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   Tufted Puffin
Tufted Puffin
Fratercula cirrhata


   Tufted Puffin (Fratercula cirrhata) - TUPU (recent eBird sightings, view CBRC records, range map
)

  1. 10/16 Monterey Seabirds trip report-Scripps's, Guadalupe Murrelets, Flesh-foot, and other goodies LINK
    DATE: Oct 17, 2017 @ 2:01pm, 37 day(s) ago
    All,    Monterey Seabirds ended our pelagic season with an incredible tour of Monterey County yesterday.  This hearty and patient bunch of birders was a great group to be with for the day.  Everyone aboard was eager to run far offshore to get to a strong temperature break and it paid off.
      First, we had to get there.  Inside the Monterey Bay, we encountered BULLER'S, PINK-FOOTED, SOOTY and BLACK-VENTED SHEARWATERS.  One probable Short-tailed shearwater got away before a positive identification.  NORTHERN FULMAR (13) and BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS were encountered farther out.  We enjoyed great studies of POMARINE (7) and PARASITIC JAEGER.
      Conditions far from shore were calm and glassy.  We enjoyed the near t-shirt weather.
      A Skua slam was rounded out with a LONG-TAILED JAEGER when we got into deeper water.  SOUTH POLAR SKUA (7) were out in the deeper water as well.
      It took some patience to get to the warmer water as we hit a spell of very few birds for a while. One of two YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS landed on the boat and helped us pass the time. 
      Water temperatures quickly jumped from mid/upper 50s to mid 60s as we hit the temperature break. This is where we found the first pair of GUADALUPE MURRELETS (4 total). Two more were found well south of the first two.  While tracking the second pair, a pair of SCRIPPS'S MURRELETS (2) were also found.  Eight SABINE'S GULLS flew south during our time in the warm zone.
      Four more MURRELET SPP. got away when we got closer to shore.
      Icing for our cake Yes please!  A single FLESH-FOOTED SHEARWATER gave us distant but satisfying looks with gorgeous views of the Big Sur coast as background. 
      Also seen during the trip were several offshore COMMON LOON as well as RED-THROATED LOON.
      We enjoyed a stunning sunset with HUMPBACK WHALES, PACIFIC WHITE-SIDED and NORTHERN RIGHT WHALE DOLPHINS in the foreground.  BLUE SHARK (4) and Mola mola were found at various times during the epic journey.
      I owe a huge thanks to all of our participants this season.  I also have a deep gratitude for all of our spotters this year.  An extra thanks goes out to Dorian Anderson for spotting on so many of our trips and for finding most of our Tufted Puffins this season!
      Looking forward to next season!
      Photos will be posted soon to our facebook page as well as the eBird lists. Here's one:
    ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S39979385  
    https://www.facebook.com/montereyseabirdtours/  
    
    Good birding to all,
    
    Mark Kudrav
    Pacific Grove
    Monterey Seabirds
    
      
      
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  3. 10/15 Monterey Seabirds Trip Report + our last pelagic is tomorrow. LINK
    DATE: Oct 15, 2017 @ 4:49pm, 39 day(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
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  5. 9/30 Monterey Seabirds Pelagic-Flesh-footed Shearwaters and more LINK
    DATE: Sep 30, 2017, 55 day(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
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  7. SEP 24 PELAGIC REPORT LINK
    DATE: Sep 26, 2017 @ 10:23am, 58 day(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
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  9. The Pelagic Season Continues LINK
    DATE: Sep 20, 2017 @ 4:25pm, 2 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
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  11. Morro Bay pelagic trip - 14 October LINK
    DATE: Sep 20, 2017 @ 3:33pm, 2 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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  13. Sensational Seabirding: Sep 15 LINK
    DATE: Sep 15, 2017 @ 8:57pm, 2 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
    
    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
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  15. Another Day on Monterey Bay: Sep 8 LINK
    DATE: Sep 8, 2017 @ 8:09pm, 3 month(s) ago
    Howdy, Birders,
    
    Shearwater Journeys’ Monterey Bay trip today had a few new highlights: TUFTED PUFFIN (Monterey County), RED PHALAROPES, and grand slam with POMARINE, PARASITIC, and LONG-TAILED JAEGERS and SOUTH POLAR SKUA (Santa Cruz County).
    
    Today, there was a lot of seabird movement as the huge schools of baby rockfish off Point Pinos moved on, or were consumed! The vast SOOTY SHEARWATER flock and COMMON MURRES have moved around and broken into smaller flocks. A herd of 1,200 LONG-BEAKED COMMON DOLPHINS were traveling just outside of the harbor this morning.
    
    In addition to the above species, we saw most of the usual fall seabird species: BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS; NORTHERN FULMAR; SOOTY, BULLER’S, BLACK-VENTED, PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATERS; ASHY STORM-PETREL (3- all Santa Cruz County); SABINE’S GULL; ARCTIC TERN; COMMON MURRE; PIGEON GUILLEMOT; RHINOCEROS and CASSIN’S AUKLETS. Along the Coast Guard Jetty, were BLACK TURNSTONES (5) and SURFBIRD (1).
    
    We ’only’ saw 51 HUMPBACK WHALES and 2 BLUE WHALES.
    
    Tomorrow, we head offshore on our Albacore Grounds trip.
    
    Spaces are available on the following Monterey trips: Sep. 10, 22, 24, 30; Oct. 8. Our Sep 30th trip is planning to spend maximum time in Santa Cruz County. Email me for details on this special trip.
    
    We also have a few spaces available on our Sep. 15 and 16 Half Moon Bay trips. For a reservation, please email me: debi@... .
    
    Living the Salt Life and 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 42 Years of Seabirding with Shearwater Journeys
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  17. Two back to back Farallons trips LINK
    DATE: Aug 12, 2017 @ 7:26pm, 3 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@... www.alvarosadventures.com  
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  19. Monterey Bay Pelagic Report 8/6 and Monterey Seabirds Pelagic Opportunities LINK
    DATE: Aug 9, 2017 @ 2:40pm, 4 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:
    
    https://www.facebook.com/gowha les/  
    
    as well as at Monterey Seabirds facebook:
    
    https://www.facebook.com/monte reyseabirdtours/
    
    Lastly, MONTEREY SEABIRDS is heading out on 13 more trips this season.  To see our complete schedule and to sign up go to:
    
    http://montereyseabirds.com/
    
    Hope to see you out there,
    
    Mark Kudrav
    Monterey Seabirds
    Monterey, CA
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  21. AUG 4 & AUG 6 PELAGIC TRIP REPORTS LINK
    DATE: Aug 7, 2017 @ 2:16pm, 4 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)
    
    MONTEREY BAY:
    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
    
    HALF MOON BAY:
    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
    
    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
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  23. Farallon Report, YES Blue-footed Booby , NO Parakeet Auklet by boat LINK
    DATE: Jul 24, 2017 @ 11:53am, 4 month(s) ago
    Hi Birders,
    
    Yesterday ( Sunday) i made a last minute decision to join a Farallon Island tour with SF Whale Watch Tours ( 8-2 pm, $90) knowing that Captain Joe is birder friendly , i thought that he would oblige a request to return to Pier 39 by way of Homer Rock to spend time searching for the Parakeet Auklet, he said he would be happy to try conditions permitting, unfortunately weather and time constraints did not permit ( and i dipped on a subsequent search by land, missing the bird by 30 minutes). Seems like SFWT might be amenable to looking for PAAU on their daily general whale watch tours, and I was told it had been spotted by them from the boat already.
    
    Farallon is phenomenal this time of year, no doubt best to go with Alvaro's Adventures or Shearwater Journeys if you can, but Oceanic Society ( very good , went with them last year) and SF Whale Tour go out every weekend. SFWT has a knowledgable naturalist who is also a good birder ( Michael Pierson) , and they have a stable double hulled boat, but typically they don't go out to the Continental Shelf and i wished we could have spent more time going around the islands, but getting back by 2pm can be a advantage for some people as well. Farallons for me is an annual must. 200k Common Murres is a world class wildlife spectacle for the eyes, ears and nose, and the many chicks in downy fluffball plumage having just jumped off the cliff to join their calling fathers were extremely photogenic as were Rhinoceros Auklets ( one very relaxed bird next to the boat) and Tufted Puffins in peak breeding regalia, also Cassins Auklets and many Pigeon Guillemots. There have been 3 sulids hanging around the islands this summer, a BROWN and 2 BLUE-FOOTED BOOBIES, but we saw only one of the latter perched on Sugarloaf Rock. 5 Pinniped species were observed ( California and Steller's Sea Lions, Norther Fur, Northern Elephant and Harbor Seals) and 3 of Cetacea (resident Gray Whales, friendly and breaching Humpbacks, several pods Harbor Porpoise), Others: Pink-footed and Sooty Shearwater,
    
    David Diller
    
    Sent by Ipad
    
    Please disregard any typos
    
    925-998-8469 mobile/ text
    
    David Diller
    
    Sent by Ipad
    
    Please disregard any typos
    
    925-998-8469 mobile/ text
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  25. Documentation for Wedge-tailed Shearwater LINK
    DATE: Jul 17, 2017 @ 9:45am, 4 month(s) ago
    Birders,   Wedge-tailed Shearwater is a California Bird Records Committee (CBRC) review species, with only nine previously accepted records in the state. As such, I encourage anyone who saw this bird to please submit your photos or written descriptions
    to the CBRC . Thank you.   Tom   Thomas A. Benson Secretary, California Bird Records Committee secretary@...       
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  27. Wedge-tailed Shearwater - and otherwise good pelagic out of Half Moon Bay LINK
    DATE: Jul 16, 2017 @ 9:51pm, 4 month(s) ago
    Hello Birders, I posted some quickie info to penbirds yesterday, in case anyone could find the shearwater from shore. We found it at the start of our pelagic trip, very close to shore. Sadly no one did find it. But here is the full story. Minutes from exiting Pillar Point Harbor, we saw this shearwater coming towards the boat with bowed wings, looking almost red-footed booby like as it came in head on. It went by at a moderate distance along the starboard side of the boat. My mind went to Wedge-tailed Shearwater, but the view was just not that good. While I was on the loudspeaker I yelled to look at this bird, asking “what is this thing” The captain went to chase mode as we could see the bird heading towards surfers beach. Captain Tom Mattusch put full throttle on, and we raced chasing the bird while Logan Kahle and Chris Hayward kept the bird in view. Then we lost it…gone. Bird feeding frenzies were forming, and there were lots of birds around, so picking out a dark bird from lots of gulls and pelicans was a struggle. I communicated that I thought the bird looked like a Wedge-tailed Shearwater, but I knew that with that quick view and no photos, it would have to go down as a somewhat dodgy report for a bird this rare. Then, we got on it again, and were able to approach, the bird getting a little closer and closer and sure enough it gave an awesome and close fly by. The shutters were going, and we were able to document the bird really well. It was a Wedge-tailed Shearwater!! Photos available on our facebook site, thanks to the various photographers who were able to get superb photos in very low and gray light. https://www.facebook.com/Alvaros-Adventures-201287513297811/ This was a dark morph individual. Key identification features are that this shearwater is long winged, with a distinctive wing shape, holding the wings bowed down when seen head on, and forward and angled at the wrist. Although a larger shearwater in length, this is not a heavy shearwater, so light in wing loading. In flight it flaps little, gliding much more than you would see in a Sooty Shearwater. Unlike a Flesh-footed, the bill is thin and dark. Key is that the body is long, particularly behind the wings with a distinctively long tail, which is wedge shaped. This individual was ratty and molting, with old outer primaries and new inners. Given that at this time of year they should be breeding, my assumption is that this is a first year bird as the adults would molt after they breed. Needless to say while the rest of the pelagic trip was good, we all knew that it was likely that we had already seen the best bird of the day. In SF County a Wilson’s Storm-Petrel was a nice goody, in with several Ashy Storm-Petrels. It was a good day for Tufted Puffin, we saw them (4) in both San Francisco and San Mateo. But in SF we had a “friendly” Tufted Puffin that would swim feet away from the boat and actually followed, I would say chased us, for some time. That bird was a highlight, and great pictures were taken. Note that local fishermen have told me that this week two days in a row a Tufted Puffin was in with the murres off Pedro Point in Pacifica! We found good numbers of Black-footed Albatross in both counties, Northern Fulmar in SF, more Ashy Storm-Petrels, lots of Sooty and Pink-foots, as well as Common Murres (many youngsters), Rhino and Cassin’s Auklets. As it is early in the season only Red-necked Phalaropes were present. Three distant Pomarine/Parasitic jaegers were the first of the season. Most of the seabird activity was at the continental shelf edge and just outside but inside of the shelf there were few birds. Given the nice numbers offshore, the fact that we have found storm-petrels on both of our trips, and nice numbers of albatross and a rarity already – well it looks like it is building to be a great pelagic season. See you out there.     Good birding, Alvaro   Alvaro Jaramillo alvaro@alvar osadventures.com www.alvarosadventures.com  
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  29. Epic seabird flight at Point Pinos--6 May LINK
    DATE: May 7, 2017 @ 9:03am, 7 month(s) ago
    Birders
    
    A strong cold front swept through the Monterey Bay region on Friday bringing with it gusty northwest winds and optimal viewing conditions for Point Pinos. The show started Friday afternoon with a few Sabine's Gulls and a scattering of Fork-tailed Storm-Petrels. By dawn on Saturday, the winds were really cranking and the flight was in full swing all day. We did hourly checklists in eBird for the day (and those will be fleshed out with photos soon), but the highlight totals were:
    
    Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel: 195 (many right off the rocks; most photographed)
    Ashy Storm-Petrel: 2
    Leach's Storm-Petrel: 4 (photos of two)
    Black-footed Albatross: 100+
    Laysan Albatross: 2 (photos)
    Red Phalarope: 1927 (photos)
    Red-necked Phalarope: 169,000 (simply astronomical numbers, hard to estimate)
    Sabine's Gull: 2335 (many photos, big flocks)
    Tufted Puffin: 2
    
    Overall it was the best spring seawatching I've ever had from the point. Alas, we were unable to find any Pterodroma petrels from shore.
    
    In addition to the event at the point, Monterey Harbor was awash in Fork-tailed Storm-Petrels, with more than 70 estimated in the inner harbor just feet off the docks. Also both phalaropes there.
    
    Thanks and good birding!
    
    Brian
    
    --
    ===========
    Brian L. Sullivan
    
    eBird Project Leader
    www.ebird.org
    
    Photo Editor
    Birds of North America Online
    http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/BNA
    -------------------------------
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