018 @ 10:17am, 34 day(s) ago
    Calbirders A late report of our double header to the Farallon Islands this weekend, out of Half Moon Bay. Saturday was sunny, Sunday foggy and a bit choppier. On Saturday we happened to luck out on the arrival day of a female Brown Booby, the first which has been on the Farallons this season, this bird was also there on Sunday. The Northern Gannet was seen on both days as we moved north along the coast, on Egg Rock (Devils Slide). The big highlight on Saturday was youth birder Jonah Benningfield spotting an adult Horned Puffin, which we were able to see flying around and then swimming. We were able to communicate the sighting to the biologists on the island, and they were real happy as it was a lifer for some of the team. The bird was not there on Sunday, and I have heard of no positive reports since then. On Sunday a Scrippss Murrelet was the 8 th alcid species for us this weekend, Marbled Murrelets near shore have been reliable this year. Interestingly, yesterday we spotted a Scrippss Murrelet in Pillar Point Harbor, the first anyone can recall around here from land. Given how reliable this species has been here this season thus far, and this land based observation, I do wonder if they are being pushed in higher numbers out our way this year, and if some food issue may be happening Ashy Storm-Petrels were found in a nice concentration near the island, with a couple of Fork-tailed Storm-Petrels. Good numbers of shearwaters, phalaropes, and Black-footed Albatross on both trips. The Northern Fulmar numbers continue to be higher than usual. All three jaegers were found during the weekend, as well as a nice South Polar Skua on the Sunday. Note that Farallon biologists saw a Hawaiian Petrel on Friday flying by the island. Humpback Whales were off the hook on Saturday, an awesome display of lunge feeding. Photos of puffin and booby here: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S47791646 So a great couple of island trips, and we are looking forward to our offshore pelagics (Saturday out of Half Moon Bay has spaces) this weekend which will allow us to sample more deep water than in the Farallon trips. http://alvarosadventures.com/boat-trips/pelagics/ . For southern Californians, on Sept 22 we have a trip heading out of Avila Beach (Morro Bay). Good birding. Alvaro Alvaro Jaramillo alvaro@... www.alvarosadventures.com 
  10. -back to top-
  11. Cruise ship pelagic birds from April 9 and 10 LINK
    DATE: Apr 13, 2018 @ 5:17pm, 5 month(s) ago
    Leonie Batkin and I did a Holland America Line cruise from San Diego to Vancouver.
    
    The number of birds and diversity were at the low endthrough-out California.
    
    All species were noted, but below are justthe highlights.
    
    April 9
    
    Santa Barbara County
    Cook's Petrel ( 3 )
    
    San Luis Obispo County
    Laysan Albatross ( 1 )
    
    Monterey County
    Laysan Albatross ( 1 )
    Cook's Petrel (2 )
    Sabine's Gull ( 6 )
    
    San Mateo County
    Laysan Albatross ( 1 )
    Cook's Petrel ( 1 )
    Ashy Storm-Petrel ( 1 )
    Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel ( 1 )
    Sabine's Gull ( 1 )
    
    San Francisco County
    Laysan Albatross ( 1 )
    Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel ( 2 )
    
    April 10
    
    Del Norte County
    Leach's Storm-Petrel ( 500 )
    
    Wenoted noMurphy's Petrelsuntil crossing into Oregon waters.
    
    Ron Thorn
    Redwood City, California
    
    
  12. -back to top-
  13. JOUANIN'S PETREL: A FIRST RECORD FOR NORTH AMERICA LINK
    DATE: Apr 11, 2018 @ 9:05pm, 5 month(s) ago
    Howdy, CalBirders,
    
    JOUANIN’S PETREL: FIRST NORTH AMERICAN RECORD:
    
    Today I learned that the “mystery” petrel briefly observed and photographed during the Saturday, September 12, 2015 Shearwater Journeys’ offshore albacore trip has been accepted by the California Bird Records Committee as a JOUANIN’S PETREL ( Bulweria fallax ). This record represents the first accepted record of this north-west Indian Ocean seabird for North America.
    
    This was a sold out trip accompanied by leaders: Scott Terrill, Linda Terrill, Alex Rinkert, Mary Gustafson, Rick Fournier, and Debi Shearwater. In addition, Will Brooks (a leader) was on board as a “regular” along with his father, Jim Brooks. Expert seabirder, Fabio Olmos from Brazil was on board, along with many keen local and out-of-state seabirders: Cooper Scallan, Doug Koch, Bryan Hix, Paul Fenwick, Chris Hartzell, Hillary White, Peder Svingen, Peter Haines, and others. Our captain this day was John Klusmire whose experience with Debi dates back to the mid-1980’s.
    
    Ace leader, Alex Rinkert, first spotted the petrel and called it a “Bulwer’s Petrel” from the stern of the boat which was a pretty darned good call. As the petrel circled the vessel toward the bow, Scott Terrill and I had a view as it crossed to the other side. However, having seen quite a few Bulwer’s Petrels (including the first record for North America on another of our Monterey Bay trips some years ago), I was immediately convinced that this bird was not a Bulwer’s Petrel, based on size alone. The sighting was in Santa Cruz County, based on using “nearest point of land” and at a depth of only 200 fathoms. This species occurs in shallow waters within its normal range.
    
    It should be noted that an extremely warm water “river” occurred along the north coast, off Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay during this period. The presence of warm water by itself was not so much a factor, as the fact that it smashed into a front of significantly cold water. It was this frontal zone that produced the food for seabirds. (It’s all about food.) Indeed, only 3 days later, we found a WHITE-CHINNED PETREL on our September 15, 2015 Half Moon Bay trip. That petrel flew in and sat on the water for 45 minutes— birders seemed to become bored with it!
    
    Much discussion ensued following the sighting of the September 12 petrel. Eventually, Scott Terrill and I put together all of the details we could muster— including many (not-so-great) photos which became known as “the petrel package.” This was circulated to some of the top world seabirders. David Ainley, Peter Harrison and Hadoram Shirihai responded independently and immediately that they judged the petrel to be a JOUANIN’S PETREL!
    
    Finally, the package went to the CBRC and they made a concurring diagnosis. Of course, any first record for North America requires a laborious vetting, but especially so with seabirds which often present the most fleeting of views.
    
    So, although we had a very good number of images, I would not particularly call any of them “great.” I will try to put up a post on my blog with some of these images. I will post about that when it becomes available.
    
    Subsequent to our first record, nine months later (June 2016) a petrel captured during mist netting at Santa Cruz Island (southern California) was identified as a Jouanin’s Petrel. It may or may not have been the same individual we saw in September 2015.
    
    Jouanin’s Petrel occurs widely offshore in the Arabian Sea and Gulfs of Aden and Oman, where it is the commonest pelagic seabird. It has showed up as a vagrant off Australia, Kenya, Seychelles, Saudi Arabia, and other places. BirdLife lists this species as Near Threatened. There are about 4 records for Hawaii.
    
    If you’d like to read an interesting and fun tale about Jouanin’s Petrels, I recommend this article by my friend, Bob Flood:
    http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/Scilly_Pelagics_Jouanins_Petrels.aspxs_id=746315633
    
    HISTORY OF OFFSHORE MONTEREY ALBACORE TRIPS:
    
    The “albacore, offshore Monterey” pelagic trip was invented by Debi Shearwater back in 1983. During the 1980’s albacore, a type of tuna, regularly occurred off Monterey Bay. Reports from fishermen of incredible seabird activity prompted me to begin offering these 12 hour trips. The purpose of this trip was to present a wholistic approach to enjoying marine life. To that end, we endeavored to search for key seabirds, including Craveri’s, Scripps’s, and Guadalupe Murrelets; blue and Baird’s Beaked whales; and to catch albacore, the “cadillac” of the tunas. We never dreamed these trips would turn out to produce so many incredible seabird records. Even though the albacore changed their migration pattern and rarely occur off Monterey nowadays, we continue to operate albacore trips. These trips always sell out in advance.
    
    Other rare, or very uncommon seabirds we have discovered on Shearwater Journeys’ past albacore trips have included: Laysan Albatross; Cook’s and Hawaiian Petrels; Streaked, Flesh-footed, Greater, and Manx Shearwaters; Least and Leach’s Storm-Petrels; Red-billed and Red-tailed Tropicbirds; Brown Booby; Craveri’s, Scripps’s, and Guadalupe Murrelets. This is a spectacular trip for jaegers, often encountering over 100 in one day! We almost always have a “grand slam” on Pomarine, Parasitic, and Long-tailed Jaegers, Long-tailed being the most commonly sighted. It is the single best trip to see South Polar Skua.
    
    Our September 9, 2017 Albacore trip indeed found all of the jaegers, South Polar Skua; Guadalupe, Scripps’s, and Craveri’s Murrelets, and many of the “regular” fall species. Northern Waterthrush and American Redstart were “bonus” birds.
    
    OUR UPCOMING ALBACORE: OFFSHORE MONTEREY TRIPS:
    SUN. SEP. 9
    SAT. SEP. 15
    
    See our complete schedule for 2018:
    http://www.shearwaterjourneys.com/schedule.html
    
    Past trip reports:
    Oct. 6, 2001 with STREAKED SHEARWATER and Black-throated Gray Warbler:
    http://www.shearwaterjourneys.com/ag011006.html
    Sep. 15, 2002 with 42 LONG-TAILED JAEGERS and murrelets:
    http://www.shearwaterjourneys.com/020913.html
    Sep. 10, 2006 with ten FLESH-FOOTED SHEARWATERS and 1500+ Buller’s Shearwaters:
    http://www.shearwaterjourneys.com/ag060910.htm
    Sep. 13, 2008 with 7000 ASHY STORM-PETRELS:
    http://shearwaterjourneys.blogspot.com/2008/09/shearwater-birthday-birding-sep-13-2008.html
    Sep. 12, 2009 with 24 COOK’S PETRELS and one HAWAIIAN PETREL:
    http://shearwaterjourneys.blogspot.com/2009/09/trip-report-sep-12-2009-monterey.html
    
    I gratefully thank all of the leaders and especially, the participants from near and far —representing 14 different states in the USA and Canada and Brazil. Without you , the participants, we have nothing. Special thanks to the many photographers on board who sent their images, and to the reviewers who worked on this amazing record.
    
    Now check that box!
    What’s next
    Still discovering first North American records after 40 years of trips!
    Debi Shearwater
    
    DEBRA SHEARWATER
    Shearwater Journeys, Inc.
    PO Box 190
    Hollister, CA 95024
    831.637.8527
    debi@...
    www.shearwaterjourneys.com
    www.shearwaterjourneys.blogspot.com
    
    Celebrating 43 Years of Seabirding with Shearwater Journeys
  14. -back to top-
  15. JOUANIN'S PETREL: A FIRST RECORD FOR NORTH AMERICA LINK
    DATE: Apr 11, 2018 @ 9:04pm, 5 month(s) ago
    Howdy, CalBirders,
    
    JOUANIN’S PETREL: FIRST NORTH AMERICAN RECORD:
    
    Today I learned that the “mystery” petrel briefly observed and photographed during the Saturday, September 12, 2015 Shearwater Journeys’ offshore albacore trip has been accepted by the California Bird Records Committee as a JOUANIN’S PETREL ( Bulweria fallax ). This record represents the first accepted record of this north-west Indian Ocean seabird for North America.
    
    This was a sold out trip accompanied by leaders: Scott Terrill, Linda Terrill, Alex Rinkert, Mary Gustafson, Rick Fournier, and Debi Shearwater. In addition, Will Brooks (a leader) was on board as a “regular” along with his father, Jim Brooks. Expert seabirder, Fabio Olmos from Brazil was on board, along with many keen local and out-of-state seabirders: Cooper Scallan, Doug Koch, Bryan Hix, Paul Fenwick, Chris Hartzell, Hillary White, Peder Svingen, Peter Haines, and others. Our captain this day was John Klusmire whose experience with Debi dates back to the mid-1980’s.
    
    Ace leader, Alex Rinkert, first spotted the petrel and called it a “Bulwer’s Petrel” from the stern of the boat which was a pretty darned good call. As the petrel circled the vessel toward the bow, Scott Terrill and I had a view as it crossed to the other side. However, having seen quite a few Bulwer’s Petrels (including the first record for North America on another of our Monterey Bay trips some years ago), I was immediately convinced that this bird was not a Bulwer’s Petrel, based on size alone. The sighting was in Santa Cruz County, based on using “nearest point of land” and at a depth of only 200 fathoms. This species occurs in shallow waters within its normal range.
    
    It should be noted that an extremely warm water “river” occurred along the north coast, off Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay during this period. The presence of warm water by itself was not so much a factor, as the fact that it smashed into a front of significantly cold water. It was this frontal zone that produced the food for seabirds. (It’s all about food.) Indeed, only 3 days later, we found a WHITE-CHINNED PETREL on our September 15, 2015 Half Moon Bay trip. That petrel flew in and sat on the water for 45 minutes— birders seemed to become bored with it!
    
    Much discussion ensued following the sighting of the September 12 petrel. Eventually, Scott Terrill and I put together all of the details we could muster— including many (not-so-great) photos which became known as “the petrel package.” This was circulated to some of the top world seabirders. David Ainley, Peter Harrison and Hadoram Shirihai responded independently and immediately that they judged the petrel to be a JOUANIN’S PETREL!
    
    Finally, the package went to the CBRC and they made a concurring diagnosis. Of course, any first record for North America requires a laborious vetting, but especially so with seabirds which often present the most fleeting of views.
    
    So, although we had a very good number of images, I would not particularly call any of them “great.” I will try to put up a post on my blog with some of these images. I will post about that when it becomes available.
    
    Subsequent to our first record, nine months later (June 2016) a petrel captured during mist netting at Santa Cruz Island (southern California) was identified as a Jouanin’s Petrel. It may or may not have been the same individual we saw in September 2015.
    
    Jouanin’s Petrel occurs widely offshore in the Arabian Sea and Gulfs of Aden and Oman, where it is the commonest pelagic seabird. It has showed up as a vagrant off Australia, Kenya, Seychelles, Saudi Arabia, and other places. BirdLife lists this species as Near Threatened. There are about 4 records for Hawaii.
    
    If you’d like to read an interesting and fun tale about Jouanin’s Petrels, I recommend this article by my friend, Bob Flood:
    http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/Scilly_Pelagics_Jouanins_Petrels.aspxs_id=746315633
    
    HISTORY OF OFFSHORE MONTEREY ALBACORE TRIPS:
    
    The “albacore, offshore Monterey” pelagic trip was invented by Debi Shearwater back in 1983. During the 1980’s albacore, a type of tuna, regularly occurred off Monterey Bay. Reports from fishermen of incredible seabird activity prompted me to begin offering these 12 hour trips. The purpose of this trip was to present a wholistic approach to enjoying marine life. To that end, we endeavored to search for key seabirds, including Craveri’s, Scripps’s, and Guadalupe Murrelets; blue and Baird’s Beaked whales; and to catch albacore, the “cadillac” of the tunas. We never dreamed these trips would turn out to produce so many incredible seabird records. Even though the albacore changed their migration pattern and rarely occur off Monterey nowadays, we continue to operate albacore trips. These trips always sell out in advance.
    
    Other rare, or very uncommon seabirds we have discovered on Shearwater Journeys’ past albacore trips have included: Laysan Albatross; Cook’s and Hawaiian Petrels; Streaked, Flesh-footed, Greater, and Manx Shearwaters; Least and Leach’s Storm-Petrels; Red-billed and Red-tailed Tropicbirds; Brown Booby; Craveri’s, Scripps’s, and Guadalupe Murrelets. This is a spectacular trip for jaegers, often encountering over 100 in one day! We almost always have a “grand slam” on Pomarine, Parasitic, and Long-tailed Jaegers, Long-tailed being the most commonly sighted. It is the single best trip to see South Polar Skua.
    
    Our September 9, 2017 Albacore trip indeed found all of the jaegers, South Polar Skua; Guadalupe, Scripps’s, and Craveri’s Murrelets, and many of the “regular” fall species. Northern Waterthrush and American Redstart were “bonus” birds.
    
    OUR UPCOMING ALBACORE: OFFSHORE MONTEREY TRIPS:
    SUN. SEP. 9
    SAT. SEP. 15
    
    See our complete schedule for 2018:
    http://www.shearwaterjourneys.com/schedule.html
    
    Past trip reports:
    Oct. 6, 2001 with STREAKED SHEARWATER and Black-throated Gray Warbler:
    http://www.shearwaterjourneys.com/ag011006.html
    Sep. 15, 2002 with 42 LONG-TAILED JAEGERS and murrelets:
    http://www.shearwaterjourneys.com/020913.html
    Sep. 10, 2006 with ten FLESH-FOOTED SHEARWATERS and 1500+ Buller’s Shearwaters:
    http://www.shearwaterjourneys.com/ag060910.htm
    Sep. 13, 2008 with 7000 ASHY STORM-PETRELS:
    http://shearwaterjourneys.blogspot.com/2008/09/shearwater-birthday-birding-sep-13-2008.html
    Sep. 12, 2009 with 24 COOK’S PETRELS and one HAWAIIAN PETREL:
    http://shearwaterjourneys.blogspot.com/2009/09/trip-report-sep-12-2009-monterey.html
    
    I gratefully thank all of the leaders and especially, the participants from near and far —representing 14 different states in the USA and Canada and Brazil. Without you , the participants, we have nothing. Special thanks to the many photographers on board who sent their images, and to the reviewers who worked on this amazing record.
    
    Now check that box!
    What’s next
    Still discovering first North American records after 40 years of trips!
    Debi Shearwater
    
    DEBRA SHEARWATER
    Shearwater Journeys, Inc.
    PO Box 190
    Hollister, CA 95024
    831.637.8527
    debi@...
    www.shearwaterjourneys.com
    www.shearwaterjourneys.blogspot.com
    
    Celebrating 43 Years of Seabirding with Shearwater Journeys
  16. -back to top-
  17. an epic cruise-ship day: 5 Short-tld Albatrosses, 91 Mottled Petrels, 4 Cook's, 18 Laysans LINK
    DATE: Dec 1, 2017 @ 5:20pm, 10 month(s) ago
    A slow Nov 30th off California (MTY to SON) aboard a northbound Princess
    
    cruise-ship from Los Angeles to Vancouver was highlighted by a mere 2
    
    LAYSAN Albatrosses, 3 Buller's Shearwaters, lots of fulmars, and single
    
    Fork-tailed, Leach's, and Ashy Storm-petrels. But Dec 1st, spent
    
    entirely off the Oregon coast from northern Curry Co. to the WA border
    
    was phenomenal, with 5 SHORT-TAILED ALBATROSSES (off Curry and Coos and
    
    Lincoln Cos.)--all young birds and 3 together associated with a single
    
    fishing boat, where many photos taken; a total of 91 MOTTLED PETRELS
    
    (from off Newport northwards), with many birds at point-blank distance
    
    from the ship and a bazzilion photos taken (and some people had even
    
    higher counts), with the last couple birds before dark being seen just
    
    inside Washington waters; at least 4 COOK'S PETRELS, very rare in OR
    
    waters and occurring well north up the coast as far as off Tillamook
    
    Co.; a very high count of 18 LAYSAN ALBATROSSES (including a single
    
    flock of 7 and flock of 5); and 2 BULLER'S SHEARWATERS (getting late).
    
    If anyone is interested in trying for some of these birds, the same
    
    Princess ship ("Star Princess")  is returning southbound from Vancouver
    
    to L.A. two weeks from now. Maybe some of them will have shifted south
    
    into CA waters by then.....
    
    --Paul Lehman
  18. -back to top-
  19. 10/15 Monterey Seabirds Trip Report + our last pelagic is tomorrow. LINK
    DATE: Oct 15, 2017 @ 4:49pm, 11 month(s) ago
    All,   Monterey Seabirds went out on a fantastic pelagic today.  It was a wonderfully diverse trip. Today we stayed in Monterey County water the entire time.  Here's a list of some highlights:
    COMMON LOON (about 15 miles offshore)
    PACIFIC LOON
    RED THROATED LOON
    ASHY STORM-PETREL
    BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS
    BULLER'S SHEARWATER
    BLACK-VENTED SHEARWATER (they're back! They were in a month ago but not since.)
    SOOTY SHEARWATER
    PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATER
    NORTHERN FULMAR
    MARBLED GODWIT (offshore about 8 mile)
    RED-NECKED PHALAROPE
    BONAPARTE'S GULL (first of the season for me)
    POMARINE JAEGER
    PARASITIC JAEGER
    SOUTH POLAR SKUA (6)!!!
    RHINOCEROS AUKLET
    CASSIN'S AUKLET
    TUFTED PUFFIN
    HUMPBACK WHALE (20)
    FIN WHALE  (2)
    PACIFIC WHITE-SIDED DOLPHIN
    MOLA MOLA
    BLUE SHARK (3)
    
    Any day with a TUFTED PUFFIN is a good day.  Also, six SOUTH POLAR SKUA were a real delight for folks.
    
    It's not to late to join us tomorrow on our 12-hour trip!  We will be going farther offshore (30+ miles) where there is currently a big temperature break.  We'd love to have you.
    
    Vist montereyseabirds.com or call (831)375-4658
    or
    Feel free to show up at the dock in the morning if you get this after business hours.  We depart at 7:30 from the Monterey Bay Whale Watch shop on Fisherman's Wharf.
    
    Good Birding,
    Mark Kudrav
    Monterey Seabirds
    Pacific Grove
  20. -back to top-
  21. 10/11--Pt. Pinos Seawatch/Monterey Seabirds Pelagics/BOBOLINKS (2)-Carmel Valley LINK
    DATE: Oct 11, 2017 @ 3:06pm, 11 month(s) ago
    All,    This morning a gentle NW wind brought decent birds to the Point Pinos Seawatch.  Brian Sullivan was also there.
      Some nice birds included:
    BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS (2)
    BLACK-VENTED SHEARWATERS, PINK-FOOTED, BULLER'S, SOOTY SHEARWATERS
    Brian called out one SHORT-TAILED SHEARWATER, though I didn't get a diagnostic look myself.
    PARASITIC and POMARINE JAEGER
    CASSIN'S AUKLETS
    COMMON LOON (5)
      A previously reported female LESSER SCAUP and two CACKLING GEESE were on Crespi Pond.
     Two BOBOLINKS were found yesterday on the South Bank Trail in Carmel Valley, I believe by Carol Rose. Sorry if I got that wrong.  One was reported this morning.  I missed them today after two hours of searching. Also there today were a SWAMP SPARROW, NASHVILLE WARBLERS, and two PALM WABLERS.
    eBird reports have location details but they were in the weedy field adjacent to the main grassy field.  A long fence splits the fields. 
    
    Lastly, MONTEREY SEABIRDS has our last two pelagic birding trips coming up. Sunday Oct. 15- 8-hr
    Monday Oct. 16- 12-hr
    
    The long range weather is looking good for those trips.  We hope to get fairly far offshore on the 12-hour trip.  It should be a blast.  
    
    We'd like to fill both trips, so we're offering a great deal.  If you book both trips, we'll give you 50% off on the 12-hour trip . That makes that trip just $80 dollars!
    
    Call (831) 375-4658 or visit montereyseabirds.com to make a reservation.
    
    I failed to do a trip report of our last trip on Oct. 1 but we did find a SOUTH POLAR SKUA, hundreds of BULLER'S SHEARWATERS, a few ASHY STORM-PETRELS, 3 COMMIC TERNS and a pair of black and white MURRELET Spp.
    
    Looking forward to a strong NW wind the next couple of days (including overnight) .  It should make for some great seawatching at the point. 
    
    Good Birding, 
    
    Mark Kudrav
    Pacific Grove
    Monterey Seabirds- montereyseabirds.com
  22. -back to top-
  23. 9/30 Monterey Seabirds Pelagic-Flesh-footed Shearwaters and more LINK
    DATE: Sep 30, 2017, 12 month(s) ago
    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.
    https://www.facebook.com/montereyseabirdtours/
    
    Can't wait to do it again tomorrow. 
    
    Good Birding,
    
    Mark Kudrav
    Monterey Seabirds
    Pacific Grove
  24. -back to top-
  25. SEP 24 PELAGIC REPORT LINK
    DATE: Sep 26, 2017 @ 10:23am, 12 month(s) ago
    Howdy, CalBird’ers,
    
    Birders on Shearwater Journeys’ September 24 Monterey Bay pelagic trip had another fine day at sea. Highlights included great views of BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS; PINK-FOOTED, FLESH-FOOTED, BULLER’S and SOOTY SHEARWATERS. TwoBLACK-VENTED SHEARWATERS made a fast pass on return to the harbor. The Flesh-footed Shearwater gave a great show at the stern of the vessel. Photographic images were made with three species of shearwaters in flight in one frame!
    
    One SOUTH POLAR SKUA and a fair number of POMARINE and PARASITIC JAEAGERS were harassing gulls or terns. A few more CASSIN’S AUKLETS had arrived, as compared to the September 22 trip. There seems to be krill deep in the water column. It if moves closer to the surface, these early buggers will be right on top of it! Three TUFTED PUFFINS were a good find.
    
    Two SURFBIRDS were along the CG jetty along with the usual BLACK TURNSTONES. A small pod of BOTTLENOSE DOLPHINS were just off Lover’s Point beach.
    
    BLUE and HUMPBACK WHALES continue to feed in the bay.RISSO’S and LONG-BEAKED COMMON DOLPHINS were milling about.
    
    Seabirds were recorded in both Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties. This is the at least the second record of Flesh-footed Shearwater in Santa Cruz County this season.
    
    Upcoming trips with spaces available include:
    
    *SEP 30with Alex Rinkert, Nick Levendosky, Scott & Linda Terrill, Clay Kempf
    OCT 8 with Alex Rinkert, Nick Levendosky, Clay Kempf, Scott & Linda Terrill
    
    Spaces are available on both trips. We meet at 7 a.m. and return about 3 p.m. For reservations email me: debi@...
    
    *PLEASE NOTE: SEP 30th is our annual SANTA CRUZ COUNTY pelagic trip!We’ve already seen some great SCZ County seabirds: FLESH-FOOTED SHEARWATER, SOUTH POLAR SKUA, SABINE’S GULL, ASHY STORM-PETREL, GUADALUPE, CRAVERI’S and SCRIPPS’S MURRELETS, and NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH and AMERICAN REDSTART! This trip is $105 and is a regular trip from 7 am to 3 pm.
    
    Living the Salt Life and heading for Tropical Birds!
    Debi Shearwater
    
    DEBRA SHEARWATER
    Shearwater Journeys, Inc.
    PO Box 190
    Hollister, CA 95024
    831.637.8527
    debi@...
    www.shearwaterjourneys.com
    www.shearwaterjourneys.blogspot.com
    
    Celebrating 42 Years of Seabirding with Shearwater Journeys
  26. -back to top-
  27. Pelagic trip out of Ventura with Island Packers on 7 Oct 2017 LINK
    DATE: Sep 25, 2017 @ 1:30pm, 12 month(s) ago
    Hi All
    
    This
    is a reminder that Island Packers is offering an 11-hour deepwater
    pelagic trip from the Ventura Harbor at 7 am on Saturday October 7. This
    trip will allow us to get to offshore waters beyond the reach of most
    day trips where we will
    have a chance to see a number of outstanding pelagic birds and marine
    mammals. The waters around the northern
    Channel Islands can be very productive during the fall when hundreds
    (sometimes thousands) of shearwaters crowd into the inter-island gaps. We will be looking through flocks of Black-vented,
    Pink-footed, and Sooty Shearwaters for Buller's, Flesh-footed (uncommon),
    and Manx (rare) Shearwaters. This is peak season for seabird diversity
    so in addition to the species already mentioned, Black-footed Albatross,
    Black and Ashy Storm-Petrels, Cassin's and Rhinoceros Auklets, and
    Pomarine and Long-tailed Jaegers are all possible. It is a good time of
    year for South Polar Skua, Sabine's Gull, and Arctic Tern. Recent trips
    near the islands have found Blue-footed Booby (2013-2014, 2016) and Brown
    Booby (2013-2017). There is also a potential for sought-after species
    like Cooks' Petrel, Red-billed Tropicbird, Least Storm-Petrel, Townsend's Storm-Petrel, Guadalupe Murrelet, and
    Craveri's Murrelet. The last 4 years have been exceptional for Craveri's
    Murrelet off southern California and with warm water continuing, our chances to find this elusive species may be good. We saw approximately 45 Craveri's Murrelets on our recent July trip from Ventura! In addition, there was a Nazca Booby seen on a pelagic trip out of San Diego this weekend so anything is possible out there. We
    will decide what our offshore destinations will be after reviewing
    oceanographic conditions at the time of the trip, which will help
    determine where birds and other marine life may be present.
    
    The trip will be on an ultra-fast catamaran that features a
    spacious and comfortable cabin, galley, and excellent viewing from
    both the upper and lower decks. A full contingent of outstanding seabird
    leaders will be present to make sure we see all that is out there. The
    Captain and crew know how to run birding trips and are enthusiastic
    and helpful.In addition, we work hard to creep up on birds and get
    them in the right light for photographers.
    
    Trips can be booked over the phone by calling (805) 642-1393 or online at www.IslandPackers.comby
    clicking the Reserve Trip tab, select the Special Trips tab, and select
    your desired departure. The cost of the trip is $170 per adult.
    
    Hope to see you at sea!
    
    Dave Pereksta
    Ventura, CA
  28. -back to top-
  29. The Pelagic Season Continues LINK
    DATE: Sep 20, 2017 @ 4:25pm, 12 month(s) ago
    Howdy, Birders,
    
    Shearwater Journeys had pelagic trips from Monterey on September 14 and Half Moon Bay on September 15 and 16th with some spectacular feeding frenzies, especially on September 15th.
    
    In total, for these three trips, we saw: 11species of tubenoses; all three jaegers and South polar skua; 6 species of alcids; and almost 300 whales (blue, fin, and humpback).
    
    Our upcoming trips from Monterey include:
    
    SEP 22 with Christian Schwarz, Hannah Nevins, Dave Pereksta, Clay Kempf, Debi Shearwater
    SEP 24 with Jim Holmes, Nick Levendosky, Alex Rinkert, Scott & Linda Terrill, Debi Shearwater
    SEP 30 with Alex Rinkert, Nick Levendosky, Scott & Linda Terrill, Clay Kempf
    OCT 8 with Alex Rinkert, Nick Levendosky, Clay Kempf, Scott & Linda Terrill
    
    Spaces are available on all trips. We meet at 7 a.m. and return about 3 p.m. For reservations email me: debi@...
    
    On September 15, upwards of 80 HUMPBACK WHALES, 500 California sea lions and PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATERS numbering close to 10,000 and about 350 BULLER’S SHEARWATERS were feeding on giant balls and walls of anchovies. It was a dizzying amount of marine life. Amongst all of the pandemonium, Peter Pyle spotted what he thought was a GREAT SHEARWATER. I saw this shearwater while it was still sitting on the water. Later, when Peter was reviewing his images, he found a MANX SHEARWATER in several images. We also spotted 1 WILSON’S, 2 FORK-TAILED, and 4 ASHY STORM-PETRELS. Also, offshore, we encountered BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS, NORTHERN FULMAR, RHINOCEROS AUKLETS, ALL THREE JAEGERS, and SOUTH POLAR SKUA, along with 175 PACIFIC WHITE-SIDED DOLPHINS, and 2 NORTHERN RIGHT WHALE DOLPINS. Over 100,000 SOOTY SHEARWATERS were feeding in the nearshore area. One MARBLED MURRELET was also near shore. A solitary TUFTED PUFFIN was sighted on the way home.
    
    Our trip on September 16th was similar, although many of the offshore flocks had moved on and both BLUE and FIN WHALES had moved in with the HUMPBACK WHALES. Seabirds were similar, except that many more CASSIN’S AUKLETS had moved into the area. Far offshore, a GREEN-TAILED TOWHEE circled the vessel (photographed). This represents a new addition to the over 100 species of non-pelagic birds I have seen on pelagic trips! Again, we saw all three species of jaegers. Nearshore, we encountered a dozen BOTTLENOSE DOLPHINS, many with calves.
    
    We do have upcoming trips, all with spaces available. Please see our web site: www.shearwaterjourneys.comfor more information.
    
    Living the Salt Life,
    Debi Shearwater
    
    DEBRA SHEARWATER
    Shearwater Journeys, Inc.
    PO Box 190
    Hollister, CA 95024
    831.637.8527
    debi@...
    www.shearwaterjourneys.com
    www.shearwaterjourneys.blogspot.com
    
    Celebrating 42 Years of Seabirding with Shearwater Journeys
  30. -back to top-


-revision history-
v1.30 - 01/05/16 - Revamped cloud logic, optimized database queries, linked to eBird rarities.
v1.23 - 12/08/11 - Added direct link to CBRC records.
v1.22 - 12/03/11 - Corrected GMT offsets on dates. Added last 5 posts at top.
v1.21 - 11/24/11 - Added direct link to range map for NA birds.
v1.2  - 11/23/11 - Greatly improved graphing technology - separates month vs. year by posts. Added species auto-complete functionality.
v1.14 - 11/22/11 - Added cloud bubble for common thread topics.
v1.13 - 11/22/11 - Added integrated photos where available.
v1.12 - 11/22/11 - Added multiple input boxes for additional refinement, negative search criteria (eg. -keyword).
v1.11 - 11/22/11 - Added banding code, species look-up. Also direct link to recent eBird observations.
 v1.1 - 11/22/11 - Added 'date' functionality. Shows top 'month/year' combinations for a query. Restrict results to that 'month/year'.
 v1.0 - 11/21/11 - Initial version coded. Currently archiving 'lacobirds' and 'calbirds'.