Date: 8/31/17 6:52 pm
From: Stan Walens <stan.walens...> [SanDiegoRegionBirding] <SanDiegoRegionBirding-noreply...>
Subject: [SanDiegoRegionBirding] La Jolla Cove Aug 28 and Aug 31: fewer birds, but 1 booby and a pigeon guillemot today
Went to the Cove Monday morning. So different from when Jane and I had been there several days earlier. No more than 15 boats.
Bird numbers had plummeted.
Instead of 3000-4000 black-vented shearwaters, only about 300.
5 pink-footed shearwaters.
About 100 phalaropes, none close enough to identify to species.
3 Cassin’s auklets were the only alcids.
Still have not seen a jaeger from shore this season.

Got to the Cove today at 7:30 because I thought today, with its overcast, would be good for frigatebirds.
Arrived at the Cove to find it totally fogged in. Visibility less than 30’.
Apparently, any frigatebirds snuck past in the fog to get to Orange County.
Fog finally cleared around 2:30. [No, I didn’t sit there the whole time; I went home and checked the La Jolla Cove Hotel webcam every 30 minutes until it looked like I might be able to see the ocean from shore].
webcam every 30 minutes till it looked like there was some visibility]
Bird numbers even lower than Monday.
Only 13 flying and about 30 rafting black-vented shearwaters.
1 pink-footed shearwater.
2 Cassin’s auklets
About 40 phalarope sp.
2 fly-by black oystercatchers

Best 2 birds of the day were 1 booby, first-cycle. Dark head, light underwings, but too far out to see details. Sunlight so harsh, impossible to tell if there was any white in the dorsum.
It could have been brown [2nd-cycle], blue-footed, masked.
This is the first booby of any species I’ve seen at the Cove since June 26.
And then 5 minutes later, it was followed by an alternate-plumaged pigeon guillemot.

No frigatebirds. They must have snuck back south in the fog.

A comment on Dave Povey’s report of a possible Manx shearwater.
It would not be the first county fall record, only potentially the first photographed record.
In 2014, a Manx shearwater was in the flock of black-venteds from early June through at least August 26; on August 3, it was seen well by me and Justin Bosler.
On August 26, the bird was less than 100 yards from shore, roosting on the water, then flying about.
On September 12, 2016, 5 or 6 of us on a trip to the Los Coronados Islands saw a Manx shearwater in American waters.
I don’t know if the bird was photographed. The redoubtable Keerthana and Kiran were on that trip and photographing everything. They may have photos of that bird.

Stan Walens
Befogged in San Diego

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