Monterey Seabirds
September 19, 2009 Offshore Seabird Cruise Trip Report


Saturday September 19, 2009

Red Phalaropes photo by Glen TepkeOur plan was simple. Drive the boat west to where the sea surface temperature map indicated a temperature break from 57.5 degrees F to 61.5. That being said we made it out 44 nautical miles west of Pt. Pinos where we found the albacore tuna fishermen trolling. We found the blue water to be relatively birdless with the exception of numerous RED PHALAROPES. We did see what appeared to be a distant cookilaria petrel but it was too far away to be certain.

It did get a bit bumpy with conditions at Beaufort 4 with some gusty northwest winds.

The trip highlight has to be the 15 FIN WHALES that we had very satisfying looks at whilst sitting on a slick. Avian highlights were two XANTUS'S MURRELETS and our First Of Season BLACK-VENTED SHEARWATER which Todd Easterla spotted as we made our way back into the Monterey Bay.

Once again we saw very few BULLER'S SHEARWATERS (15) but many POMARINE and LONG-TAILED JAEGERS.

All told we traveled 110 miles straight out and back. (See map below.)

Fin Whale photo by Don Roberson

Here are the totals that Don Roberson tallied for eBird:

Monterey Bay and offshore waters:
   Black-footed Albatross    15    
  Northern Fulmar   8    
  Pink-footed Shearwater   75    
  Buller's Shearwater   15    
  Sooty Shearwater   150    
  Sooty/Short-tailed Shearwater   1    
  Ashy Storm-Petrel   25    
  Brandt's Cormorant   1    this imm ~32 nmi offshore, which is way out there for a cormorant
  Red-necked Phalarope   300    
  Red Phalarope   100    
  Sabine's Gull   320    
  Heermann's Gull   20    
  Western Gull   50    
  California Gull   50    
  Common Tern   1    
  Arctic Tern   2    
  Common/Arctic Tern   2    
  South Polar Skua   3    
  Pomarine Jaeger   36    
  Parasitic Jaeger   6    
  Long-tailed Jaeger   45    
  jaeger sp.   4    
  Common Murre   50    
  Xantus's Murrelet (scrippsi)   2    
  Cassin's Auklet   70    
  Rhinoceros Auklet   120    
Inside Pt. Pinos to Harbor
  Common Loon   1    
  Sooty Shearwater   40    
  Black-vented Shearwater   1    
  Brown Pelican   15    
  Brandt's Cormorant   500    
  Pelagic Cormorant   2    
  Great Egret   1    
  Black Turnstone   6   on C.G. jetty
  Surfbird   2   on C.G. jetty
  Red-necked Phalarope   15    
  Heermann's Gull   75    
  Mew Gull (American)   1   1st cycle bird following boat just off Lovers Pt.; nice views -- my first of fall (found by R. Wolfe & T. Easterla)
  Western Gull   150    
  California Gull   75    
  Elegant Tern   50    
  Common Murre   10    
  Pigeon Guillemot   5   exact count; all juvs. It appears that all adults have left
Marine Mammals:
  Fin Whale   15    
  Humpback Whale   12    
  Harbor Seal        
  Elephant Seal        
  Northern Fur Seal        
  California Sea Lion        
  Sea Otter        

Click to see Google Earth image of track See the Google Earth image showing locations of points along the track in red (same route out and back) and county boundaries in white (opens in new window).

Roger Wolfe for Monterey Seabirds


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Photos copyright © 2009 Glen Tepke and Don Roberson, all rights reserved.

Last updated September 23, 2009