Brown Boobies continue - Pelagic trip report - Sept 20 2014

Alvaro Jaramillo

Hi folks,


    We went out of Half Moon Bay yesterday, off to the weather buoy and dipping into San Francisco county for a tad. Our first good bird of the day were two locally rare White-faced Ibis flying by at the harbor. They were also reported from Pescadero yesterday, and the Farallon Islands so something was up with them yesterday! Inshore flocks included Sooty Shearwaters but no Black-vents, although one was seen flying by on the way back into port. Today there are lots of Black-vented Shearwaters visible from shore in Half Moon Bay, so they seemed to have crept in overnight. Our trip out found three Tufted Puffins, with a fourth on the way back in, the latter still in pretty good breeding plumage. The weather buoy was a highlight as two young Brown Boobies were there, and a third was seen a bit later on in the trip, again a young bird. I assume they will be pretty reliable there until the warm water leaves.

    We did have the jaeger-skua grand slam, with all three jaegers and South Polar Skua. We did get into some water where better numbers of Sabine’s Gulls and migratory Arctic and Common terns were found, and this is where the Long-tailed jaegers were as well. This is also where we found a few Buller’s Shearwaters, which have been very scarce this year. Alcids included nice numbers of Rhinoceros Auklets, and a few Cassin’s Auklets (although a couple that gave nice views), and two fly away small alcids that had the potential to be murrelets. Unfortunately these were not re-found. The bird of the day for many, was a big male Orca we found along with some more distant females we did not approach. We traveled with this whale for some time getting great looks at this impressive guy!

   Offshore passerines included a Myrtle Yellow-rumped Warbler and Brown-headed Cowbird. We also saw Marbled Godwith and a flock of Sanderling offshore. Weather continues to be very calm and warm here, water getting up to 64 F. It was a great day out, lots of fun.


Two more trips left this season, Bodega Bay on Friday and Half Moon Bay on Saturday. Good birding!




Alvaro Jaramillo



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