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   Surf Scoter
Surf Scoter
Melanitta perspicillata


   Surf Scoter (Melanitta perspicillata) - SUSC (recent eBird sightings, view CBRC records, range map
)

  1. Re: [CALBIRDS] Pacific Loons MIA at 'Point Pinos Seawatch' this year LINK
    DATE: Dec 5, 2017 @ 12:11pm, 6 day(s) ago
    Hi Brian,
    
    We have had a similar situation at Point La Jolla, San Diego County as what you are describing. Usually mid November to Thanksgiving is peak seawatching time here for loon migration and Surf Scoter movement with other duck species mixed in. It has been very, very slow. Much smaller numbers of Pacific Loon than normal. I think I had just one day with a 5-6K maximum, blocks of birds coming by in 50-100 size flocks. It looked like the precursor to some big days but that did not materialize. Previous years not unusual to get 1-2 days during this time period of full bore constant stream of birds at 5-6K per hour. The number of Surf Scoters coming by Point La Jolla this year also about 1/10th of normal at the most. Usually we can expect good days with suitable winds and scoters coming by 2-3K for a 4 hour watch and hard pressed to see 100-200 birds.
    
    Weather has been very benign down here so far this fall. No real onshore wind events, only a trace of rain. There was one day the winds picked up to 15-20 knots from the west but there was no sign of bird movement. I am not sure what is going on - the two hypotheses you describe come to mind. I guess we should know soon enough if the birds are still staging to the north and peak movement window has shifted later by some weeks.
    
    Gary Nunn,
    Pacific Beach.
    
    On Wed, Nov 29, 2017 at 8:50 PM, Brian Sullivan heraldpetrel@... [CALBIRDS] < CALBIRDS-noreply@yahoogroups.com > wrote:
    
     Hi All,
    
    For the past two years Monterey Audubon has sponsored a 6-week fall seawatch at Point Pinos in Monterey County. The count runs from 1 Nov - 15 Dec. The focus of of the count is Pacific Loons, and during each of the last two years we tallied ~250,000 migrant loons during the period.
    
    This year has been quite different. Despite having favorable, though not great, weather conditions, Pacific Loon numbers have been dismal. Our biggest day so far barely approached 10K (most of those in just two hours on the morning of the 27th), and the season total is probably less than 20K--so far.
    
    I'm wondering if others have been seeing large concentrations of staging loons in places along the coast, or whether seawatchers have had good flights to the north and/or south of Monterey County this fall I spent .5hr watching from Pigeon Point in San Mateo on Saturday and had thousands of Pacific Loons--all moving north! I'm not sure what that was all about, but at Point Pinos we don't see northbound loons in fall.
    
    It seems like there are two possibilities: they haven't made it this far south yet and they are staging in big numbers to the north; or they are passing to the west of our limit of vision, well offshore. Thanksgiving has proven the be the peak time for Pacific Loons here, so the flight is certainly late, if it is to come at all this year. Pacific Loons are pretty scarce once you get truly offshore, so the idea of thousands moving many miles off the coast seems unlikely, though certainly possible.
    
    Any thoughts would be appreciated.
    
    Perplexed in Monterey...
    
    Brian
    
    --
    ===========
    Brian L. Sullivan
    
    eBird Project Leader
    www.ebird.org
    
    Photo Editor
    Birds of North America Online
    http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/ BNA
    ------------------------------ -
    
    --
    Gary Nunn
    you can find me on twitter, @garybnunn
    San Diego Birding - my blog
    garybnunn@...
    
    Mobile: 650-305-0029
  2. -back to top-
  3. Leach's Storm-Petrels in Monterey Bay--16 December LINK
    DATE: Dec 16, 2016 @ 9:32pm, 12 month(s) ago
    Hi All,
    
    Today was a great day at the Pt. Pinos Seawatch. The official count ended yesterday, but the weather conspired to draw Skye Haas and company in for an extra day. A moderate NW wind and some rain overnight dumped a bunch of Leach's Storm-Petrels in the bay today. We had birds in view most of the day, trickling west past the point. I was able to photography probably 20 individuals, and got pretty good video of a few. Will post that when I get time to download the images and process them this weekend. Also of note today was an adult female Brown Booby, different from the sub-adult seen yesterday here in the bay. A good early AM push of loons and a good late season scoter flight made the day a pleasure. Seawatch totals below from today:
    
    35 Brant (Black)
    20 Mallard
    2390 Surf Scoter
    1 White-winged Scoter
    3 Black Scoter
    17 Red-breasted Merganser
    54 Red-throated Loon
    9269 Pacific Loon
    17 Common Loon
    1 Horned Grebe
    1 Red-necked Grebe
    1 Eared Grebe
    1 Black-footed Albatross
    359 Northern Fulmar
    3 Pink-footed Shearwater
    12 Sooty Shearwater
    15 Short-tailed Shearwater
    32 Sooty/Short-tailed Shearwater
    1 Manx Shearwater
    1578 Black-vented Shearwater
    46 Leach's Storm-Petrel (Leach's)
    1 Brown Booby
    640 Brandt's Cormorant
    103 Pelagic Cormorant
    18 Double-crested Cormorant
    1110 Brown Pelican
    3 Great Egret
    12 Black Oystercatcher
    5 Whimbrel (Hudsonian)
    13 Black Turnstone
    8 Sanderling
    5 Red Phalarope
    8 Pomarine Jaeger
    1 Pomarine/Parasitic Jaeger
    1488 Common Murre
    2 Marbled Murrelet
    2 Ancient Murrelet
    151 Rhinoceros Auklet
    1 alcid sp.
    7 Black-legged Kittiwake
    20 Bonaparte's Gull
    1800 Heermann's Gull
    36 Mew Gull (American)
    2100 Western Gull
    2750 California Gull
    6 Herring Gull
    10 Thayer's Gull
    57 Glaucous-winged Gull
    8 Western x Glaucous-winged Gull (hybrid)
    
    --
    ===========
    Brian L. Sullivan
    
    eBird Project Leader
    www.ebird.org
    
    Photo Editor
    Birds of North America Online
    http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/BNA
    -------------------------------
  4. -back to top-
  5. Point Pinos Seawatch update LINK
    DATE: Nov 22, 2016, 1 year(s) ago
    Hi All,
    
    The Point Pinos Seawatch continues to record large numbers of Red Phalaropes, and Pacific Loons are really starting to push through. Compared with last year, tubenose diversity is higher, but Pacific Loon numbers are lagging (maybe just late). The big story is the Red Phalarope invasion, with massive numbers being seen daily off the Point. Yesterday there were more than 20,000 counted. These are really tough to count, with rafts of birds on the water, as well as streams of birds moving past. Complicated. Loons are easier and starting to become a spectacle. If you can get out the point, please join us!
    
    Thanks to Monterey Audubon and BLM for sponsoring the count again this year. Hourly totals can be seen in eBird at this URL:
    
    https://ebird.org/ebird/hotspot/L109309
    
    Here are yesterday's totals, courtesy of our counter Skye Haas:
    
    84 Brant (Black)
    3 Lesser Scaup
    974 Surf Scoter
    2 White-winged Scoter
    12 Red-breasted Merganser
    206 Red-throated Loon
    18545 Pacific Loon
    21 Common Loon
    6 Northern Fulmar
    1 Pink-footed Shearwater
    24 Sooty Shearwater
    28 Short-tailed Shearwater
    10 Sooty/Short-tailed Shearwater
    4362 Black-vented Shearwater
    2 black-and-white shearwater sp.
    1 Ashy Storm-Petrel
    812 Brandt's Cormorant
    50 Pelagic Cormorant
    17 Double-crested Cormorant
    1226 Brown Pelican
    3 Snowy Egret
    8 Turkey Vulture
    1 Northern Harrier
    8 Black Oystercatcher
    1 Black-bellied Plover
    4 Whimbrel
    1 Marbled Godwit
    17 Black Turnstone
    8 Surfbird
    82 Sanderling
    20005 Red Phalarope
    1 Pomarine Jaeger
    1 Parasitic Jaeger
    2279 Common Murre
    4 Marbled Murrelet
    3 Ancient Murrelet
    130 Cassin's Auklet
    561 Rhinoceros Auklet
    2 Black-legged Kittiwake
    61 Bonaparte's Gull
    1185 Heermann's Gull
    19 Mew Gull (American)
    1435 Western Gull
    945 California Gull
    7 Thayer's Gull
    11 Glaucous-winged Gull
    3 Western x Glaucous-winged Gull (hybrid)
    2 Herring x Glaucous-winged Gull (hybrid)
    13 Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon)
    1 Anna's Hummingbird
    1 Northern Flicker (Red-shafted)
    1 Merlin
    2 Peregrine Falcon
    8 Black Phoebe
    1 Say's Phoebe
    2 California Scrub-Jay
    14 American Crow
    11 European Starling
    1 American Pipit
    2 Yellow-rumped Warbler
    14 Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon's)
    12 White-crowned Sparrow
    4 Golden-crowned Sparrow
    3 Song Sparrow
    28 Red-winged Blackbird (California Bicolored)
    48 Brewer's Blackbird
    15 House Finch
    
    --
    ===========
    Brian L. Sullivan
    
    eBird Project Leader
    www.ebird.org
    
    Photo Editor
    Birds of North America Online
    http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/BNA
    -------------------------------
  6. -back to top-
  7. SISKIYOU Co. LINK
    DATE: Nov 3, 2016 @ 7:10pm, 1 year(s) ago
    Today Linda & I found some notable birds in SIS Co.
    
    At Lake Siskiyou we refound 3 SURF SCOTERS. On 11/2 the Parkers reported 3 on ebird. Today we found them by scoping out from the causeway/dam.
    
    Next stop was at Lake Shastina. Scoping off the boat ramp we found both a PACIFIC & COMMON LOON, a number of HORNED GREBES, & several BONAPARTE GULLS. Most of these were close to the dam.
    
    Good Birding,
    
    Frances
    
    Lodi, CA
  8. -back to top-
  9. Monterey Audubon 2016 Seawatch: PHALAROPES AND FRIGATEBIRD LINK
    DATE: Nov 3, 2016 @ 1:41pm, 1 year(s) ago
    November 1 marked the beginning of Monterey Audubon's second annual Seabird Seawatch from Point Pinos on the outermost Monterey Peninsula. This year, under the guidance of expert counter Skye Haas, and supported by counter Mark Kudrav, we will collect year-over-year data on all migratory seabirds passing by the Point Nov 1 - Dec 15, dawn to dusk. Last year we inventoried 250,000 Pacific Loons and 50,000 Surf Scoters. What will this year bring Well in just two days we've rack ed up multiple Leach's Storm-Petrels, Harlequin Ducks, thousands upon thousands of Red Phalarope, and....a frigatebird! This second-cycle Frigatebird seen yesterday afternoon, 2 November, was initially assumed to be a Magnificent Frigatebird but closer looks point to other possibilities including Great Frigatebird. Second-cycle frigates are notoriously hard to ID. Magnificent Frigatebirds off California are rare enough, but If this is a Great Frigatebird it could be just the 4th in North America. Incredibly, another Great Frigatebird was seen off the Salinas river mouth, Monterey County, in 1979. A photo of the frigatebird is on our facebook page, at https://www.facebook.com/monterey.audubon . We'll also post occasional updates from the count there, as well.
    
    Good birding,
    Blake Matheson Monterey Peninsula
  10. -back to top-
  11. 2nd Annual Island Scrub-Jay Pelagic LINK
    DATE: Feb 27, 2016, 2 year(s) ago
    Hi everyone, Island Packers ranthe nowannual Island Scrub-Jay and Pelagic birding trip today. We left Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnardaboard the motor vesselVanguard, headed along the Hueneme Canyon to Anacapa Island then up to Santa Cruz Island. We passed through both Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties. We found most of the birds we expected and had up close looks at them which this trip is geared towards. On Santa Cruz Island a handful of Island Scrub-Jays showed up and filled in half of the trip title. The Pelagic side yielded quite a few cooperative Scripps's Murrelets thatgave great views very close to the boat. You could even hear them chirping their contact calls to each other! We also had great looks at many species including: Rhinoceros Auklet, Northern Fulmar, Black-Vented Shearwater, Surf Scoters, and Common Murre. We had decent looks at a couple Pomarine Jaegars, and several fly away Cassin's Auklets. A dark shearwater with the place holder Sooty/Short-tailed (pending photo review) flew behind the boat at one point. Most of the listedbirds were seen in both counties at various points in the trip. *The highlights by far though were the 80+ BROWN BOOBIESand the 1 BLUE-FOOTED BOOBY! seen on the east side of Anacapa Island. This Blue-footed Booby actually had bright blue feet unlike thebirds that showed up in this location a couple of years ago. A single Brown Booby was seen in SB county waters and a few more in Ventura County waters away from the Island. Big thanks go out to all the passengers who signed up, and to the leaders that helped out. Island Packers plans on running a few more pelagic trips this summer and fall so watch this space in the future for trip dates and details or look us up online at http://WWW.ISLANDPACKERS.COM
    
    Joel Barrett Island Packers Ventura, Ca
  12. -back to top-
  13. 2nd Annual Island Scrub-Jay Pelagic LINK
    DATE: Dec 6, 2015 @ 8:48pm, 2 year(s) ago
    Hello Birders and offshore enthusiasts,
    This is a trip notice to inform those of you who are interested in seeing some of our southern California pelagic winter visitors and early returning specialty nesters. Late winter moving into spring can also bring in some potential migrants and vagrants! This trip was well received last year.
    
    The basics of the trip:
    Who: Island Packers - www.IslandPackers.com - (805)-642-1393
    What: 9hr +/- wildlife trip near Anacapa and to Santa Cruz Island. Highlights include a chance to look for the endemic Island Scub-Jay and do some pelagic birding! Birds are our focus but Seals, Sea Lions, Whales, and Dolphin are very likely too.
    When: February 27th 2016, a Saturday. Departs 8 am returns 5 pm.
    Where: Channel Islands Harbor, Oxnard, Ca
    Why: To see birds and marine mammals with some beautiful islands as our background.
    Price: $80 (low price + low number of passengers allowed = book ASAP if you can)
    
    Vessel: Vanguard 64’ monohull USCG inspected and licensed vessel with USCG licensed crew, a galley with snacks and drinks, beer and wine, and microwave ready foods. Or bring your own food and drink, we don’t mind! (Alcoholic beverages must be served by the crew though). We have two restrooms on board. This boat is a favorite for wildlife viewing by all the Crew at Island Packers because it has ample room for everyone along the railing and a superb upper deck viewing area for those who like the extra length of horizon that loftier elevations offer. We go slower (10-15 knots) but we see MORE. This trip is not trying to get to the continental shelf so we can afford to go slow and soak up the sights, sounds, smells, and birds.
    
    All of Island Packers boats have a galley and restrooms on board with friendly and knowledgeable crew. Island Packers has a terrific safety record and has been running boats in the Santa Barbara Channel since 1968!
    
    Book your trip at www.Island Packers.com. Click the Reserve Trip tab, then the special trips tab. If you prefer talking to someone call us with questions or make a reservation at this number (805)-642-1393
    
    If you are ready to book, read no further. If you need more info here is perhaps more than you wanted to know!
    
    Our lovely voyage departs Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard at 8 am (check in between 7-7:30 am) to ply the waters of the Santa Barbara Channel and the deep waters of the Hueneme canyon. Later we will be taking in up close views of the spectacular Anacapa Arch while we search this ripe area for Brown Boobies that have been congregating here lately. Anacapa also has been a great place to seek out American Oystercatchers albeit from a distance. Some of the birds that will just be starting their nesting season will be: Brown Pelicans, Western Gulls, Brandt’s, Pelagic, and Double-crested Cormorants, Pigeon Guillemots, Scripps’s Murrelets, Cassin’s Auklets, Ashy Storm Petrels (nocturnal at nesting sites), and possibly the local pairs of Peregrine Falcons and Bald Eagles.
    
    After Anacapa we motor through the Anacapa Passage separating the aforementioned island from Santa Cruz Island, home of the endemic Island Scrub-Jay. Breezing past some beautiful scenery we will arrive at Prisoner’s Harbor where we will disembark for a time to look for, and hopefully at, an Island Scrub-Jay or two. (BTW this is the only place in the world to see them) Note: Island Scrub-Jays are plentiful at this location but it can sometimes take an hour or two to find a confiding bird (for epic photos). Sightings are not guaranteed but are highly likely. We will budget and hour or two to allow everyone an opportunity to find this bird who would like to try. There is also good land birding at this location, 220+ species over the years and six localized endemic subspecies might be seen (Bewick’s Wren, Orange-crowned Warbler, Allen’s Hummingbird, Horned Lark, Loggerhead Shrike, and Rufous-crowned Sparrow. If you prize more than just birds there are nearly 150 endemic species in the Channel Islands National Park and sometimes the cute little endemic Island Fox will show up here and various endemic plants grow nearby.
    
    With the time left in the afternoon we will put the wind at our back for a generally smooth ride to the mainland. However, we will scour our path through the Santa Barbara Channel for some of the spectacular wildlife seen most days such as whales, dolphin, seals, sea lions, and of course BIRDS!
    
    On last years trip we saw the following highlights:
    Black-vented Shearwater
    Pink-footed Shearwater
    Pomarine Jaeger
    Parasitic Jaeger
    Common, Pacific, and Red-throated Loons
    Grebes of various types
    Surf Scoters
    White-winged Scoter
    Black Oystercatchers (local breeder)
    American Oystercatcher
    Brandt's, Pelagic, and Double-crested Cormorants (local breeders)
    Brown Pelicans (local breeder)
    A variety of gulls and terns
    Scripps's Murrelet (local breeder)
    Pigeon Guillemot (local breeder)
    Rhinoceros Auklet (uncommon local breeder)
    Cassin’s Auklet (local breeder)
    Common Murre (local breeder)
    Osprey
    Bald Eagle
    Peregrine Falcon
    
    I hope to see you aboard,
    Joel Barrett
    Island Packers, Ventura, Ca
    
    
  14. -back to top-
  15. Re: [CALBIRDS] MAS Seawatch Report LINK
    DATE: Nov 17, 2015 @ 1:47pm, 2 year(s) ago
    Hi Ed et al.
    The seawatch is being conducted from Point Pinos in Pacific Grove, at the south end of Monterey Bay. It is certainly open to all, so please stop by and visit with Tony. The hourly counts are being reported to eBird here:
    
    http://ebird.org/ebird/hotspot/L109309
    
    Thanks
    
    Brian
    
    On Tue, Nov 17, 2015 at 12:24 PM, edstonick edstonick@... [CALBIRDS] <CALBIRDS-noreply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
     
    Where is this sea watch taking place Is it accessible to other birders 
    
    Ed Stonick
    Pasadena
    
    Sent on the new Sprint Network from my Samsung Galaxy S®4.
    
    -------- Original message --------
    From: "B Matheson gypaetusbarbatus@... [CALBIRDS]"
    Date:11/17/2015 9:58 AM (GMT-08:00)
    To: CALBIRDS@yahoogroups.com
    Subject: [CALBIRDS] MAS Seawatch Report
    
     
    The MAS Seawatch Program now enters its third week. In our first two weeks under Tony Leukering's leadership, we have recorded 94,063 individual seabirds. Thus far our more numerous species of interest have totaled: SURF SCOTER (27,192); CASSIN'S AUKLET (9,193); BONAPARTE'S GULL (1,484); COMMON MURRE (2,525); HEERMAN'S GULL (5,325); BLACK-VENTED SHEARWATER (24,804); ELEGANT TERN (1,359) and BROWN PELICAN (4,376).
    
    -- ===========Brian L. SullivaneBird Project Leader www.ebird.orgPhoto EditorBirds of North America Onlinehttp://bna.birds.cornell.edu/BNA-------------------------------
    
    
  16. -back to top-
  17. RE: [CALBIRDS] MAS Seawatch Report LINK
    DATE: Nov 17, 2015 @ 12:24pm, 2 year(s) ago
    Where is this sea watch taking place Is it accessible to other birders 
    
    Ed Stonick
    Pasadena
    
    Sent on the new Sprint Network from my Samsung Galaxy S®4.
    
    -------- Original message --------
    From: "B Matheson gypaetusbarbatus@... [CALBIRDS]"
    Date:11/17/2015 9:58 AM (GMT-08:00)
    To: CALBIRDS@yahoogroups.com
    Subject: [CALBIRDS] MAS Seawatch Report
    
     
    The MAS Seawatch Program now enters its third week. In our first two weeks under Tony Leukering's leadership, we have recorded 94,063 individual seabirds. Thus far our more numerous species of interest have totaled: SURF SCOTER (27,192); CASSIN'S AUKLET (9,193); BONAPARTE'S GULL (1,484); COMMON MURRE (2,525); HEERMAN'S GULL (5,325); BLACK-VENTED SHEARWATER (24,804); ELEGANT TERN (1,359) and BROWN PELICAN (4,376).
    
    
  18. -back to top-
  19. MAS Seawatch Report LINK
    DATE: Nov 17, 2015 @ 9:58am, 2 year(s) ago
    The MAS Seawatch Program now enters its third week. In our first two weeks under Tony Leukering's leadership, we have recorded 94,063 individual seabirds. Thus far our more numerous species of interest have totaled: SURF SCOTER (27,192); CASSIN'S AUKLET (9,193); BONAPARTE'S GULL (1,484); COMMON MURRE (2,525); HEERMAN'S GULL (5,325); BLACK-VENTED SHEARWATER (24,804); ELEGANT TERN (1,359) and BROWN PELICAN (4,376).
    
    PACIFIC LOON, perhaps the major focus of the effort, now totals 8,283. Notably the week over week daily increase from Nov. 7 (69) to Nov. 14 (3221) was 4600% and confirms we are entering the heart of that migration.
    
    Interesting scarce species have included BLACK SCOTER (10), LONG-TAILED DUCK (1), MANX SHEARWATER (3), SHORT-TAILED SHEARWATER (6), CACKLING GOOSE (106), GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE (3).
    
    Rarities of consequence have included: BROWN BOOBY, ROYAL TERN (2) and GUADALUPE MURRELET.
    
    Come see us at the Point!
    
    Blake Matheson
    President, Monterey Audubon
  20. -back to top-
  21. MAS Seawatch Program: Week 1 LINK
    DATE: Nov 10, 2015 @ 11:55am, 2 year(s) ago
    Greetings Birders
    
    Monterey Audubon launched its groundbreaking seawatch initiative on November 1. The effort, comprised of round-the-clock observation of migratory seabirds from Point Pinos is the first systematic and formal program of its kind. Our goal is to help expand our understanding of birds in the California Current and on Monterey Bay.
    
    The count effort is lead by Tony Leukering who has been present from dawn to dusk daily with sporadic help from local birders. In just one week the number of birds noted has been eye-opening even for locals who observe at "the Point" regularly. 20,120 SURF SCOTERS, 21,591 BLACK-VENTED SHEARWATERS and 8388 CASSIN'S AUKLET have been tallied thus far, suggesting the count will offer important insights into the population status and movements of these species.
    
    Interesting rarities noted have included BROWN BOOBY, GUADALUPE MURRELET, (7) BLACK SCOTER, (2) LONG-TAILED DUCK, and MANX SHEARWATER. I will update folks weekly as we progress. To follow the action checkout the Pt. Pinos Hotspot on eBird.
    
    ​Good birding,​
    
    Blake Matheson
    Board President, MAS
  22. -back to top-
  23. October 4 Half Moon Bay Pelagic Trip LINK
    DATE: Oct 6, 2015 @ 11:24am, 2 year(s) ago
    Howdy, CALBirders,
    Shearwater Journeys' October 4, 2015 pelagic trip departing from Half Moon Bay turned out to be a fabulous day. Folks who joined us on both this trip and the Monterey Bay trip, October 3rd, added a number of new species for their total list. These included: WILSON'S STORM-PETREL (3, excellent views), FORK-TAILED STORM-PETREL (1, excellent views), SOUTH POLAR SKUA (1), and MARBLED MURRELETS (7).
    
    Additional highlights included a scattering of both ASHY and BLACK STORM-PETRELS; NORTHERN/PACIFIC FULMAR; BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS; an offshore PEREGRINE FALCON; a late, or wintering PIGEON GUILLEMOT; CASSIN'S and RHINOCEROS AUKLETS.
    
    Marine mammal highlights included: 1200 LONG-BEAKED COMMON DOLPHINS traveling in one gigantic herd (herds of up to 10,000 are not unknown in Southern California); 3 HUMPBACK WHALES and 2 STELLER'S SEA LIONS.
    
    A great many of the birders made both trips this past weekend with Shearwater Journeys. Those who did wracked up a long list of seabirds and marine mammals. Many thanks to the birders who joined us! The leaders on this pelagic trip were: Steve Hampton, Will Brooks, Alex Rinkert, Annie Schmidt, Christian Schwarz, and Debi Shearwater.
    
    UPCOMING TRIPS:
    2 SPACES are available on out OCTOBER 11 HALF MOON BAY trip. Spaces are available on our OCTOBER 10 MONTEREY BAY trip.
    Please email me for a reservation.
    
    The complete species list for October 4, 2015 Half Moon Bay follows:
    
    RED-THROATED LOON- 3
    PACIFIC LOON- 1
    EARED GREBE- 20
    WESTERN GREBE- 30
    BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS- 3
    NORTHERN/PACIFIC FULMAR- 35
    PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATER- 300
    SOOTY SHEARWATER- 100
    SHORT-TAILED SHEARWATER- 2
    WILSON'S STORM-PETREL- 3
    FORK-TAILED STORM-PETREL- 1
    ASHY STORM-PETREL- 25
    BLACK STORM-PETREL- 35
    BROWN PELICAN- 2000
    BRANDT'S CORMORANT- 1000
    DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT- 500
    SURF SCOTER- 30
    BLUE-WINGED TEAL- 7
    BLACK OYSTERCATCHER- 7
    WHIMBREL- 1
    MARBLED GODWIT- 3
    BLACK TURNSTONE- 15
    SURFBIRD- 12
    WILLET- 10
    RED-NECKED PHALAROPE- 10
    RED PHALAROPE- 15
    SOUTH POLAR SKUA- 1
    POMARINE JAEGER- 2
    PARASITIC JAEGER- 4
    CALIFORNIA GULL- 50
    HERRING GULL- 2
    WESTERN GULL- 250
    GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL- 1
    ELEGANT TERN- 80
    COMMON MURRE- 650
    PIGEON GUILLEMOT- 1
    MARBLED MURRELET- 7
    CASSIN'S AUKLET- 20
    RHINOCEROS AUKLET- 3
    PEREGRINE FALCON- 1
    WARBLER SP. - 1
    AMERICAN PIPIT- 1
    WESTERN MEADOWLARK- 1
    SEA OTTER- 1
    CALIFORNIA SEA LION- 50
    STELLER'S SEA LION- 2
    HUMPBACK WHALE- 3
    LONG-BEAKED COMMON DOLPHIN- 1200
    OCEAN SUNFISH- 10
    SHARK SP.- 2
    
    A gale had blown through the area the night prior to this trip. Seas were subsiding throughout the day — so much so that we looked, again, for the marbled murrelets in the afternoon with great success! Again, the high swell made it all but impossible to search for flocks of storm-petrels, but we enjoyed close views of the storm-petrels we did find!
    
    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 40 Years of Seabirding with Shearwater Journeys
    
    
  24. -back to top-
  25. A Wall of Warm Water LINK
    DATE: Sep 27, 2015 @ 8:03pm, 2 year(s) ago
    Howdy, CAL Birders,
    Shearwater Journeys' Monterey Bay pelagic trip today, September 26, 2015, was outstanding, despite snappy seas! There's a wall of warm water which is smack dab up against a cold water front. Warm water loving species continue to appear at Monterey Bay. Highlights of today's trip included: 2 FLESH-FOOTED SHEARWATERS, 1 MANX SHEARWATER, sitting amongst a very large mixed flock of mostly SOOTY and BLACK-VENTED SHEARWATERS; 4 LEAST STORM-PETRELS; excellent views of BLACK and ASHY STORM-PETRELS. The HUMPBACK WHALE SHOW continues at Moss Landing, gorging on a mass of anchovies, probably the size of Manhattan. I reckon by mid-October, we might be finding a lot of Least Storm-Petrels. Who knows
    
    If anyone could update the bird list at the Monterey Bay Birding Festival, I would appreciate that. Below, is the complete species list for September 26, 2017. Many thanks to the participants on today's trip. The leaders were: Scott Terrill, Linda Terrill, Alex Rinkert, Tim Miller, Debi Shearwater.
    
    COMMON LOON- 1
    BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS- 51
    PACIFIC FULMAR- 40
    PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATER- 106
    *FLESH-FOOTED SHEARWATER- 2
    BULLER'S SHEARWATER- 2
    SOOTY SHEARWATER- 20,200
    *MANX SHEARWATER- 1
    BLACK-VENTED SHEARWATER- 3750
    ASHY STORM-PETREL- 49
    BLACK STORM-PETREL- 38
    *LEAST STORM-PETREL- 4
    BROWN PELICAN- 65
    BRANDT'S CORMORANT- 125
    DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT- 1
    PELAGIC CORMORANT- 3
    SURF SCOTER- 1
    BLACK TURNSTONE- 3
    SURFBIRD- 5
    RED-NECKED PHALAROPE- 30
    RED PHALAROPE- 82
    POMARINE JAEGER- 6
    PARASITIC JAEGER- 4
    HEERMANN'S GULL- 35
    CALIFORNIA GULL- 360
    HERRING GULL- 1
    WESTERN GULL- 2675
    ELEGANT TERN- 202
    COMMON TERN- 30
    FORSTER'S TERN- 1
    COMMON MURRE- 370
    CASSIN'S AUKLET- 9
    RHINOCEROS AUKLET- 3
    PEREGRINE FALCON- 1, on the red and white radio tower along Cannery Row
    SNOWY EGRET- 1
    GREAT EGRET- 7
    SEA OTTER- 4
    CALIFORNIA SEA LION- 250
    HARBOR SEAL- 2
    HUMPBACK WHALE- 30
    LONG-BEAKED COMMON DOLPHIN- 800
    OCEAN SUNFISH- 1
    
    Upcoming trips: Spaces are still available on October 3 & 10 Monterey Bay and October 11 Half Moon Bay (only 7 spaces open).
    
    See you out there!
    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 40 Years of Seabirding with Shearwater Journeys
    
    
  26. -back to top-
  27. RED RIVER REACHING MONTEREY BAY LINK
    DATE: Sep 26, 2015 @ 7:33pm, 2 year(s) ago
    Howdy, Birders,
    Shearwater Journeys' Monterey Bay trip today, September 27, 2015, had a good diversity of marine life.
    
    A red river of hot water is approaching Monterey Bay from the south, close to the shore in some areas, according to the Terrafin SST charts. Seabirds and other marine animals seem to be on the leading edge of this river. We saw a marked increase in BLACK-VENTED SHEARWATER (3000)- with rafts and rafts of them just outside the Monterey harbor. BONITO a decidedly warm water fish, was caught in large numbers just outside of the harbor today. We haven't seen this fish in Monterey Bay for many years, probably not since the last El Nino. RISSO'S DOLPHINS were wandering around in large herds nearshore, indicating that squid must be around as well. But, the "star" of today's trip was a LOGGERHEAD TURTLE! I say this, pending 100% ID when I see some photos. The turtle that we most often encounter is the Leatherback Turtle. This turtle was definitely not that species. My best estimation is that it was a LOGGERHEAD, very unusual in our area, although they have been recorded as far north as Alaska. This river of warm water, up to 67+ F, could bring just about any species that normally associates with such conditions.
    
    Below, is the complete species list. If anyone is attending the Monterey Bay Birding Festival and could update the list at the festival, I would appreciate that.
    
    PACIFIC LOON- 2
    EARED GREBE- 15
    BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS- 24, including many sitting around a fishing vessel
    PACIFIC FULMAR- 30
    PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATER- 45
    SOOTY SHEARWATER- 1500
    SHORT-TAILED SHEARWATER- 2
    BLACK-VENTED SHEARWATER- 3000
    ASHY STORM-PETREL- 40
    BLACK STORM-PETREL- 6
    BROWN PELICAN- +
    BRANDT'S CORMORANT- +
    PELAGIC CORMORANT- 2
    SURF SCOTER- 2
    BLACK TURNSTONE- 3
    SURFBIRD- 4
    RED-NECKED PHALAROPE- 400
    RED PHALAROPE- 50
    SOUTH POLAR SKUA- 1, only a few observers
    POMARINE JAEGER- 8
    PARASITIC JAEGER- 4
    LONG-TAILED JAEGER- 1, nice one, flew right up the stern
    HEERMANN'S GULL- +
    CALIFORNIA GULL- +
    HERRING GULL- 1, photos
    WESTERN GULL- 100
    ELEGANT TERN- +
    COMMON MURRE- 1200
    CASSIN'S AUKLET- 8
    RHINOCEROS AUKLET- 20
    PEREGRINE FALCON- 1, has already been hanging on the red & white radio tower along Cannery Row
    PELAGIC MERLIN- 1, well offshore, chasing--- phalaropes
    SNOWY EGRET- 2, standing on the kelp beds, along Cannery Row
    GREAT EGRET- 5, standing on the kelp beds, along Cannery Row
    SEA OTTER- 6
    CALIFORNIA SEA LION- 125
    NORTHERN ELEPHANT SEAL- 1, juvenile at the beach near the Coast Guard Jetty
    HUMPBACK WHALE- 35
    LONG-BEAKED COMMON DOLPHIN- 1200
    RISSO'S DOLPIN- 105
    OCEAN SUNFISH- 1
    LOGGERHEAD TURTLE- 1
    MOON & BROWN JELLIES- ++
    
    I would like to thank all of the birders who joined us today! The leaders on today's trip were: Rick Fournier, Clay Kempf, Abe Borker, Adam Searcy, Tim Miller, Debi Shearwater. Adam Searcy is doing the eBird checklists.
    
    Upcoming trips with spaces available:
    MONTEREY: September 27; October 3 & 10
    HALF MOON BAY: October 11.
    
    Sure has been an interesting season!
    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 40 Years of Seabirding with Shearwater Journeys
    
    
  28. -back to top-
  29. monterey seabirds trip report August 22nd LINK
    DATE: Aug 27, 2015 @ 11:59am, 2 year(s) ago
    Thanks to Curtis Marantz for writing this eBird account of our Monterey Seabirds pelagic trip last Saturday.Overall, we had a lot of birds in view fairly close to shore. We ventured a bit further offshore to confirm the presence of very few birds out there.We have spaces available for trips on Sept. 12, 19, Oct. 3 and 10. Please join us in our search for seabirds!Monterey Bay pelagic (MTY Co.), Monterey, California, US
    Aug 22, 2015 8:25 AM -
    4:05 PM
    Protocol: Traveling
    80.0 kilometer(s)
    Comments: There present
    list is for the offshore portion of a pelagic trip out of Monterey harbor on the
    M/V "Pt Sur Clipper" with Everett Robinson as captain, and as leaders John
    Sterling, Don Roberson, Matthew Dodder, and Steve Bailey. with "Monterey
    Seabirds " This period of this list began shortly after we passed the outer buoy
    beyond Point Pinos, from which we continued about eight kilometers west and then
    south to Pt. Lobos before turning to the west-southwest and continuing to a
    point not quite 20 kilometers off Cypress Point. We then headed north to about
    the midway point up Monterey Bay before turning east and continuing shoreward to
    a point 4-5 kilometers off Moss Landing to check out some foraging Humpback
    Whales. After visiting the whales, we returned to the middle of the bay and
    then south to the harbor. Associated with the whales were large numbers of
    shearwaters and murres, along with quite a few gulls. We also saw good numbers
    of birds a short distance off Point Pinos, but at the furthest points offshore
    we saw very few birds. Also onboard were Curtis Marantz, Tom Benson, Brad
    Singer, Brittany O'Connor, Matthew Grube, Kevin Gin, and about ten others.
    There was a full, mid-level marine-layer for most of the day, but with some
    clearing around 12:45 pm, but still a roughly 95% cover by our arrival back at
    port. We noted no more than light (5+ knot) winds that seemed to be coming from
    the south mid-morning, but from the north or northwest later in the day.
    Temperatures offshore were in the low 60s. We had a 3-4 foot, mixed swell with
    the main component seemingly coming from the west or northwest. Conditions
    during the period 8:21 am - 3:21 pm at the Outer Monterey Canyon Waverider Buoy,
    located near the middle of the bay at 36° 45' 39" N, 121° 56' 48" W, represented
    a wave height of 3.0-3.9 feet [= 0.9-1.2 meters], with a dominant period of
    8-10 seconds, an average period of 6.0-7.3 seconds, a mean wave direction coming
    from the northwest to the west-northwest, and water temperatures increasing from
    62.8 to 63.3 F [= 17.1° C and 63.3° C, respectively]. Conditions during the
    period 8:15 am - 3:15 pm at the MBM buoy, located a short distance further
    offshore than the Monterey Canyon buoy at 36° 45' 00" N, 122° 01' 48" W,
    represented a winds of 3.9-9.7 knots [= kilometers/hour], air temperatures
    increasing from 61.0° F to 62.6° F [= 16.1° C and 17.0° C, respectively],
    and water temperatures increasing from 61.3° F to 62.2° F [= 16.3° C and
    16.8° C, respectively], before dropping slightly. 8:25 am - 3:05 pm (from the
    buoy off Point Pinos to the point where we reached the inshore waters on our
    trip south from Moss Landing).
    
    Mola Mola -
    8;
    Northern Elephant Seal - 1 (one seen offshore was loafing with its head
    above water);
    California Sea Lion - 100 (of which about 85 were seen together
    off Moss Landing while we were observing the Humpback Whales);
    Northern Fur
    Seal - 12;
    Dall's Porpoise - 10 (those on the bow saw two small pods for a
    total of about 10 individuals);
    Risso's Dolphin - 8 (only Don and others on the
    bow saw these animals);
    Humpback Whale - 15 (most were together in a pod off
    Moss Landing);
    Blue Whale - 2 (including one rather large individual off Point
    Pinos).
    21 species (+1 other taxa)
    
    Surf Scoter 3 (three scoters flew by
    off Moss Landing in a northerly direction)
    Black-footed Albatross 40 (our
    best estimate of the number of albatrosses was about 40 birds, yet the most in
    view at once was seven; most of these birds seemed to lack white on the
    rump)
    Northern Fulmar 30 (most of the fulmars were medium to dark
    individuals and all seemed to be relatively ragged)
    Pink-footed Shearwater 100
    (tallied individually for most of the day, but a fewer larger concentrations
    were estimated)
    Buller's Shearwater 3 (all three Buller's Shearwaters were
    seen only at moderate distance)
    Sooty Shearwater 8000 (we had large
    numbers of Sooty Shearwaters both on the water and flying by in a band from just
    beyond Point Pinos until we headed well offshore, where there were very few
    birds in general)
    Black-vented Shearwater 45 (counted essentially
    individually, but no one person likely saw them all)
    Ashy Storm-Petrel 1
    (one birds seen well offshore was quite distant but flying with a style that
    combined fast, shallow wingbeats)
    Brandt's Cormorant 2 (two cormorants
    that flew by off Moss Landing were certainly Brandt's)
    cormorant sp. 2
    (two cormorants seen well offshore appeared to be Brandt's but they were seen
    only at moderate distance)
    Brown Pelican 10 (we saw two pelicans well
    offshore but the rest were seen within a few kilometers of the shore between
    Moss landing and the harbor)
    Whimbrel 2 (seen st moderate distance as they
    flew by off Point Pinos heading south)
    Red-necked Phalarope 100 (calling;
    we saw just over 100 phalaropes in all, with a ratio of about six to one
    Red-necked over Red)
    Red Phalarope 15 (calling; six or eight birds were
    seen by all, but those on the bow had about twice this many)
    Pomarine Jaeger 1
    (an adult with a short tail was well seen on the water and in flight about five
    kilometers off Moss Landing)
    Common Murre 600 (calling; we saw many
    father/offspring pairs relatively close to shore, but the vast majority were off
    Moss Landing in the same area as the Humpback Whales and shearwater
    flocks)
    Cassin's Auklet 30 (less than ten were seen clearly by thos4e on
    the stern, but a few on the bow saw many more)
    Rhinoceros Auklet 15 (like
    the Cassin's Auklets, those on the stern saw only about a third the number as
    those on the bow)
    Sabine's Gull 5 (we saw two single juveniles and three
    together that appeared to represent second-year birds, if not adults already in
    molt)
    Western Gull 150 (we saw only scattered Western Gulls through the
    day, no doubt reflecting our inability to chum, but we did eventually encounter
    large numbers of gulls off Moss Landing in association with the foraging
    Humpback Whales; a large percentage of these birds were hatch-year
    individual)
    California Gull 35 (we saw only three or four California Gulls
    over the course of the day before reaching the gull concentration that was with
    the whales, which is were the vast majority of these birds were seen; birds seen
    included at least three or four juveniles)
    Elegant Tern 2 (calling; seen
    together with the gull flock off Moss Landing)
    
    John SterlingVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV26 Palm AveWoodland, CA 95695530 908-3836jsterling@...www.sterlingbirds.comMonterey Seabirdswww.montereyseabirds.com(831) 375-4658
    
    
  30. -back to top-


-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.
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 v1.0 - 11/21/11 - Initial version coded. Currently archiving 'lacobirds' and 'calbirds'.