Trip report - Record Black Storm-Petrel count!!

Alvaro Jaramillo

Hello all,

   We had an amazing pelagic out of Half Moon Bay yesterday in sunny weather. The storm-petrelpalooza continued, and numbers were even higher than on Saturday. We estimated 1600 Black Storm-Petrels during one hour long transect, with 60 or so Ashy Storm-Petrels, and 7 or so Wilson’s Storm-Petrels. This is the highest number we can find for San Mateo county waters, ever. A record haul! What was just fantastic was that we not only found flocks, but the birds were coming very close to the boat when we sat and idled, with opportunities for great photography. I am sure that more fantastic photos will be uploaded to the list:

    Again, it is difficult to put into words how fantastic the experience was. Just non-stop storm-petrels, multiple views. Over and over, and you could really see the flight style differences between Ashy and Black storm-petrels. We are all still going through our photos, as hundreds if not more were taken by each person there with a camera! Some of the Black Storm-Petrels were in San Francisco county, but the big numbers were to the south in San Mateo.

   We found three Tufted Puffins, many and close Black-footed Albatross, an abundance of Common Murres, Rhinoceros Auklets, Pink-footed and Sooty shearwaters along with other common seabirds. Finally, jaegers were found in larger numbers, and all three species were seen including a fantastic adult Long-tailed right over our boat by Juan Pablo Galvan. Thanks for that spot! We were all looking at storm petrels, great that someone was looking up. The Humpback Whales put on an amazing show once again, with a group of feeding whales foraging right by the boat, putting on quite a show.

   We are heading out of Monterey on Saturday the 12th, and return to Half Moon Bay on Monday Sept 14. There are 4 spots remaining for our Monday trip. You can reserve and book directly here:


Good birding to you either on land or out on the water!



Alvaro Jaramillo



Join to automatically receive all group messages.