Date: 9/20/19 9:57 am
From: Alvaro Jaramillo <chucao...>
Subject: [pen-bird] Pelagic trip reports - The Black Storm-Petrels are IN.
Hi folks,

We had pelagics last Thursday the 12th, Saturday and Sunday (14,15), out
of Half Moon Bay. We visited parts of SF and San Mateo counties offshore and
overall a great diversity was out there, and some fantastic views of some
species (South Polar Skua, Arctic Tern, Buller's Shearwater etc.). The Black
Storm-Petrels arrived! They were absent on the 12th and on Friday they must
have come in as we saw many on Saturday and Sunday. On Sunday they
outnumbered the Ashy Storm-Petrels. One Wilson's was seen on Sunday; no
Fork-tails on any of the trips recently.

Seabirds seen on all three trips included: both species of phalarope, all
three jaegers, Common Murre, Rhinoceros Auklet, Sabine's Gull, Arctic Tern,
Black-footed Albatross, Ashy Storm-Petrel, Pink-footed, Buller's and Sooty
shearwaters. The numbers of Arctic Terns continue to be high, over 40 seen
on Thursday with many close up views. As expected that day was also the best
for Sabine's Gulls and Long-tailed Jaeger, these species associate. Pomarine
Jaeger numbers seem to have increased by the Sat/Sun trips. Note that very
few juvenile Sabine's Gulls have been around, that pattern continues.

Cassin's Auklets are uncommon here this year, the numbers appear to be up
north in Bodega from our experience thus far. Two Tufted Puffins showed up
on Thursday, one on Sunday, as you would expect these adults were molting
out of the bright breeding plumage. South Polar Skuas put on a show on
Saturday and Sunday, a close fly by over the bow on Saturday and then two
different ones on Sunday. One of them lingered and made a great many passes
as it fed and harassed gulls nearby. Wow! This bird was a juvenile based on
its late molt timing. Some of the best views we have had at Marbled Murrelet
this season happened on Saturday, they have now molted out into gorgeous
black and white non-breeding plumage. One Northern Fulmar on Saturday was
distant, there have been very few over-summering fulmars this season and the
arriving birds from the north should be showing up real soon.

Migrants included flocks of Northern Pintail on Thursday and Sunday, the
latter date with some Green-winged Teal mixed in. On Sunday a breeding
plumaged Red-necked Grebe was seen by those on the stern of the boat. A
small flock of Red Knot went by offshore on Thursday, our second flock of
knots this season. This species is usually rare on the San Mateo coast.

We expect that now that we have crossed the mid-September mark, and fall
migrants have started to show up on land that new birds are going to be out
there offshore. Water temperatures offshore are still high so my expectation
is that numbers of Black Storm-Petrel will continue out of Half Moon Bay.
Perhaps the number of Buller's Shearwaters will begin to increase now as
well, and we will be on the lookout for arriving Short-tailed and
Flesh-footed shearwaters. We hope we can find another Laysan Albatross this
weekend out of Half Moon Bay. We shall see.

Lots of marine mammals are out there, Humpback Whales on all of our
trips, Blue Whales on one date. We also found dolphins on Thursday and
Sunday, with three species - Pacific White-sided, Northern Right Whale, and
Common Dolphins that looked to be short-beaked. An amazing find was another
Leatherback Sea Turtle on Sunday which gave amazing views! On Thursday one
that got away was a possible Guadalupe Fur Seal that Steve Howell and I saw,
it was gone before we could confirm but the face looked right. Lots of
sharks out there, Blue as well as at least some that might have been
Short-fin Mako. We are working on the ID, and clarifying the confusion of
multiple sharks being seen on different trips as well as the difficulty of
getting good photos of them. Shark ID - the final frontier.

We are heading out tomorrow, and it is not too late to sign up, contact
me or head to the website. Weather conditions are predicted to be nice for

good birding,

Alvaro Jaramillo

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