Pioneer Canyon Petrel grounds - we go this Friday!
There are Cook’s Petrels being reported from Bodega down to San Diego, so this is definitely an incursion year for this species. Dan Nelson had 7-8 Cook’s, and a Hawaiian Petrel on Sunday 30 miles from Bodega Head. We saw three Cook’s and a Hawaiian Petrel on Saturday in the Pioneer Canyon, also about 30 miles offshore. The Sea Surface Temperature charts show that this warmer water where the petrels were continues in our area, and we will be heading back out there on Friday to look for these conditions and these birds, weather forecast looks good as well. To book a spot: https://www.alvarosadventures.com/pelagic-dates-2021.html
On Saturday our Hawaiian Petrel and the first two Cook’s Petrels were in San Francisco water. This is also where the thousands of Ashy Storm-Petrels were, along with a sprinkling of Black and Wilson’s storm-petrels. We found three South Polar Skuas (both counties), all three jaegers and the elevated number of Sabine’s Gulls continues. Our first Arctic Terns showed up, and two very close Scripps’s Murrelets were in San Mateo county. Without any rarity, Saturday would have been a great and birdy day, lots to see throughout the day. But the petrels put it over the top! A superb day. I think that if we get into the right area, chances are good that we may find other Cook’s Petrels, but obviously it is not a guarantee by any means. Here are some photos from Saturday:
First Cook’s – Hawaiian Petrel (distant)
San Mateo County Cook’s – Scripps’s Murrelet