Pelagic report - Half Moon Bay.
A very diverse and interesting trip today. Highlight was a rare Leatherback Sea Turtle which was photographed well, perhaps my best views ever! A highlight that turned to a negative was a Minke Whale that was easily seen, often seeming to spy at us with full head out of the water. We eventually realized the poor whale was entangled, we reported it to the NOAA Whale entanglement group.
Birds included the first Scripps’s Murrelet in northern California this year. We saw Wilson’s Storm-Petrel as well, both of these were in San Francisco county. Many Ashy Storm-Petrels, including some very close to the boat. Good numbers of Black-footed Albatross, a juvenile Sabine’s Gull, Northern Fulmar as well as many Sooty and a few Pink-footed Shearwaters. Common Murres and Rhinoceros Auklets were out there as expected. Harlequin Duck was a surprise in the harbor, and Blue Whale was also a good find as few have been out there. Humpback Whales were common. Lots of surprises, and some good photo opportunities as well as good weather made for a fun day out.
Our next trip with openings is on August 17.