I've been seawatching between showers the past few days. Every time I've looked out to sea the LOONS have been streaming by at a good rate of hundreds to thousands per hour. However, the best movement so far has been of RHINOCEROS AUKLETS, especially on November 26. In a one-hour seawatch off West Cliff I tallied about 1,890 flying by in flocks. Their movement continued into the afternoon that day as later off Seabright SB about 710 flew by in one hour.
Five ANCIENT MURRELETS were off West Cliff and a POMARINE JAEGER was off Seabright on Nov 26, and a RED-NECKED GREBE was near the Santa Cruz Wharf on Nov 27. I saw a female WHITE-WINGED SCOTER from the Waddell Bluffs and a male and female BLACK SCOTER further into Ano Nuevo Bay in San Mateo Co. on Nov 28.
A BRANDT'S CORMORANT was carrying nest material off West Cliff on Nov 26. I think there may have been a nest start on the little rock off Lighthouse Point but I did not go investigate at a closer distance. Last Sunday, Nov 24, I saw another Brandt's carrying nest material off Point Pinos in Monterey Co. While it may seem unseasonal for this behavior, they are known to begin nesting in December in southern California. They've also been seen nest building in November in Santa Cruz County previously, but these attempts are likely discontinued with the onset of winter weather.
This morning I went looking for Scaly-breasted Munias in south county but had no luck at Pinto Lake City Park (where they were last year) or Salsipuedes Creek (no reports yet, but a good place to check). At Harkins Slough there was a huge gull flock roosting on the slough and commuting back and forth from the landfill. I managed to pick out an adult LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL just before one of the GOLDEN EAGLES overhead flushed all the gulls into the air. Photos are on eBird: https://ebird.org/checklist/S61852419