Date: 9/5/17 8:45 pm
From: Gary Nunn <garybnunn...> [SanDiegoRegionBirding] <SanDiegoRegionBirding-noreply...>
Subject: [SanDiegoRegionBirding] La Jolla – Least Storm-Petrel (!), jaegers, Sep 05, 2017
I took a later afternoon/early evening seawatch from La Jolla hoping to
come across a fancy shearwater or something. Well while scoping two
Black-vented Shearwater passing south I caught sight of a tiny all dark
storm-petrel in the close foregorund of my scope view! Thank goodness for
these wide-angle eye-pieces! Just perfect looks at a LEAST STORM-PETREL
working its way south between inner and outer kelp beds. A tapered shaved
off looking rear end and nugget like head, strong on the wing just darting
along the surface. Occasional switchbacks to investigate items on the water
surface. It seemed to be in two modes, darting around over one spot or
powerful fast lengths before the next switchback stop. The small size and
closeness to the water surface made it pop up and down in view as it moved
forward south over the disorganized wind waves. The wings, and on-off fast
bat like flapping, actually looked like a tiny sped up Black Storm-Petrel
from the view, but the almost neckless head and shaved off looking rear end
not like that species at all.

A few jaegers passed south, two Parasitic close, a Pomarine middle
distance, with nice spoons showing, and one small jaeger reasonably close
but silhouetted never going below the horizon. Again I suspect this might
have been a Long-tailed, smaller sized, fine wings, bouncing body in
flight. Impossible to see any primary shaft coloration in the light
conditions however. Early morning is the best option for proof-of-life
photos of this species in La Jolla, with the sun behind you, and you are
lucky enough to get one pass close for photography.

There were some shearwaters, I counted about 50 Black-vented, 1
Pink-footed, and 4 Sooty. All on a fast clip southward.

Gary Nunn
*you can find me on twitter, *@garybnunn

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