Monterey Seabirds
August 23, 2009 12-hour Offshore Seabird Cruise Trip Report

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Sunday August 23, 2009

Long-tailed Jaeger photo by Jeff PoklenSouth Polar Skua photo by Jeff PoklenWe covered a good part of the Monterey Bay on this 12-hour trip. One hundred and fourteen miles to be exact and we got as far as 40 miles west of Pt. Pinos. Leaving the dock we headed for "the Hump", an underwater plateau north of Soquel Canyon and then on toward the series of canyons: Cabrillo, Ano Nuevo and Ascension which is also known as "the Fingers." We then took a southwest route that brought us to the north rim of the Monterey Sea Canyon which we then followed back to Pt. Pinos. (See Google Earth map linked from below.)

The trip highlight occurred as we passed though the shipping channel in San Mateo County. Jim Holmes, who was up on the bow, spotted a COOK'S PETREL as it crossed the bow and paralleled the boat briefly before flying away toward our five o'clock. Chummer Alex Rinkert poured some cod liver oil off the stern and the bird came back into view for a second distant pass. Fortunately nearly everyone managed to get on the bird and high fives went all around. Remarkably even our skipper Richard Ternullo got one for a new lifer! Regrettably no one got very good photos for this trip report.

The other highlight was a LEATHERBACK TURTLE that we saw only briefly before it dove. Yes, dinosaurs still live in the bay.

And like last week there were jaegers all over the place particularly numerous were the LONG-TAILED JAEGERS of which Don Roberson kept a running tally for a new state record of 176!

The 5 ARCTIC TERNS we saw were running the gauntlet to be sure.

Marine mammals included DALL'S PORPOISE, NORTHERN RIGHT-WHALE and PACIFIC WHITE-SIDED DOLPHINS, HUMPBACK WHALES, CALIFORNIA SEA LION and HARBOR and ELEPHANT SEALS.

Here is the species list for the day compiled by Don Roberson for eBird.
Counts are for Monterey/Santa Cruz/San Mateo Counties

      Black-footed Albatross      5/30/25
  Northern Fulmar   10/8/25
  Cook’s Petrel   0/0/1
  Pink-footed Shearwater   25/50/50
  Buller's Shearwater   50/170/75
  Sooty Shearwater   150/70/25
  Ashy Storm-Petrel   2/6/25
  Black Storm-petrel   0/2/1
  Brown Pelican   2/2/0
  Red-necked Phalarope   70/40/75
  Red Phalarope   30/0/25
  Sabine's Gull   50/70/75
  Heermann's Gull   25/10/5
  Western Gull   300/250/250
  California Gull   80/90/150
  gull sp.   1/0/0
  Arctic Tern   2/0/3
  Elegant Tern   0/1/0
  South Polar Skua   1/1/4
  Pomarine Jaeger   30/0/4
  Parasitic Jaeger   9/7/9
  Long-tailed Jaeger   69/29/78
  jaeger sp.   5/2/8
  Common Murre   20/0/0
  Cassin's Auklet   15/20/25
  Rhinoceros Auklet   2/5/2

Click to see Google Earth image of track See the Google Earth image showing locations of points along the track (opens in new window).

See Jeff Poklen's photo gallery of this trip at: http://www.pbase.com/jpkln/gallery/23aug2009

Roger Wolfe for Monterey Seabirds

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Photos copyright © 2009 Jeff Poklen, all rights reserved.

Last updated August 28, 2009