Offshore/Nine Mile Bank aboard Legacy-- Townsend's SP, Red Phalarope, etc.

Aedyn Loefke

Today, Aug 10th, I ventured offshore aboard the Legacy for a quick jaunt on one of their cheap midweek whale-watching trips (I believe Justyn made a post about these a few weeks ago, so if you're looking for details I'm sure you can find some there).  

Upon leaving Mission Bay we made an immediate beeline down to the lower Nine Mile Bank, which of course bode well for our birding potential. It turned out to be a storm-petrel palooza out there, not huge numbers, but a great species variety. 
The best bird of the day was a Townsend's Storm-Petrel just on the inside edge of Nine Mile Bank. Other highlights included Ashy Storm-Petrel, both white-rumped and "Chapman's" Leach's Storm-Petrels, and a single Red Phalarope.

My total offshore list is as follows:

Red-necked Phalarope
Red Phalarope
Western Gull
Royal Tern
Elegant Tern
Caspian Tern
Leach's Storm-Petrel (both nominate and dark-rumped Chapman's)
Townsend's Storm-Petrel
Black Storm-Petrel
Ashy Storm-Petrel
Black-vented Shearwater
Brandt's Cormorant
Brown Pelican  

We also had some incredible views of four Blue Whales and a single California Flying Fish. 

All in all, not bad for only $24!

  --Aedyn Loefke
Valley Center