Seawatch -- Sooty Shearwaters et al., 8/23/19

Paul Saraceni

This morning (7:20-9:00 AM) I did a seawatch from the south end of the Great Highway.  The morning began with a fog bank several hundred yards offshore, but that mostly cleared by the time I departed.  Winds were brisk S-SW and increasing, with choppy seas.

The highlight this morning was the continued presence of SOOTY SHEARWATERS off of Ocean Beach -- they were in view the entire time I was there. When I arrived there were ~400+ on the water and swirling around nearshore of the fog bank.  Soon after a "river" of Sooties appeared from the N and hundreds were passing per minute heading S. This continued for about 20 minutes.  Then about 10 minutes later they seemingly turned around and were heading N, with some large sub-groups setting down on the water. My rough estimate was 30-40,000, but who knows. 

Other observations of local interest:

Surf Scoter 45 (on the ocean)

Brown Pelican 100+ (many in the frenzy with the Sooty Shearwaters)

Black Oystercatcher 1 (flying S over the surf)

Whimbrel 4

Sanderling 4

Red-necked Phalarope 11 (moving S in small #s)

Elegant Tern 150+ (most flying S)

Caspian Tern 3

POMARINE JAEGER 1 sub-ad. (lumbering S within 100 yards of shore)

Barn Swallow 2

Paul Saraceni

San Francisco