Today was a great day to be out on the water, the day started calm and
still, and ended with the start of a southerly blow accompanying an oncoming
front. This was a trip of odd juxtapositions, and surprises! When we were
approximately ten miles out in San Mateo waters we spotted a pair of
SCRIPP'S MURRELET, which are extremely rare in spring at this latitude! A
big flock of foraging BONAPARTE'S GULLS was a nice find and while we were
studying them an ANCIENT MURRELET was spotted right off the bow of the boat.
They came fast and furious, as almost immediately an immature BROWN BOOBY
came out of nowhere and gave lots of good fly bys, and eventually sat on the
water with the gulls. As we continued out numbers of RED-NECKED AND RED
PHALAROPES built up, as did the SOOTY SHEARWATERS, and eventually the
BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS. San Francisco waters provided us with more albatross
and shearwaters, as well as three SABINE'S GULLS and eventually a show of a
lifetime. We saw a group of KILLER WHALES hassling or at least being
entertained by a pod of Humpback Whales, the Humpback's were mad, making
loud and hissing noises after blowing. There were no calfs with the
Humpbacks, but still the Orcas kept following the humpbacks, sometimes just
feet behind them. What a cool thing to see! We saw lots of fin slapping and
even breaching by the KILLER WHALES, better than Sea World!!
Spring trips are still rarities around here, so we were glad to have
been able to do this one and see so many unexpected species, both birds and
mammals! We look forward to getting out later on in the season, which may
promise to be a warm water year based on what is being seen out there both
birdwise and fishwise.