Pelagic trip off San Diego, 26 June 2022 – Nazca B, Flesh-footed S, other birds

Gary Nunn

Sunday 26 June 2022 six of us made a trip offshore in search of seabirds.  From Point Loma we motored about due west to The Corner where we stopped and ran out a fish oil and snacking slick.  Not too much appeared in this area so after a while we headed north to the "ridge" of 30 Mile Bank.  Not finding much there either, we headed back towards shore and stopped on the Upper Nine Mile Bank where we ran out another fish oil slick and various chopped tuna and other "chumsicle" concoctions.  This proved to be a popular attraction and we soon had many Black Storm-Petrels and a few other species dancing on the water in front of us.  From here we returned to San Diego Bay.  77 NM traveled.

Morning highlight, as we came up the east side of the Nine Mile Bank, was the sudden appearance of two (!) near adult NAZCA BOOBY which made a very close pass by us, flying wingtip-to-wingtip. coming from the north.  They continued on their way south and out of sight, but naked eye views a few feet from the boat showed off the pink bills and white upper to central tail feathers nicely.

We did see two CRAVERI'S MURRELET while crossing the San Diego Trough to the Thirty Mile Bank.  The west wind and muddled short swell interval made alcid spotting challenging all day so I think we were lucky to spot this pair.

We did not see too many birds on our slick at The Corner, a second calendar year COMMON TERN was the best find there.

Back at the Nine Mile Bank after lunch we put out another slick which began attracting lots of Black Storm-Petrels.  A short while into this drift a large all dark shearwater with buoyant flight made a single pass, FLESH-FOOTED SHEARWATER!

Not too many cetaceans were seen, three Blue Whales and a zero on dolphins.  Also a couple of airborne jumping Mako Shark.

Gary Nunn
Pacific Beach

Complete day trip totals below
2 Craveri's Murrelet
1 Cassin's Auklet
7 Heermann's Gull
69 Western Gull
4 Least Tern
1 Caspian Tern
1 Common Tern
2 Royal Tern
520 Elegant Tern
1 Black Skimmer
2 Ashy Storm-Petrel
72 Black Storm-Petrel
2 storm-petrel sp.
2 Northern Fulmar
1 Pink-footed Shearwater
1 Flesh-footed Shearwater
29 Sooty Shearwater
5 Black-vented Shearwater
2 Nazca Booby
2 Brown Booby
3 Brandt's Cormorant
1 Double-crested Cormorant
92 Brown Pelican
4 Great Blue Heron
2 Snowy Egret
1 Black-crowned Night-Heron
1 Osprey
2 Amazona sp.
5 Barn Swallow
2 Brewer's Blackbird