The first pelagic trip for the Gay Birders of North America was a great success. We had very smooth seas, and some extremely good lighting to view birds in. There were many superb views on the trip. In San Mateo the real surprise was right close to shore when we found a breeding plumaged Red-necked Grebe. Surprisingly this is a bird I had never seen in the county, come to think of it perhaps the most overdue species I had not seen here yet! Happy day. The photo is included in the ebird checklist:
Highlights in San Mateo county included a Flesh-footed Shearwater, two Tufted Puffins, and three South Polar Skuas. In San Francisco county we saw one Flesh-footed Shearwater, Tufted Puffin (2), and a South Polar Skua. A Northern Fulmar was perhaps a new arrival, the only Black-footed Albatrosses were in SF. There were three Ashy Storm-Petrels, and we were happy to see them as storm petrels seemed to have moved out of the area recently.
Other creatures included a superb Blue Whale, Dall’s Porpoise, several Blue Sharks and a jumping Common Thresher Shark.