Sunday November 14, 2004
We departed the wharf under outrageously sunny skies. The fall
season in the Monterey Bay area is favored by locals for having some
of the most splendid weather of the year and this day was a fine example.
The coast guard jetty area was active with BRANDT'S and a PELAGIC
CORMORANT. The jetty itself got the out of the area birders excited
with a SURFBIRD and our first RHINOCEROS AUKLET.
Flocks of SURF SCOTERS plied the waters along Cannery Row along
with some EARED, CLARK'S and WESTERN GREBES.
Moving offshore we picked up a couple of COMMON MURRES. On
the whole alcids would be in short supply today both in total numbers
and in species seen.
Pt. Pinos we found a baby HUMPBACK WHALE that our skipper Richard
Ternullo said must have been recently weaned as it still showed a
pink hue to the underside of the tail. Our first of five shearwater
species seen on the day was a SHORT-TAILED followed soon thereafter
by a SOOTY. Our spotters/leaders all remarked on the large
number of BULLER'S SHEARWATERS with an estimate of 200 seen.
PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATERS were the second most numerous. Just
to round things out we had a few very cooperative FLESH-FOOTS
NORTHERN FULMAR numbers were way up from our last outing. Last
but certainly not least of the tubenoses were 3 BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS
up close and personal, much to the delight of the photographers on
We had a good showing of larids featuring an early BLACK-LEGGED
KITTIWAKE. THAYER'S, HERRING, WESTERN, GLAUCOUS-WINGED
and everything in between delighted the gull freaks on board. We also
had HEERMANN'S and BONAPARTE'S GULLS.
RED PHALAROPES were sighted sporadically as were POMARINE
JAEGERS and PACIFIC, COMMON, and RED-THROATED
back in we were visited by a spread-out pod of RISSO'S and NORTHERN
RIGHT WHALE DOLPHINS off Pt. Pinos. We then headed inshore and along
the beaches north of the harbor where we found a RED-NECKED GREBE,
a few ELEGANT TERNS and a flyby WHITE-WINGED SCOTER
along with a few SEA OTTERS.
Just before reaching the harbor we came upon a striking male HARLEQUIN
DUCK mixed in with some scoters and we ended our day with a pair
of Brant just off the end of the jetty.
Roger Wolfe for Monterey