Was out on the Hornblower yesterday. It was a mono-species day. Somewhere between 2000-2500 black-vented shearwaters. Hard to count because the boat turns in circles as it follows the one whale it finds. But one raft of black-vents was over 1000 birds. There were so many shearwaters circling the boat that even the Whalers were astonished. No other species of shearwater, no storm-petrels, no alcids [even though conditions were great for seeing them if there’d been any].
Almost the same today at the Cove except even more black-vents. I counted 120/minute streaming north into the canyon for close to an hour.
Probably somewhere around 5000 total, possibly more.
No other tubenoses. No boobies. No alcids.
Hundreds and hundreds of common dolphins everywhere, with swarms of shearwaters following them.
A first-winter Franklin’s gull was roosting on the rocks beneath my bench when I got there, but was almost immediately chased off by tourists trying to see how close they could get to the sea lions.
The gull flew deeper into the Cove and may have landed on the cliffs or headed to the beach at La Jolla Shores, but I was distracted by the multitudes of shearwaters and hoping for something besides a black-vent, and didn’t feel like chasing it.
Stan Walens, San Diego
August 17, 2019; 1:00 pm