Sea & Sage pelagic trip - May 4

Tom Benson

Sea & Sage Audubon held their annual spring pelagic trip today (May 4) aboard the Ocean Institute's Millenium Falcon. We travelled out at a little less than light speed to Lausen Sea Mount, the deep water oil platforms off Huntington Beach, and then back to Dana Point. Highlights from the trip included great views of dozens of Black Storm-Petrels at Lausen Sea Mount coming into a slick of bantha oil (as well as numerous others scattered throughout the trip), and two fly-by Sabine's Gulls in alternate plumage also at Lausen Sea Mount. We also saw an incredible three (possibly four) Red-footed Boobies at the oil platforms. Two somewhat dark-billed birds were perched on the skiff moored off Platform Eureka, while a pink-billed bird (probably the same that was on the winter trip) and a dark-billed bird were perched on Platform Edith. Later a subadult Brown Booby flew by the boat off Newport Beach. An immature Yellow-crowned Night-Heron was perched on the jetty as we were departing the harbor in the morning. Other species observed included Red-necked Phalarope, Scripps's Murrelet, Cassin's Auklet, Parasitic Jaeger, Pink-footed Shearwater, Sooty Shearwater, Wilson's Warbler, and a late first cycle Glaucous-winged Gull at the oil platforms.

May the 4th be with you.

Tom Benson 
San Bernardino, CA 

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