Pelagic trip report - Sat Oct 7.

Alvaro Jaramillo

Hello penbirds and SFbirds.

   We went out last Saturday offshore to waters in both counties, with much of the time off the continental shelf in SF county. We were seeking Flesh-footed Shearwater, Short-tailed Shearwater and South Polar Skuas and succeeded in 2/3 which is pretty nice. There were six different encounters with South Polar Skua, perhaps 4-5 individuals and they were seen in both counties. Whoo hoo! The star of the show was a Flesh-footed Shearwater in San Mateo county, it stuck around enough for some folks to get photos of the bird. I am hoping that the short-tailed shows up this coming weekend. Other goodies included two Tufted Puffins in San Mateo, and hundreds of Buller’s Shearwaters. We also found Black-footed Albatross, a few Ashy Storm-Petrels, many Rhinoceros Auklets, a few Cassin’s Auklets, Pomarine Jaegers and various other common offshore species. Two lost offshore birds, a Merlin and an Eared Grebe!

     The weather was awesome going out, and the wind picked up when we were offshore. At that point it became a bit more difficult to “chase” any birds, as we had to keep on our course with wind and waves behind us. An intriguing bird went by at a distance, in the wind, wish we had that one to do over and closer. And even though the swell had picked up by then, we had an incredible view of Blue Whale, lunge feeding Humpback Whales, and two herds of Pacific White-sided Dolphins with Northern Right Whale Dolphins, and a few Dall’s Porpoise.

     We are heading out again on Saturday 14th. The weather forecast looks really good right now, tamer than last weekend’s wind, and I am really looking forward to seeing what we found last weekend and adding the Short-tailed Shearwater. Hopefully in both counties. This late in the season, the probability of finding a Short-tailed or two greatly increases. I still have the dream of a Streaked Shearwater, I may have that one for years, but you never know… it could come true this weekend 😊


BTW – SFBBO raptor workshop next week which I will be giving. Field time and class time.


good birding, Dusky Warblering or McCowns Longspuring to you all.

Alvaro Jaramillo



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