Sunday June 8, 2003
As we got underway at 7:30 am I was surprised to see that the horde
of California Sea Lions present on the Coast Guard jetty last month
had been displaced by BRANDT'S CORMORANTS. Many of them on
their nests. Our skipper and marine mammal researcher Richard Ternullo
said that these birds are actually tenacious enough to bully adult
sea lions off the jetty. (He also said that sea lions are kind of
No rocky shorebirds on the jetty today but outside the harbor we did
find the expected PIGEON GUILLEMOTS and PELAGIC CORMORANTS
that like to nest under the buildings that hang over the water along
Cannery Row. Also along here we had our first COMMON MURRES
and a RHINOCEROS AUKLET.
We took a southwesterly route out to about 1500 fathoms, 20 miles
out. At 16 miles out the water temp rose from 55 F to 57.5 F. En route
we conducted an experiment of sorts. Unable to find any popcorn for
sale in large quantities, Richard brought along a big bag of Meow
Mix to use as chum. We've used Dog Chow before with good results;
it floats like popcorn and the gulls like it and congregate at the
stern, thus attracting the interest of other pelagic birds in the
area. Of course at this time of year there are far fewer gulls about
but still they would have nothing to do with that Meow Mix even though
it was seafood flavored! Not to the WESTERN, HEERMAN'S
or CALIFORNIA GULLS. Good thing we had plenty of anchovies
a flock of gulls in tow the BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS came in
to check out the boat. They were numerous today and at one point we
had ten on the water near the stern at once, much to the delight of
the photographers on board. SOOTY SHEARWATERS were also numerous
but we saw only 2 PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATERS for the day.
From 20 miles out we headed north along the county line then northeast
to the south rim of the sea canyon following the edge back towards
Monterey. Along here we found a single first summer SABINE'S GULL.
Don Roberson then spotted our bird of the day, a single FLESH-FOOTED
SHEARWATER, much to the delight of the first-time visitors to
the area on board.
When we came upon an area where there was a group of three feeding
Humpback Whales we also saw many flocks of CASSIN'S AUKLETS
feasting on the krill.
RISSO'S DOLPHINS were also cooperative in coming up quite near
the boat at one point.
Next trip we'll leave the Meow Mix behind.
Roger Wolfe for Monterey