Saturday September 27, 2008
Today we proved the axiom stated by Gary Melville at Oceanwings/Albatross
Encounters of Kaikoura, New Zealand that, "Nothing stuffs it like
The marine layer was down to the water as we left the harbor and motored
out to Pt. Pinos , visibility was a mere 100 feet. Miraculously we
stumbled upon a single SABINE'S GULL that most were able to
see briefly before it disappeared into the fog. This was beginning
to resemble seabirding by Braille, as if it wasn't difficult enough
We picked up several SOOTY SHEARWATERS passing the boat and
paused to make sure everyone was on our first PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATERS
when a single BLACK-VENTED SHEARWATER appeared briefly in our
midst or maybe I should say mist. In a short time we added some BULLER'S
SHEARWATERS to our day's tally.
We reached the north rim of the Monterey Sea Canyon over Soquel Canyon
and then on to near the coast north of Santa Cruz passing numerous
COMMON MURRES and RHINOCEROS AUKLETS along the way.
The fog was getting to be oppressive, word on the radio indicated
better visibility to the south so we headed that direction. This proved
to be the way to go as an incredibly confiding FLESH-FOOTED SHEARWATER
flew up to the stern and took a seat on the water. This delighted
everyone on board, especially the photographers who now had some decent
conditions to work with. This bird showed a lot of interest in us
returning to fly around the boat several times.
was a special on SOUTH POLAR SKUAS with 10 seen on the day
along with a nice showing of POMARINE JAEGERS in a variety
PACIFIC LOONS put in a few brief appearances.
BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS numbers were down from our previous
outings but we did manage several fulfilling encounters.
Our first HUMPBACK WHALE surprised us when it appeared like an apparition
in the fog right off our bow. Both PACIFIC WHITE-SIDED and NORTHERN
RIGHT WHALE DOLPHINS played around the boat and we also had nice looks
at some RISSO'S DOLPHINS.
Both NORTHERN FUR and ELEPHANT SEALS were caught napping at the surface.
A HARBOR SEAL off Cannery Row was our fourth species of pinniped.
in Monterey County Tim Amaral spotted 3 CASSIN'S AUKLETS sitting
on the water and as we approached Pt. Pinos a pair of COMMON TERNS
Members of both Sac Audubon and the Santa Cruz Bird Club comprised
most of our group and a fun group it was!
CALIFORNIA SEA LION
MOLA MOLA/OCEAN SUNFISH
For additional photos, see Jeff
Poklen's photo gallery for the September 27 seabird cruise.
Roger Wolfe for Monterey