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 Month/Year Breakdown (Top 15):

 Sep, 2017 - 12 e-mail(s)...
 Oct, 2006 - 12 e-mail(s)...
 Sep, 2008 - 12 e-mail(s)...
 Sep, 2015 - 11 e-mail(s)...
 Sep, 2007 - 10 e-mail(s)...
 Aug, 2006 - 7 e-mail(s)...
 Oct, 2008 - 7 e-mail(s)...
 Aug, 2007 - 7 e-mail(s)...
 Sep, 2006 - 6 e-mail(s)...
 Sep, 2016 - 6 e-mail(s)...
 Oct, 2007 - 6 e-mail(s)...
 , - 5 e-mail(s)...
 Apr, 2003 - 5 e-mail(s)...
 Sep, 2005 - 5 e-mail(s)...
 Sep, 2002 - 5 e-mail(s)...

   Rhinoceros Auklet
Rhinoceros Auklet
Cerorhinca monocerata

   Rhinoceros Auklet (Cerorhinca monocerata) - RHAU (recent eBird sightings, view CBRC records, range map

  1. 10/15 Monterey Seabirds Trip Report + our last pelagic is tomorrow. LINK
    DATE: Oct 15, 2017 @ 4:49pm, 5 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)
    BLACK-VENTED SHEARWATER (they're back! They were in a month ago but not since.)
    MARBLED GODWIT (offshore about 8 mile)
    BONAPARTE'S GULL (first of the season for me)
    FIN WHALE  (2)
    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 or call (831)375-4658
    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
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  3. 9/30 Monterey Seabirds Pelagic-Flesh-footed Shearwaters and more LINK
    DATE: Sep 30, 2017, 6 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
      I'll post photos on the eBird lists and at our facebook page very soon.
    Can't wait to do it again tomorrow. 
    Good Birding,
    Mark Kudrav
    Monterey Seabirds
    Pacific Grove
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  5. Pelagic trip out of Ventura with Island Packers on 7 Oct 2017 LINK
    DATE: Sep 25, 2017 @ 1:30pm, 6 month(s) ago
    Hi All
    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
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  7. The Pelagic Season Continues LINK
    DATE: Sep 20, 2017 @ 4:25pm, 6 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
    Shearwater Journeys, Inc.
    PO Box 190
    Hollister, CA 95024
    Celebrating 42 Years of Seabirding with Shearwater Journeys
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  9. Morro Bay pelagic trip - 14 October LINK
    DATE: Sep 20, 2017 @ 3:33pm, 6 month(s) ago
    Birders -
    There are still spaces available for the Morro Coast Audubon October 14 boat trip out of Morro Bay. Weather permitting, our goal will be to reach the Santa Lucia Bank.  It is crunch time for this trip in that if we do not get enough participants to sign up in the next few days we may need to cancel or risk losing our deposit.  Please email Mike Stiles at < mstiles@... > if you are interesting in going. Or if you have already contacted Mike, please mail back your information and check.
    The cost is $122 for an 8-hour trip out of Morro Bay, which is a pretty good value relative to most trips offshore. Species that we can expect on this trip are Pink-footed and Buller’s Shearwaters, Black-vented and Sooty Shearwaters, Parasitic and Pomarine Jaegers, Red and Red-necked Phalaropes, Cassin’s and Rhinoceros Auklets, Common Murre, and Sabine’s Gull. Also a good possibility are both South Polar Skua and Flesh-footed Shearwater, and with luck, we may see Black-footed Albatross, Manx Shearwater, Ashy Storm-Petrel, Tufted Puffin, or even a Great Shearwater or something else totally unexpected.
    There are not many opportunities to take a fall pelagic trip off San Luis Obispo County, especially during October, so for those out there hoping for San Luis Obispo County birds, this trip will provide a good chance for new county birds. This trip is closer is comparatively inexpensive and we still have the ability to attract birds by chumming! Master chummer West Fritz will be attracting birds to the boat and one of the leaders . The other leaders will be Curtis Marantz, Peter Geade, and Tom Edell.
    Again, if you are interested, please email Mike Stiles at < mstiles@... > today !
    Tom Edell Cayucos, CA
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  11. Sensational Seabirding: Sep 15 LINK
    DATE: Sep 15, 2017 @ 8:57pm, 6 month(s) ago
    Howdy, Birders,
    Shearwater Journeys’ pelagic trip departing from Half Moon Bay today turned out to be very surprising and quite sensational with multiple mixed species feeding frenzies. We began the day with some tough seas and weather although it was entirely doable. By spending a lot of time along the jetties in the harbor area, we tallied the following rocky shorebird species: BLACK OYSTERCATCHER, RUDDY and BLACK TURNSTONES, SURFBIRD, WANDERING TATTLER, SANDERLING, and WHIMBREL. We observed 10 banded BROWN PELICANS.
    Just outside of the harbor, we found a feeding flock of about 90,000 SOOTY SHEARWATERS, as if this might be the “best” flock of the day— not! A flock of 450 COMMON MURRE dads with chicks were actively calling back and forth.One MARBLED MURRELET and 3 HARBOR PORPOISE were along the beach zone.
    We made our way slowly offshore toward the edge of the Continental Shelf break, crossing a barren zone of “dirty” green water. One of the first sightings was of three storm-petrels sitting on the sea: 2 ASHY STORM-PETRELS and 1 WILSON’S STORM-PETREL. Shortly afterward, a FORK-TAILED STORM-PETREL flew into the wake. We encountered many small flocks of RHINOCEROS AUKLETS, but only one CASSIN’S AUKLET for the entire day! Four BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSSES and 5 NORTHERN FULMARS were around, too.
    In the distance, we could see complete pandemonium — thousands of PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATERS, many HUMPBACK WHALES, a herd of 175 PACIFIC WHITE-SIDED DOLPHINS with 2 NORTHERN RIGHT WHALE DOLPHINS in the mix. More humpbacks, and smaller flocks of BULLER’S SHEARWATERS were sitting on the sea. We estimated that at least 5000 Pink-footed Shearwaters were in view, some actively feeding and some sitting on the sea.
    Peter Pyle spotted a possible GREAT SHEARWATER in one such flock. I saw the Great Shearwater for a few seconds before it took flight with the flock. We would have preferred a much better view, but I’m certain (and not surprised) it was a Great Shearwater. To be honest, we simply had too many shearwaters to sift through. It was mind-boggling to be sure. I spotted another couple ASHY STORM-PETRELS and another FORK-TAILED STORM-PETREL was found. Two SOUTH POLAR SKUAS and POMARINE, PARASITIC and LONG-TAILED JAEGERS added to the mix. The only terns were COMMON/ARCTIC TERNS offshore.
    Heading for home, everyone relaxed and enjoyed the seas as it was laying down nicely. We thought we’d had a great day, but boy, were we in for a surprise! The best was yet to come— imagine the blows, tail flukes, backs and open mouths of some 46 more HUMPBACK WHALES, 500+ CALIFORNIA SEA LIONS, and 3275 more PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATERS gorging on anchovies! As many as 16 humpback blows were in the air at the same time. It was unnerving and sensational at all levels. The sea lions were driving the anchovies which we could see on the fish finder. The whales and shearwaters followed on the butts of the sea lions. For the first time in my life, I saw anchovy-green whale poo! We were surrounded by a biomass of marine life the likes of which few have ever witnessed.
    Finally, we carried on our way to the harbor, working on numbers for the checklists, and checking photos. So, we almost missed the TUFTED PUFFIN spotted by our first mate.
    Today, we recorded 7275 PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATERS which is the highest count I’ve had this season and in many years. About 250-300 BULLER’S SHEARWATERS were tallied, highest count for the season to date. We estimated some 76 HUMPBACK WHALES and over 1000 CALIFORNIA SEA LIONS were observed.
    To say it was a “great day” would be an understatement. Many, many thanks to the birders, both local and from far away, who joined us. Thanks to leaders Christian Schwarz and Peter Pyle and friends who helped out in many ways, Tom and Beth Hamel and Jim Chiropolos.
    We are heading out from Half Moon Bay again, tomorrow. A couple of spaces are available. We meet at 7 a.m. The marine forecast is for excellent seas and weather. We are hoping to spot more storm-petrels and murrelets tomorrow. It should be a good day for those species. And, we intend to catch an albacore!
    Living the Salt Life and SeaBirding for Science,
    Debi Shearwater
    Shearwater Journeys, Inc.
    PO Box 190
    Hollister, CA 95024
    Celebrating 42 Years of Seabirding with Shearwater Journeys
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  13. Monterey Seabirds Trip Reports 9-10 and 9-11 LINK
    DATE: Sep 14, 2017 @ 1:38pm, 6 month(s) ago
    All,   On Sunday and Monday, Monterey Seabirds went out on a couple of pelagic trips.  
    Birds we encountered both days include:
    and SABINE'S GULL to name a few.
    Despite heavy fog for much of Sunday, we also turned up an ASHY-STORM PETREL, COMMIC TERN, ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRD (4 miles out), and a GREAT BLUE HERON about 11 miles offshore(in the fog)!
    Monday's clearer conditions allowed for better visibility for much of the trip.  That day we added:
    One of our final birds on Monday was a BROWN BOOBY that flew just 20 feet above the boat.  We were about 3 miles WNW of Point Pinos at that time. 
    Photos of it and a few others can be found on the eBird list here:
    Lastly, on both trips there was a noticeable movement of PAINTED LADY butterflies moving offshore.  Painted Ladies have been pretty thick the last two days here in Pacific Grove.
    Upcoming trips include this Sunday 9/17 and Thursday 9/21.  (831) 375-4658 or to make reservations.
    Enjoy migration,
    Mark Kudrav 
    Monterey Seabirds
    Pacific Grove
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    DATE: Sep 12, 2017 @ 7:00pm, 6 month(s) ago
    Howdy, Birders,
    Shearwater Journeys’ September 9 Albacore Grounds, offshore from Monterey covered three counties: Monterey, Santa Cruz, and San Mateo. I haven’t done this for a number of years. And, last time I ventured into San Mateo County on a Monterey albacore trip, I saw two Red-billed Tropicbirds. We didn’t find any tropicbirds, but we did find a number of murrelets. We had excellent sea conditions with a light swell, but good visibility.
    Below, I present the species list by counties. Murrelets and jaegers are our target species on this trip and we fared very well. We recorded 19 murrelets, in total and had excellent views of most of them. We recorded 26 LONG-TAILED JAEGERS which is low compared to previous years for this trip.
    Many thanks to all of the birders who joined us from near and far. The leaders on this trip were: Scott & Linda Terrill, Alex Rinkert, Nick Levendosky, Mary Gustafson, Todd McGrath, and Debi Shearwater. We also saw blue, fin, and humpback whales.
    Upcoming trips include: Sep 14, 22, 24, and 30 from Monterey. Sep 15 and 16 from Half Moon Bay. Email me for a reservation: debi@... .
    September 9, 2017 Albacore Grounds: Offshore Monterey (more than 40 miles offshore on this trip)
    San Mateo (SM)/Santa Cruz (SCZ)/ Monterey (MTY)
    BULLER’S SHEARWATER - 8/48/118
    SOOTY SHEARWATER - 10/64/5687
    BROWN PELICAN- 0/0/25
    RED PHALAROPE - 1/2/3
    SOUTH POLAR SKUA - 0/2/0
    LONG-TAILED JAEGER - 5/10/11
    CASSIN’S AUKLET - 1/0/1
    COMMON MURRE - 0/1/248
    SABINE’S GULL - 1/13/39
    WESTERN GULL- 0/1/55
    CALIFORNIA GULL - 0/1/66
    HEERMANN’S GULL - 0/0/6
    COMMON TERN - 1/3/7
    ARCTIC TERN - 2/0/0
    ELEGANT TERN - 0/0/100
    Living the Salt Live and SeaBirding for Science,
    Debi Shearwater
    Shearwater Journeys, Inc.
    PO Box 190
    Hollister, CA 95024
    Celebrating 42 Years of Seabirding with Shearwater Journeys
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  17. Monterey Seabirds-Trip Report 9/5 LINK
    DATE: Sep 8, 2017 @ 4:37pm, 6 month(s) ago
    All,   Monterey Seabirds went out on Tuesday for an 8 hour pelagic.  We were lucky enough to catch the seabird spectacle previously reported by others on eBird and these lists.
      SOOTY SHEARWATERS were racing into the bay by the tens of thousands as we started our trip.  Sorting through them was a blast and we found numerous PINK-FOOTED and BLACK-VENTED SHEARWATERS mixed throughout.  A real thrill was a MANX SHEARWATER that we spotted sitting on the water off of Point Pinos.  It sat long enough for folks to get some photos.  Several of us on the boat had encountered Manx shearwater before, but were delighted in getting our first decent photos!
      This trip stayed in Monterey County waters, where RHINOCEROS AUKLETS seemed to have really increased lately. CASSIN'S AUKLETS were a bit more scarce on this trip, but we found a few.
      In the northern region of the county, and fairly far offshore, we encountered another real treat-BLUE WHALES and there were gobs of them.  Some offered great looks close to the boat while others fed farther away.  It's difficult to count these whales, as they can stay down in a dive for a while, but our whale experts on board guessed about 20 Blues were in the immediate vicinity. One FIN WHALE also made a brief pass through the group. 
      When we encountered this group Blue Whales, we also found our first ASHY STORM-PETRELS.  Leading to even more excitement on board, a single BLACK STORM-PETREL flew through the area. 
      RISSO'S DOLPHINS, bow-riding PACIFIC WHITE-SIDED DOLPHIN and breaching HUMPBACK WHALES also fed in these impressively productive waters.
      Also enjoyed by all were BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS, RED and RED-NECKED PHALAROPE, and both PARASITIC and POMARINE JAEGERS to name a few.
        MONTEREY SEABIRDS' next trip is SUNDAY Sept. 10 though it only has a couple spots left.  Our Monday Sept. 11 trip is a 12 hour trip where we hope to spend more time in deeper water.  There is space available on that trip.  
      See our complete list of trips at or call (831) 375-4658 to make a reservation.  
      The season has had a fantastic start.  We hope to see you out on the bay soon.
    Good Birding,
    Mark Kudrav
    Monterey Seabirds
    Pacific Grove 
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  19. Monterey Bay: Half a Million Seabirds LINK
    DATE: Sep 7, 2017 @ 8:57pm, 7 month(s) ago
    Howdy, Birders,
    Shearwater Journeys’ Monterey Bay pelagic trip today was nothing short of breathtaking. Highlights included 11 species of tubenoses, six species of shearwaters— SOOTY, PINK-FOOTED, FLESH-FOOTED (Santa Cruz County, spotted in a flock by Alex Rinkert), BULLER’S, MANX, and BLACK-VENTED. We estimated at least 500,000 Sooty Shearwaters off Point Pinos. At least 25 HUMPBACK WHALES were feeding amongst the shearwaters.
    Jim Holmes spotted a flock of 190 ASHY STORM-PETRELS, the first such flock I’ve seen in many years; 3 BLACK STORM-PETRELS and 2 WILSON’S STORM-PETRELS (One in Santa Cruz County and one in Monterey County. The Monterey County Wilson’s was with a flock of shearwaters. No other storm-petrels were around. Could be possible to see this off Point PInos.)
    Three SCRIPPS’S MURRELETS were spotted sitting on the sea by cameraman, Chris Hartzell. Later in the day, Alex Rinkert spotted another solitary SCRIPPS’S MURRELET.
    POMARINE (4), PARASITIC (8), and LONG-TAILED (17) JAEGERS put on a good show, with many Long-tails flying around the boat, as did SABINE’S GULLS and COMMON TERNS.
    We managed to find 3 PIGEON GUILLEMOTS, although most have departed. CASSIN’S AUKLETS (8) were sparse owing to the low amounts of krill. However, COMMON MURRES (1676) were abundant with dads and chicks still calling to each other. We often saw murres with food in their beaks. Small bait fish are plentiful right off Point Pinos, turning the fish finder screen almost solidly red. RHINOCEROS AUKLETS (122) could also be seen with fish in their beaks.
    The whale show continues. We recorded some 65 HUMPBACK WHALES, 6 BLUE WHALES, 4 FIN WHALES, and 3 BAIRD’S BEAKED WHALES. A couple of DALL’S PORPOISES slow-rolled off the bow. Pinnipeds included California sea lion, Northern elephant seal, and Northern fur seal. We saw one MAKO and one BLUE SHARK.
    The ocean is literally teaming with marine life. Seas were glassy-smooth and we expect the same tomorrow. The sea surface temperature reached 65 F today. This report doesn’t really do it justice. Folks on board were thrilled. Many thanks to everyone from near and far who joined us today. Leaders on this trip were Alex Rinkert, Mary Gustafson, Jim Holmes, Rick Fournier, and Debi Shearwater.
    We’ll be heading out of Monterey for the next three days in a row. Spaces are available on tomorrow’s trip and Sunday’s trip. (The albacore trip on Saturday is sold out.) I can only be reached by email at this time: debi@... .
    Living the Salt Life and SeaBirding for Science,
    Debi Shearwater
    Shearwater Journeys, Inc.
    PO Box 190
    Hollister, CA 95024
    Celebrating 42 Years of Seabirding with Shearwater Journeys
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  21. Offshore: SEP 3 HALF MOON BAY LINK
    DATE: Sep 5, 2017 @ 6:50pm, 7 month(s) ago
    Howdy, Birders,
    Shearwater Journeys just had three pelagic trips this past weekend: September 1 from Monterey and September 2 and 3 from Half Moon Bay. There has been a strong southerly flow happening offshore. We first detected this flow on our September 2 Half Moon Bay trip when BLACK STORM-PETRELS showed up. The current was coming up from the south. A somewhat lazy southerly wind blew up. On September 3, the breeze was still going in the morning, but died down while we were out by noon. Even though we were offshore, it was still a warm day. Sea surface temperatures exceeded 64 F!
    Oh, what a difference a day makes! The inshore rafts of SOOTY SHEARWATERS had moved up to Pacifica. So, we headed offshore straight away. The inshore waters have been army-green colored with lots of plankton. Offshore, the water color turned to deep aqua-blue— albacore water! Indeed, the fishermen who were already out some 35 miles, caught a fair amount of albacore. One fisherman even caught an opah, a beautiful fish also known as the “moonfish.” (There’s a sunfish and a moonfish!)
    One of the highlights of our day was a very splendid GUADALUPE MURRELET spotted by leader, Peter Pyle. Many photographs were made of this little gem. Of all the murrelets, this one is the most difficult to see in central and northern California. Later, we spotted two SCRIPPS’S MURRELETS. Again, all on board had excellent views. Many photographs were made. One person shot 2,700 images! All of the murrelets were in San Mateo County.
    Near the weather buoy we saw and smelled a fish oil slick. Slicks such as this are naturally made by sea lions when they kill fish. So, coming upon such a slick is all part of the natural offshore world and not at all mysterious. BLACK, ASHY (both San Mateo and San Francisco Counties) and WILSON’S STORM-PETRELS were feeding over this slick. Other offshore slicks I have observed involved killer whales killing a sea lion. That made a big, stinky oil slick!
    We recorded most of the seabirds typical of this season including: BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS; NORTHERN FULMAR; PINK-FOOTED, BULLER’S, SOOTY SHEARWATERS; POMARINE, PARASITIC and LONG-TAILED JAEGERS; RED and RED-NECKED PHALAROPES; SABINE’S GULL; ARCTIC and COMMON TERNS; CASSIN’S and RHINOCEROS AUKLETS. We recorded birds in both San Mateo and San Francisco Counties.
    It seemed that many of the whales had moved northward with the flow as well. Nevertheless, we managed to see BLUE, FIN, and many HUMPBACK WHALES and PACIFIC WHITE-SIDED DOLPHINS very nicely.
    I forgot to report a very exciting observation of a drone at sea which we saw on September 2. This was Saildrone #1006 which was deployed from the San Francisco area on September 1. It is on a NOAA mission, heading to the Equator to monitor for El Nino!
    We have a lot of upcoming trips with spaces available! I hope you can join us! For a reservation, email me: debi@... .
    SEP 15 with Christian Schwarz, Debi Shearwater
    SEP 16 with Steve Hampton, Tim Miller, Abe Borker, Debi Shearwater
    SEP 7 with Alex Rinkert, Jim Holmes, Mary Gustafson, Rick Fournier, Debi Shearwater
    SEP 8 with Jim Holmes, Mary Gustafson, Brad Keitt, Christian Schwarz, Debi Shearwater
    SEP 9 with Alex Rinkert, Scott & Linda Terrill, Mary Gustafson, Todd McGrath, Nick Levendosky, Debi Shearwater (SEP 9 is sold out. Waiting list only)
    SEP 10 with Scott & Linda Terrill, Todd McGrath, Mary Gustafson, Ryan Terrill, Debi Shearwater
    SEP 14 with David & Patty Wimpfheimer, Debi Shearwater
    SEP 22 with Christian Schwarz, Hannah Nevins, Clay Kempf, Debi Shearwater
    SEP 24 with Jim Holmes, Nick Levendosky, Scott & Linda Terrill, Debi Shearwater
    SEP 30 with Alex Rinkert, Nick Levendosky, Scott & Linda Terrill, Clay Kempf
    OCT 8 with Alex Rinkert, Nick Levendosky, Scott & Linda Terrill, Clay Kempf
    Living the Salt Life and SeaBirding for Science,
    Debi Shearwater
    Shearwater Journeys, Inc.
    PO Box 190
    Hollister, CA 95024
    Celebrating 42 Years of Seabirding with Shearwater Journeys
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  23. SEP 2: Half Moon Bay Pelagic Trip LINK
    DATE: Sep 3, 2017 @ 5:57am, 7 month(s) ago
    Howdy, Birders, Shearwater Journeys’ pelagic trip out of Half Moon Bay today was nothing short of spectacular with a great show of seabirds and marine mammals. It was so overwhelming that I hardly know where to begin.
    We did not see any ‘rare’ seabirds, only one out-of-season ANCIENT MURRELET in San Francisco County. We also found a few BLACK STORM-PETRELS with a handful of ASHY STORM-PETRELS (also San Francisco County). As far as I know, these are the first reported Black Storm-Petrels for central California. The overall quality of the day was simply amazing.
    Just outside of the harbor, we encountered the mixed flocks of SOOTY SHEARWATERS and COMMON MURRES (many dads with chicks). The shearwaters have been feeding on schooling anchovies, but also on squid recently. Feeding on squid is probably what caused them to move a bit more offshore. But the thing that amazed me about these flocks was that the shearwaters were vocalizing! Like hundreds, if not a couple thousand Sooty Shearwaters sitting on the sea were vocalizing. Although I routinely hear PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATERS vocalizing, I cannot ever recall hearing sooty shears make the sounds I heard today. Our captain killed the engines and many folks on board made recordings and video.
    We headed out to the weather buoy but made many stops along the way. No boobies were on the buoy. Upon nearing the edge of the shelf we encountered sensational numbers of both HUMPBACK (63) and BLUE WHALES (26) and one FIN WHALE.
    Obviously, with there was an amazing amount of food available to feed 6500 tons of whales! Hundreds of CASSIN’S and RHINOCEROS AUKLETS were present. Flocks of ARCTIC TERNS and SABINE’S GULLS were sitting on the sea. RED and RED-NECKED PHALAROPES were feeding along the edges of the Lines of Convergence. We followed one skinny line that had a one degree SST difference from one side to the other. We left most of the Sooty Shearwaters back at the nearshore, and encountered BULLER’S and PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATERS along the shelf break. BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSSES were mostly spotted sitting on the sea due to a lack of wind, as were many of the NORTHERN FULMARS. Overall, jaeger numbers seemed very low, especially given the numbers of Sabine’s Gulls and terns present. However, we did encounter both PARASITIC and LONG-TAILED JAEGERS. It was non-stop birding along the shelf break.
    We also saw over 80 OCEAN SUNFISH, many of them dinner plate sized, but also a few very large individuals. One BLUE SHARK was spotted. Three NORTHERN FUR SEALS, one NORTHERN ELEPHANT SEAL, STELLER’Sand CALIFORNIA SEA LIONS rounded out the pinnipeds for the day. Four HARBOR PORPOISE were spotted inshore.
    It was often difficult to know which direction to move the boat because we were surrounded by whales on all sides, their stinky breath wafting across the stern. We spotted chunks of bright orange-red whale poo, too! Many invertebrates were noted in the water column, including salps, pteropods, moon jellies, sea nettles and ctenophores.
    Somehow this just doesn’t really capture a day with nearly non-stop marine life action. It was like being on a maritime carousel and wanting to reach out for the gold ring.
    Sea conditions were excellent. Visibility was excellent. Tomorrow is expected to be the same. Other upcoming departures from Half Moon Bay include: September 15 and 16; October 7. Departures from Monterey Bay include: September 7, 8, 10, 22, 24, 30; October 8. For reservations, email: debi@... .
    Living the Salt Life and SeaBirding for Science,
    Debi Shearwater
    Shearwater Journeys, Inc.
    PO Box 190
    Hollister, CA 95024
    Celebrating 42 Years of Seabirding with Shearwater Journeys
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  25. Two back to back Farallons trips LINK
    DATE: Aug 12, 2017 @ 7:26pm, 7 month(s) ago
    Hello all,     Just a quick note after two back to back trips to the Farallon Islands on Friday and today. It was a bit choppy getting out there, but slow and steady did it and we arrived eager to see some birds and wildlife. On both days the Island was fantastic, with many Tufted Puffins, really great numbers of Cassin’s Auklets, Pigeon Guillemots and a few Rhinoceros Auklets amongst the larger numbers of Common Murres. The Blue-footed Booby was there on both days, and today we also saw a Brown Booby – Fantastic. Northern Fur Seals are going like gangbusters, I gather the best season they have had there. California Sea Lions, Steller’s Sea Lions, Harbor Seals and a couple of Grey Whales. The islands do not disappoint.     We are able to get out to deep water on the way back to port (Half Moon Bay) and it was fantastic on both days. Surrounded by Blue Whales and Humpback Whales! Yesterday apart from the Sooty and Pink-footed shearwaters, and Black-footed Shearwaters yesterday a group of 4 Wilson’s Storm-Petrels along with several Ashy Storm-Petrels were great to see. Today a real highlight was a super close fly by from a Laysan Albatross. It was close enough that the photos show a red color band which we will send in to determine where this albatross came from. Ashy Storm-Petrel showed up today, Northern Fulmars etc. Both were superb days, really, really fun birding. The Laysan was in SF County, Wilson’s SP in San Mateo County.    And as Alan Hopkins reported yesterday on SFBirds, he was able to get on a Cook’s Petrel which unfortunately none of us were able to see. It was choppy and difficult that that time. Pheew, I am tired, but happy tired! Lots more trips are happening this season, see you out there. Alvaro   Alvaro Jaramillo alvaro@...  
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  27. Monterey Bay Pelagic Report 8/6 and Monterey Seabirds Pelagic Opportunities LINK
    DATE: Aug 9, 2017 @ 2:40pm, 7 month(s) ago
    All,   One Sunday 8/6, a hardy group of folks went on a 12-hour pelagic for whales and birds with Monterey Bay Whale Watch. We departed from Monterey Harbor at 7:30 and found conditions to be fairly calm the entire day. Water temperatures ranged; peaking right around 62 degrees.  We roamed the seas, spending time in both Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties. 
      Just across the county line in Santa Cruz waters, a TUFTED PUFFIN buzzed the boat by a mere ten feet on it's initial pass.  For those who missed it the first time, it circled the boat twice before heading south towards Monterey Co.  Smiles were everywhere as folks checked their cameras.  As for the other alcids, CASSIN'S AUKLETS were numerous in both counties. We encountered RHINOCEROS AUKLETS in both counties as well. 
     RED-NECKED PHALAROPES were numerous all day and a few RED PHALAROPES seen. 
      Tubenoses included: BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS, SOOTY SHEARWATER and PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATER but the highlight for many came farther offshore where BULLER'S SHEARWATERS (12) generated some excitement.  Their numbers were difficult to tell as they were sometimes clustered in groups of 4-5 sitting on the water and other times streaming by the boat individually.  A very conservative estimate would be a dozen.
      The cetacean show was impressive as well.  HUMPBACK WHALES (26) put on show after show of feeding, breaching, and sometimes getting quite friendly with the boat.  BLUE WHALE (7) and FIN WHALE (12) numbers were mind boggling. Currently, we studying photos of a probable SEI WHALE.  DALL'S PORPOISE (12) rode the bow at times and PACIFIC WHITE-SIDED DOLPHIN (150) also showed up. 
      It was really a full day!  Highlights and photographs can be found at both Monterey Bay Whale Watch facebook page: les/  
    as well as at Monterey Seabirds facebook: reyseabirdtours/
    Lastly, MONTEREY SEABIRDS is heading out on 13 more trips this season.  To see our complete schedule and to sign up go to:
    Hope to see you out there,
    Mark Kudrav
    Monterey Seabirds
    Monterey, CA
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    DATE: Aug 7, 2017 @ 2:16pm, 8 month(s) ago
    Howdy, Birders,
    Shearwater Journeys’ trips departing from Monterey Bay, August 4th and Sausalito to the Farallon Islands, August 6th, encountered extraordinary numbers and variety of seabirds and marine mammals. And, yes, “it’s all about food”— my favorite saying. Monterey Bay is teaming with bait fish and some krill. The area surrounding the Farallon Islands, out to the edge of the Continental Shelf was floor to ceiling in krill. The marine life associated with the prey items was divided accordingly! Both trips enjoyed flat, calm seas with visibility up to 10 miles.
    Highlights of our August 4 Monterey Bay pelagic trip included: BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS (8, excellent views), SOOTY (30,000+) and, PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATERS (34), ASHY STORM-PETREL (2, distant views), RED-NECKED (121) and RED (19) PHALAROPES, LONG-TAILED JAEGER (1, distant view), SABINE’S GULL (including 2 early juveniles, sitting on the water, excellent views), COMMON MURRE (1,025, many dads with chicks), and RHINOCEROS AUKLETS (62, good views). All birds were in Monterey County.
    Marine mammals included: BLUE (2), FIN (1), HUMPBACK (12) WHALES; RISSO’S (30) and PACIFIC WHITE-SIDED (100) DOLPHINS, DALL’S PORPOISE ( 8, bow-riding on the head of a blue whale). Other highlights included: MAKO (1, excellent views) and BLUE (4, great views) SHARKS. We retrieved 6 mylar balloons, but could not pick up the floating refrigerator (future potential booby habitat!)
    Highlights of our August 6 Farallon Islands pelagic trip included: MASKED (thought to be a sub-adult, hundreds of images), BLUE-FOOTED (1 on Sugar Loaf), and BROWN (1 sitting next to the Blue-footed) BOOBIES , BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS (2); NORTHERN FULMAR (1), SOOTY (10) and PINK-FOOTED (24) SHEARWATERS; RED-NECKED PHALAROPE (2700), and TUFTED PUFFIN (25), CASSIN’S (7000) and RHINOCEROS (10) AUKLETS, COMMON MURRE (18,000). Most birds were in San Francisco County, including the Masked Booby. We looked for the Parakeet Auklet, but did not find it. The Masked Booby flew across our bow shortly after leaving that location. Our excellent captain chased the booby and we had a chance to see it plunge-diving. Hundreds of images were made. A Common Murre was very vocal about this booby’s presence!
    Marine mammals included: GRAY (2), BLUE (4) and HUMPBACK (44) WHALES, HARBOR PORPOISE. We stopped the boat and were surrounded by tail-slapping, head-slapping and breaching humpback whales for 360 degrees. The fish finder showed krill from top to bottom along the shelf break. The albatrosses, shearwaters and fulmar flew in while we were sitting around taking photographs. The rather tattered fulmar swam right up to the gunwales. It was a magical marine scene that few will ever encounter. The weather was so good that we headed up to the north islands of the Farallon Island group— something I’ve only done once before.
    Spaces are available on the following trips: (leaders may be added to many of these trips)
    Aug 25 with Alex Rinkert, Jim Holmes, Debi Shearwater
    Sep 1 with Nick Levendosky, Mary Gustafson, Debi Shearwater
    Sep 7 with Nick Levendosky, Alex Rinkert, Jim Holmes, Mary Gustafson, Debi Shearwater
    Sep 8 with Mary Gustafson, Jim Holmes, Debi Shearwater
    Sep 10 with Mary Gustafson, Debi Shearwater
    Sep 14 with Debi Shearwater, TBA
    Sep 22 with Christian Schwarz, Hannah Nevins, Debi Shearwater
    Sep 23 with Nick Levendosky, Alex Rinkert, Jim Holmes, Steve Tucker, Debi Shearwater
    Sep 24 with Nick Levendosky, Jim Holmes, Debi Shearwater
    Sep 30 with Nick Levendosky, Alex Rinkert, Scott & Linda Terrill
    Oct 8 with Nick Levendosky, Alex Rinkert, Scott & Linda Terrill
    Sep 2 with Mary Gustafson, Debi Shearwater
    Sep 3 with Peter Pyle, Steve Tucker, Mary Gustafson, Debi Shearwater
    Sep 15 with Christian Schwarz, Dave Pereksta, Debi Shearwater
    Sep 16 with Steve Hampton, Debi Shearwater
    Oct 7 with Nick Levendosky, Alex Rinkert, Steve Hampton
    Many thanks to the wonderful folks, birders and birders-to-be, who joined us on these two fine pelagic trips. The leaders on August 4 included: Nick Levendosky, Abe Borker, Scott Terrill, Will Brooks, John Garrett, Debi Shearwater. The leaders on August 6 included: Gerry McChesney, Alex Rinkert, Christian Schwarz, John Garrett, Will Brooks, and Debi Shearwater.
    It IS all about food!
    Shearwaters Forever,
    Debi Shearwater
    Shearwater Journeys, Inc.
    PO Box 190
    Hollister, CA 95024
    Celebrating 42 Years of Seabirding with Shearwater Journeys
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-revision history-
v1.30 - 01/05/16 - Revamped cloud logic, optimized database queries, linked to eBird rarities.
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v1.21 - 11/24/11 - Added direct link to range map for NA birds.
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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'.