It’s going to be a scorcher holiday weekend. Escape the heat and take in some cool salt air on a pelagic trip. We have space for you on our upcoming Half Moon Bay pelagic trips, whether you are new to seabirding, an “old salt, or an offshore photographer.
On our August 12 (Half Moon Bay) 6 & 13 (Farallon Islands) were amazing trips. We recorded an amazing 4 species of sulids: NORTHERN GANNET (at Devil’s Slide), MASKED BOOBY (just outside the Gate), BLUE-FOOTED and BROWN BOOBIES (at Sugarloaf, Farallon Islands). The first BULLER’S SHEARWATER of the season was recorded on 12 August while the first FLESH-FOOTED SHEARWATER of the season was on 13 August. Both of these shearwaters were in San Francisco County. Of course we saw TUFTED PUFFINS, 55 on the 13 August trip!
That single Buller’s Shearwater was on the leading edge of the warm water that had inundated Monterey Bay. (The Hawaiian Petrel at Monterey Bay on our August 25th trip was also along the temperature break.) We don’t often see Flesh-footed Shearwaters in August, however, based on my observations over four decades, the Flesh-footed Shearwaters often associate with the Buller’s Shearwaters. If large numbers of Buller’s are present, there’s a good chance a Flesh-footed will show up. Also, Great Shearwaters seem to associate with Buller’s. Last fall, we found precious few Buller’s Shearwaters and ditto for Great Shearwaters. There are an estimated 80 Great Shearwaters soaring around the Pacific.
There is and has been a lot of food present, both krill and anchovies. Sometimes the anchovy schools have been very close to shore being gorged upon by both Sooty Shearwaters and humpback whales. All along the Continental Shelf break it has been great for krill. We saw hundreds of Cassin’s Auklets and Red-necked Phalaropes feeding in these regions.
We love seabirding and have for over four decades! We’d love to involve you in our offshore research efforts, contributing directly to conservation of many seabird and marine mammal species that frequent Monterey Bay. We’re heading into September, the month that is absolutely the best month of the entire year to witness a good variety of seabirds.
If you are looking for a Half Moon Bay trip, we offer the following:
SEP 2 with Mary Gustafson, Debi Shearwater
SEP 3 with Mary Gustafson, Peter Pyle, Steve Tucker, Debi Shearwater
SEP 15 with Christian Schwarz, Dave Pereksta, Debi Shearwater
SEP 16 with Steve Hampton, Tim Miller, Abe Borker, Debi Shearwater
OCT 7 with Alex Rinkert, Steve Hampton, Nick Levendosky
I hope you can join us on one of these trips, all of which occur in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary which is celebrating its 25th year! Thirty years ago, Shearwater Journeys was instrumental in collecting thousands of signatures from birder like you who joined our offshore trips. Those signatures went to Washington, D.C., requesting that Monterey Bay receive sanctuary status.
Celebrate Our Sanctuary!
Shearwater Journeys, Inc.
PO Box 190
Hollister, CA 95024
Celebrating 42 Years of Seabirding with Shearwater Journeys
Siberia’s Forgotten Coast & Spoon-billed Sandpiper-2019
Galapagos Islands: 30 October - 12 November 2019