I just completed a fishing trip from San Diego to the Mexican coast. The area we fished was just south of the Coronado Islands, down to just above Ensenada, Baja California. We were never more that 30-35 nautical miles off the beach. Friday afternoon we were just 26-30 nautical miles south of Point Loma and I saw 4 Cook's Petrels in that area. Saturday we were west of Salsupedies (sp ?) near Ensenada, and working back up and out. That day I saw about 80 Cook's Petrels (likely more, as fishing can interrupt birding when glasses are put away). Many these Cook's Petrels close to the boat, and some on the water. I counted a single feeding group of 26.
Winds were very light and seas flat calm. .The last day I saw 3 more Cook's Petrels. One of these at about 23-24 n. miles south of Point Loma. That beats my previous closest to San Diego Co. Cook's that was at 27 n.miles, and on the Mexican Side some years ago.
I still need Cook's Petrel for San Diego Co. so having this many so close gives me some hope that one might wander our way, Sunday.
Also of note was a South Polar Skua in a large raft of Sooty Shearwaters on Saturday.
Black-footed Albatross - two on Friday, and one each Saturday and Sunday.
Thousands of Sooty Shearwaters all three days.
Maybe 100 Pink-footed Shearwaters, for the trip.
Only two Black-vented Shearwater were seen, and those near Point Loma on the way out.
Maybe 500 Black Storm-Petrel over the there days, half dozen Leach's and a single Ashy Storm-Petrel were noted.
I saw only a single Brown Booby each Friday and Saturday, but had a dozen or more on Sunday
Both Red and Red-necked Phalarope were seen in small numbers. (<10)
I saw only 13 Scripps's Murrelet's one a non flying chick with an adult.
Fair numbers or Cassin's Auklets with maybe 50-75 each day.
As a side note the boat crew mentioned than on the previous three day trip to the same area they had a Laysan Albatross, and Red-billed Tropicbird.
So again this was all on the Mexican side of the border, but fairly close to home.
p.s. There are still spaces on Sunday's Buena Vista Audubon's Pelagic.
I hope you'll join me in my (our) search for a county bird!
Call 222-1144 for a reservation.