Three storm petrels, two boobies - Farallons!
We ran a trip out to the Farallon Islands NWR today. Weather was a bit tough on the final leg getting to the islands, but fortunately pretty nice coming back. The islands were carpeted with Common Murres, absolutely tons of them. As well, on this visit there were hundreds of Cassin’s Auklets, which appear to be doing very well this year. We also connected with an adult Blue-footed and what looked like an adult female Brown Booby on Sugarloaf. Although water temperatures have been cold, these birds appear to have become accustomed to hanging out at the Farallon Is. I am not complaining. It was all quite a show. There are record numbers of Northern Fur Seals on the islands too. We did have some nice fly by Tufted Puffins, and a couple up on sugarloaf, but unfortunately no close ones on the water. Can’t win them all.
On the return trip, what was totally unexpected was finding a very diverse concentration of storm petrels. Most were Ashy, with nice views of Fork-tailed and 2-4 Wilson’s Storm-Petrels. These were in San Francisco county, although a couple of Ashy were in San Mateo. On the return we also saw another Tufted Puffin fly by, this one in San Mateo county. Hopefully this flock of storm petrels will build in the coming weeks. There were also the expected Sooty and Pink-footed shearwaters, as well as one or two Black-footed Albatross. Due to the weather we could not get past the continental shelf where likely more albatross would have been found.
We are heading out next Saturday (15TH) for an offshore trip, we will make sure to go to where the storm petrels were. Next Monday (17th) we return to the Farallon Islands.
Photos of today’s birds - https://www.flickr.com/photos/alvarojaramillo/?