Sea watch -- 4 species of Alcids, 12/25/18

Paul Saraceni

This morning I did a "count week" sea watch (7:15-10:15 AM) from the south end of the Great Highway, ahead of my sea watch from this location for the SF CBC on Thurs.  Winds were back out of the NW after yesterday's storms, and strengthened as the morning went on. Relatively big waves and choppy surf continue.  Visibility was pretty good out to the horizon.

Thousands of gulls were on the move the entire time, swirling high over the ocean in big flocks and moving N.  Most were Californias and Glaucous-wingeds with small numbers of the other regular wintering gulls, though just 1 Heermann's, (Yesterday (12/24) morning there was briefly a gull flock on the beach at this location, including 120+ "Thayer's" Icelands and 40+ Herrings, sizable numbers for the City.) 

There was only a small northbound movement of loons.

Best were 4 species of alcids in small numbers, as noted below.

Observations of local interest:

N. Pintail 1 m. (briefly landed on the ocean, then continued N)

Surf Scoter 42

BLACK SCOTER 2 m. (yesterday, 12/24, there were 3 m. & 1 f. at this location)

Red-thr. Loon 80+ (most flying N, some on the water)

Pacific Loon 1

Common Loon 2

W. Grebe 2

Clark's Grebe 1

Sanderling 80+

Black Turnstone 2 (flying N over the ocean a way's out)

Com. Murre 3 (singles flying N)

RHINOCEROS AUKLET 2 (flying N together)

ANCIENT MURRELET 4 (3 & 1 flying N)

MARBLED MURRELET 2 (flying N together)

Murrelet sp. 2 (flying N together)

Say's (2) & Black (2) Phoebes (flying and perching on both sides of the Great Highway)

Bewick's Wren 2 (singing from across the Great Highway)

Paul Saraceni

San Francisco

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