Farallons Gannet Report (and more)

Alvaro Jaramillo

Hi folks

Today's boat trip to see the Northern Gannet on the Farallones began in
Half Moon Bay, where Bruce Webb spotted a Tropical Kingbird by Barbara's
Fishtrap in Pillar Point Harbor! Most folks coming to the boat got to see
this bird, a great start to our morning. Inshore we found two Marbled
Murrelets, and a bit farther out we spotted at least two distant
Black-vented Shearwaters. We first went out to the offshore water which was
warm and blue and sadly was not amazingly rich in birds, but nice views of
Long-tailed Jaeger, Pomarine along with Buller's Shearwaters, Pink-foots and
Sooties were great. We saw a few Black-footed Albatross waiting until mid
afternoon to hit the Farallones to find the gannet. As we headed over there
we saw a superb South Polar Skua and about 4-6 of us on the boat got on a
MANX SHEARWATER. Unfortunately it took off heading in front of the boat, so
most people were not able to get on it, or saw it when it was too distant to
make out. This was in SF County, and we do not have photos but in my view I
did get to see the white vent, and blacker upperparts than the Black-vent.

As we drove up to the Farallones, we saw Surf Scoter, and on Saddle Rock
we saw the gannet sitting there with a bunch of cormorants, first spotted by
Mike Rogers. As we were watching the gannet all hell broke loose as we had a
GREAT WHITE SHARK attack happen close to the boat. I must admit I lost my
composure as I screamed "shark! Shark! Shark! Shark!" at the top of my
lungs. I was more than excited to see something I have wanted to see since I
was a budding naturalist as a kid. WOW! The shark took a small California
Sea Lion in what appeared to be first a lunge and bite, and a second lunge
and gulp. The sea turned red, and gulls immediately invaded the scene over
the commotion. I had thought about this in the back of my mind as a
possibility but did not believe it was going to happen - but it did! Birding
can be magic, even when birds are not involved.

We were happy campers as we headed home, with a great gannet observation
and a once in a lifetime shark attack (and no we did not hear the Jaws
music, but I hear it now). Photos here, unfortunately I was too out of my
mind to get photos of the shark, but they will be forthcoming from others.

&type=1&notif_t=photo_album_comment> &type=1&notif_t=photo_album_comment

Thanks to all who took part and made this a possibility. Our last pelagic of
the season is this Saturday - room available - and we shall likely hit both
some of SF and SM counties.

Good birding!


Alvaro Jaramillo



Join SFBirds@groups.io to automatically receive all group messages.