Amazing Farallon Islands trip today

Alvaro Jaramillo

HI all,

    We had a memorable trip to the Farallon Islands today, with nearly no wind and very calm seas. The day started with two Least Terns (rare in HMB) seen on the coast, certainly part of the four which were there yesterday. Tom Benson spotted the Northern Gannet on the rocks at Maverick’s, very nice. We were off to a good start! It was very birdy with many Sooty Shearwaters on our way to the islands, and of course many Common Murres. On the Farallon Islands, we were treated to many Tufted Puffins, but curiously no boobies were there today. Four species of pinnipeds, including Steller’s Sea Lions and Northern Fur Seals. Two Wandering Tattlers on the islands were cool to see. Offshore things got very interesting, whales galore…I mean it was loaded with whales. We saw approximately 86 Humpback Whales, several Blue Whales, and 4-5 Fin Whales. Absolutely fantastic. The first Dall’s Porpoise we have seen for a couple of years showed up too. On the bird front, there were tons of Cassin’s Auklets, although very few Rhinoceros Auklets, several Black-footed Albatross were near Black Cod Fishing boats. Very exciting were three different pairs of Scripps’s Murrelets, some in San Francisco, others in San Mateo. No storm-petrels, but we were north of the good area for them today and expect we should find some on our Sunday trip. Just an outstanding trip for great looks at the birds, and a stunning show of whales, just out of this world!

    I think that on Sunday we have a great chance of finding more murrelets given the predicted weather, and if we are lucky who knows, we will be looking hard for Craveri’s Murrelet and certainly it should be good for storm petrels. I think the whale show will continue and although we will be a bit farther south than where we were today, it may be good for Blue and Fin Whales. Still a couple of spots left for Sunday -


Good birding!


Alvaro Jaramillo



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