This morning I conducted my first seawatch of 2019 from the south-end of the Great Highway (8:15-10:15 AM).
Winds were brisk from the NE which is not optimal for sea-watching at this location, but the seas were mellow and visibility was excellent out to the horizon.
Numbers of Red-throated Loons flying N (~150) were relatively low as I likely arrived too late for the usual morning flight.
Around 9:35 AM I was surprised to observe a COMMON MERGANSER flying N over the surf. It appeared to be an adult female. A few documentation photos are included in the link below.
Observations of local interest:
Surf Scoter 79
BLACK SCOTER 2 m. & 1 f.
Bufflehead 1 m. & 1 f. (flying N together)
COMMON MERGANSER 1 f. (flying N)
W. Grebe 80
Clark's Grebe 1
Common Murre 3 (flying N)
MARBLED MURRELET 6 (2/2/2 flying and some landed on the ocean)
ANCIENT MURRELET 3 (1 flying N, 2 flying S together)
Herring Gull 15
Iceland ("Thayer's") Gull 3
Glaucous-winged Gull 70
Red-thr. Loon 150
Pacific Loon 4
Common Loon 3
Brown Pelican 73 (mostly flying N in small groups)
Bewick's Wren 2 (singing from across the Great Highway; one perched briefly on chainlink fence)