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La Jolla Cove after the Bird Festival

Stan Walens
 

Helder Cardoso, from Portugal, and I went to the Cove after the close of Birdfest, getting there about 2:45 and staying until 5:00.
Several birds we saw were not previously reported during Birdfest.

Birds were pouring south, many very close to shore.
At least 50 fulmars.
Helder had his life Pacific fulmar within 1.5 seconds of raising his binoculars up.
1500 or so black-vented shearwaters.
4 pink-footed shearwaters, well seen.
One short-tailed shearwater.
5-6 jaegers, mostly pomarines.
About 100 Heermann’s gulls flying south.
Virtually no other gulls.

Highlight of the afternoon, if not the year, happened at about 3:20 or so, when I saw a black-and-white albatross doing dynamic soaring at the horizon.
I yelled out “Laysan albatross” just as a dissolute horde of people walked in front of us.
I lost the bird and never could refind it, but Helder _did_ refind it, and watched it for several minutes.
But as he was describing where on the horizon the bird was, trying to get me back onto the bird, a second Laysan albatross flew though my scope's field of view.
The bird was flying over the kelp bed, so no more than maybe 1/4 mile offshore.
Helder couldn’t see this bird, possibly because he was looking too far offshore, so I had him come over and take a quick look through my scope.

A spectacular end to a really nice Bird Festival.

P.S.: My Hornblower whale-watching friend, Scottie Schmidt, now living in Monterey, sent me a photo of an albatross he saw on a whale-watching boat there this past Friday.
All dark, with a lovely, as the books say, "bubblegum-pink" bill.

Stan Walens, San Diego
March 1, 2020; 7:30 pm