Pelagic report - Thursday

Alvaro Jaramillo

Hello all,

   We went out on a pelagic trip offshore from Half Moon Bay yesterday and encountered warm water offshore, and bird/whale rich waters about 10 miles out. As has been the pattern, a bloom of food is parked about 10 miles offshore with nice groups of Humpback whales and mixed shearwater flocks. Up to a dozen whales were seen in one spot feeding with hundreds of California Sea Lions, pretty incredible! Dozen more whales were in the distance. Bird abundance was much richer inshore and to the north of a warm water plume offshore. We found Ashy Storm-Petrel, a couple of small flocks of Buller’s Shearwaters, and all three jaegers including some nice adult Long-tails, and full spoon Pomarines. The constant high numbers of Arctic Terns continue, with the chance to get some nice photos of a close group foraging with Sabine’s Gulls. At one time about 10 Arctic Terns were being chased by a full breeding plumaged Parasitic Jaeger, dramatic and neat to watch. Most Arctics are adults out there, but we did see some juveniles as well. Two Tufted Puffins were a treat to see, now that they are dispersing from breeding grounds. Only a few Cassin’s Auklets were offshore as has been the case recently. Mammals were great – with densities of Pacific White-sided Dolphins coming close to the boat, beautiful bow riding Northern Right Whale Dolphins, and a nice little pod of Dall’s Porpoises offshore. The regulars were out there too, Black-footed Albatross, Sooty an Pink-footed shearwaters (many out there now), Common Murre, and Rhinoceros Auklet. A good group of a few thousand Sooty Shearwaters near shore allowed me to actually get a recoding of their voices, you don’t hear Sooty Shearwaters all that often. Here is the recording:

    Weather looks good for our trips tomorrow and Sunday. Low to moderate winds predicted, a tad lower on Sunday. Both trips are out of Half Moon Bay and we are hoping that this weekend we find our first Flesh-footed Shearwater of the season. This weekend’s trips expect to visit SF and San Mateo county waters. The change to the fall with arrival of crowned and fox sparrows makes me think that this could be when the Flesh-foot comes in! E-mail me or register online here for this weekend, or the Sept 21 trip out of Half Moon Bay, and 22nd trip out of Monterey:

good birding,



Alvaro Jaramillo




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