Monterey Seabirds
May 19, 2013 Seabird Cruise Trip Report

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Sunday May 19, 2013

On Sunday May 19, 2013 we set out on the Point Sur Clipper north by northwest to get us ahead of the winds that were forecast for later in the day. Fog meant that the seas were bearable for the first few hours of the morning. We hit a nice pocket of sunshine, and the birding started to pick up. Rough seas closed out our day. Birds were steady once we got out over deep water. Highlights were black-footed albatross, sooty and pink-footed shearwaters, and 10 ashy storm-petrels.

The marine mammal show really began for us once we got into Santa Cruz County waters. By the end of the day we had seen humpbacks (including 2 enormous adults who came in and gave us great views), Risso's dolphins, harbor porpoises, CA sea lions, northern elephant seal, sea otter, and harbor seal. The most spectacular sighting was in Monterey County -- a pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins (estimates ranged from 500 to 1000 animals) that brought with it a mixed flock of a couple thousand birds. At this point, the sea was churning with dolphins while the sky was churning with shearwaters and gulls.

All in all a great first pelagic trip for the 2013 season.

Birds observed:
3   Red-throated Loon     4   Whimbrel
11   Pacific Loon   55   Red-necked Phalarope
60   Black-footed Albatross   5   Red Phalarope
6   Pink-footed Shearwater   1   Bonaparte's Gull
5000   Sooty Shearwater   250   Western Gull
10   Ashy Storm-Petrel   200   California Gull
360   Brandt's Cormorant (nesting)   3   Heermann's Gull
25   Pelagic Cormorant   1   Common Murre
1   Canada Goose   23   Pigeon Guillemot (nesting)
10   Surf Scoter   1   Cassin's Auklet


Tim Amaral for Monterey Seabirds


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Last updated May 31, 2013