In addition to my usual 2+ hours at the Cove nearly every morning, I usually go back for another 90 or so minutes in the afternoon.
The birds every morning have been pretty consistent in numbers and species, and in being mostly far offshore.
Others have reported those numbers, so I won’t reiterate them.
This morning’s seawatch turned up the usual stuff.
Yesterday, Mel Senac and I saw an Ashy Storm-Petrel working the kelp edge to the WNW of my bench. [Use your compass; the Cove is not aligned due north from my bench.]
This morning Paul Lehman and I had one in the same area; he later saw [another?] one further out.
Otherwise, it’s one Black Storm-Petrel after another.
Mostly in the 35-50 range this past week.
Also present this morning, the usual 500 or so Black-vented Shearwaters. Today, a small influx of Pink-footed Shearwaters, somewhere between 4–6.
This afternoon from 2:00–4:15 was really dull. Maybe 35 Black-vented Shearwaters total. No other tubenoses or boobies except the same 25+ Black Storm-Petrels weaving back and forth.
But at 4:10 a large pod of common dolphins came from the open part of the canyon to the NW into the close part of the canyon to the NNE of my bench, bringing with them an influx of other storm-petrels.
In addition to another 20 or so Black Storm-Petrels, there were 3 Leachs’ Storm-Petrels and 2 Least Storm-Petrels mixed in.
These are the first Least Storm-Petrels I’ve seen in maybe 3 months, since I saw 1 soon after the unprecedented influx of Black Storm-Petrels into the Cove began.
On a non-birding but essential topic:
As I predicted, the use of 8 porta-potties to serve the crowds at the Cove is a disaster.
They need 3 times that number and to have them emptied every day.
The only functioning toilet facilities are at Children’s Pool, and they are overburdened now, too.
So do not come to the Cove [for the next 3 years] if you think you might need to use a bathroom.
Stan Walens, San Diego
August 7, 2019; 8:45 pm