Monterey Seabirds
October 29, 2011 Seabird Cruise Trip Report


Saturday October 29, 2011 - Laysanpalooza

Laysan Albatrosses,  photo by Martijn Verdoes Xantus's Murrelet  photo by Martijn Verdoes Black-footed Albatross  photo by Martijn Verdoes

It was either Ken Petersen or Glen Tepke who dubbed this trip Laysanpalooza. The trip highlight being three LAYSAN ALBATROSS, two of them at once and a third later in the day. Once again we found a FLESH-FOOTED SHEARWATER which we found on almost every trip out of Monterey this season. We also got some up close looks and got to hear the vocalizations of two XANTUS'S MURRELETS (scrippsi).

Lots of photographers on board today. I had considered a photo contest but Martijn Verdoes has that lens that everyone wants to own but no one wants to pay for. You have to admit he gets some pretty amazing shots with it. All photos are copyrighted and can be used by permission only Martijn Verdoes/

Martijn will be heading back to Holland soon. We will miss him and his great seabirding ability and photography. Thanks for all your help, Martijn!

Here is Don Roberson's eBird report for the day:

Observation date and time: Oct 29, 2011 8:30 AM - 2:45 PM
Protocol: Traveling
50.0 miles
Comments: aboard 'Pt Sur Clipper' on Monterey Seabirds trip with Richard Ternullo, skipper; Roger Wolfe, Dan Singer, Martiijn Verdoes, Tim Amaral, Blake Matheson (and reporter D. Roberson); Ken Peterson, Peter LaTourrette, Tom Grey, Sarah Lane, Jeff Poklen, Don Glasco, John Cant, Tom Malone, Jackie Weller, Pete Sole, Glen Tepke et al. Very sunny but rather cold (at least in a.m.), with large swells offshore (6-8'). Beaufort 2 conditions in a.m. with wind out of the east (and inner Bay flat calm) but wind picking up to Beaufort 4 in afternoon return. Route was to Pt. Pinos (see inshore checklist; we spent quite some time within 1 nmi of shore, looking at a feeding group of Grampus), then west out 18 miles, a bit northwest but turned south before entered SCZ waters; then SW to 22 nmi W of Cypress Pt., and return via Pt. Pinos and inshore. (See separate checklist for the combined inshore legs.). Compared to a comparatively birdless day last Sunday, numbers of shearwaters were up again (although fulmars were down). Pretty birdy all day, but no whales. Mixed swell and chop many conditions difficult for small alcids etc. This checklist only species encountered >1 mile offshore; today, a few Brandt's Cormorants and pelicans were offshore, but guillemot, Elegant Terns, migrant coots all 'inshore.' 24 species (+2 other taxa)

Location: Monterey Bay pelagic (MTY Co.), Monterey, US-CA
Number of species:


(+2 other taxa)

Surf Scoter   8    
  Pacific Loon   7    
  Laysan Albatross   3   two came to boat ~8 nmi W of Cypress Pt., at 3640.082'N, 12206.488' W [=36.668944, -122.113556] and hung around a long time after Roger put out a slick. Many photos. The 3rd bird was ~3.52 nmi W of Pt. Joe [at 3638.228N, 12201.503W = 36.639667, -122.030639] and continued to come back at us, probably last seen ~3 nmi off Pt. Pinos. Also photo'd. None seemed to be banded (need to double-check photos)
  Black-footed Albatross   12   some followed us for hours; I think 12 is minimum, could have been more
  Northern Fulmar   50   down from last weekend
  Pink-footed Shearwater   85    
  Flesh-footed Shearwater   1   photo'd
  Buller's Shearwater   25    
  Sooty Shearwater   7   numbers way down
  Brandt's Cormorant   6   beyond 1 nmi offshore (many more inshore)
  Brown Pelican   5   beyond 1 nmi offshore (many more inshore)
  Peregrine Falcon   1   11.5 nmi offshore (distant photo), and heading west!
  Red-necked Phalarope   2    
  Red Phalarope   4    
  Bonaparte's Gull   12    
  Heermann's Gull   5    
  Western Gull   50    
  Western x Glaucous-winged Gull (hybrid)   1    
  California Gull   200    
  Herring Gull (American)   1   adult
  Herring x Glaucous-winged Gull (hybrid)   1   first-cycle, best guess at i.d.
  Pomarine Jaeger   9   including at least one full-tailed adult
  Common Murre   40    
  Xantus's Murrelet (scrippsi)   2   14 nmi W of Cypress Pt.; vocalizing 'pair' separated accidentally by the boat; presumably a father/full-grown chick duo.
  Cassin's Auklet   60    
  Rhinoceros Auklet   15    
Inshore report:
This checklist only species encountered <1 mile offshore, and includes birds on the jetty, the Aquarium tower, and the egrets/herons standing on kelp beds (but not land birds in the harbor).
Number of species:   23    
  Eared Grebe   8    
  Northern Fulmar   1    
  Brandt's Cormorant   250    
  Double-crested Cormorant   1    
  Pelagic Cormorant   1    
  Brown Pelican   25    
  Great Blue Heron   1    
  Great Egret   3    
  Snowy Egret   2    
  Peregrine Falcon   1   sitting on Aquarium tower
  American Coot   95   big flock of ~80 in a pack a half-mile off the Aquarium on calm seas; 2 more out as far as 0.75 nmi offshore (checked with skipper on that location), then inbound in p.m., a dozen more about a half-mile W of Pt. Pinos. Very odd to see coots on the ocean, but all were within a mile of shore.
  Black Turnstone   4    
  Bonaparte's Gull   15    
  Heermann's Gull   50    
  Mew Gull (American)   2    
  Western Gull   100    
  California Gull   100    
  Glaucous-winged Gull   1    
  Elegant Tern   6    
  Common Murre   20    
  Pigeon Guillemot   1   juv
  Cassin's Auklet   5    
  Rhinoceros Auklet   1    

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (

Roger Wolfe for Monterey Seabirds


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Last updated November 11, 2011