Sunday October 28, 2007
With 16 on board as participants we have little trouble finding the
pair of HARLEQUIN DUCKS just off the end of the coast guard
jetty. I wonder how many thousands of dollars of cameras and lenses
are on the boat today. A small group like this is a photographer's
Whereas yesterday we headed south, today we opt to see what is happening
to the north. Soon we come upon NORTHERN FULMARS which we will
have in view almost continually throughout the day.
Thanks to our young chummers Tayla and Amelia the gull freaks on board
are having a grand time of it. Not exactly rare but seldom seen on
our pelagic trips are single MEW and RING-BILLED GULL.
We will record 9 species before the day is done with SABINE'S
the biggest prize and two BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES, the first
of the season.
As can happen on a pelagic trip, we go through some lengthy stretches
where we see very little. Crossing over the county line into Santa
Cruz waters we're wondering where all the birds are. Some of our spotters
and participants are starting to worry but our skipper Richard Ternullo
must have a sixth sense because he just keeps heading north over the
series of canyons referred to as "the Fingers."
We've been seeing the occasional SOOTY and PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATERS
and finally we find a flock of birds sitting on the water that are
not fulmars but a mixed flock with 5 BULLER'S SHEARWATERS amongst
Soon after Richard spots a huge mixed pod of NORTHERN RIGHT WHALE
and PACIFIC WHITE-SIDED DOLPHINS and as is often the case, where we
find dolphins we find seabirds. A FLESH-FOOTED SHEARWATER flies
in to see what the gulls are after at the back of the boat. Todd Easterla
gets on a SHORT-TAILED SHEARWATER to bring our total to 5 shearwater
species on the day.
A single ASHY STORM-PETREL is the only one seen all day but
there are still quite a few BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS present
in this area.
POMARINES are our only jaeger but we do see a few SOUTH
POLAR SKUAS. In some areas we find both RED and RED-NECKED
PHALAROPES along convergent lines.
Lots of arriving PACIFIC and COMMON LOONS are expected
but the RED-THROATED LOONS that pass by are a bit of a surprise
as they are seldom seen on our pelagic trips.
find a few remaining PIGEON GUIILLEMOTS early on. A few CASSIN'S
AUKLETS are here and there. We find RHINOCEROS AUKLETS
and COMMON MURRES throughout the day but the alcid prize for
the day is the pair of ANCIENT MURRELETS off Pt. Pinos on the
way back in.
cross paths with some HUMPBACK WHALES but the highlight of the trip
for many is an adult male KILLER WHALE. We initially see his tall
dorsal fin in the distance but eventually we get closer and the animal
known as "Lonesome George" comes up next to the boat and everyone
on board says, "WOW!" in unison.
CALIFORNIA SEA LION
NORTHERN FUR SEAL
NORTHERN ELEPHANT SEAL
SOUTHERN SEA OTTER
For additional photos, see Jeff
Poklen's photo gallery for this trip.
Roger Wolfe for Monterey