Sunday February 8, 2004
a brief stop near Wharf #2 for some outstanding views of 2 drake HARLEQUIN
DUCKS our Feb.8 Monterey Seabirds trips headed south. This was
atypical of our usual route around the bay and sea canyon.
Our skipper, Richard Ternullo, is in constant contact with other boats
in the area. Skippers share information with one another (and occasionally
some good jokes) over the radio in regard to marine mammals and fishing.
The rockfishing fleet reported bird activity in the area of Bixby
Creek Bridge and shortly after that we got another report of 7 Killer
Whales in the area. We headed in that direction and en route came
upon a couple of amorous GRAY WHALES. The whales stopped mating and
resumed their migration as we approached much to the disappointment
of the voyeurs on board.
We were lucky enough to come across a pod of DALL'S PORPOISES. The
fastest of all cetaceans, these porpoises are declining rapidly. Japanese
fisheries take about 30,000 of these animals annually.
Heading south from Pt. Pinos we came upon our only SOOTY SHEARWATER
and further south past the galleries at Pebble Beach we had our first
of 3 PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATERS for the day. We worked our way
down the coast past Carmel Bay and Point Lobos without seeing much
but as we approached Bixby Creek we began to see a great deal of bird
activity. Working along the 50-fathom line there were BLACK-LEGGED
KITTIWAKES in view at all times, many of them being harrassed
by the larger gulls. Richard remarked that he'd never seen so many
this early in the year. RHINOCEROS AUKLETS and NORTHERN
FULMARS were also abundant in this area.
Unfortunately we never did find the Killer Whales.
Richard pointed out an uncooperative SHORT-TAILED SHEARWATER
and a single CASSIN'S AUKLET flying away from the boat. In
this area we also saw one of 3 POMARINE JAEGERS on the day.
We continued to work along the 50-fathom line all the way down to
Pt. Sur. It was a real treat for some of us locals to view this lovely
stretch of coastline from the sea for a change.
But now we had to pay our dues and fight a headwind all the back to
the bay. It was a rough ride and even Richard was complaining about
the wind, I heard him say over the radio to the rock fisherman, "I
can't believe you guys do this every #@!^& day!" He got little sympathy
We did manage to find 6 ANCIENT MURRELETS in two different
groups near Carmel Bay.
Special thanks go out to our core group of regulars. Thanks for your
Great Blue Heron
Black-crowned Night Heron
California Sea Lion
California Sea Otter
Roger Wolfe for Monterey