Friday, August 13, 2010

Ft Bragg I: Another Great Pelagic Trip

We left the dock in Noyo Harbor at Ft Bragg, CA a little after 7 AM with the sun shining. In the short distance to the mouth of the harbor we entered overcast, at times misty/foggy conditions that were a bit colder than at Bodega Bay 2 days ago. The good news was that the seas were not any problem, so much so that Debi had the captain take us south which she only does out of Noyo Harbor with good seas and weather.

The big get for the day, at least for me, was the fork-tailed storm-petrel that came up the wake of the boat late morning. Wes, the chummer, found it and then all the spotters were calling out loudly, helping everyone locate the bird. If I had not seen this bird today or Sunday when I go back out of Ft Bragg, I would have needed to go to Oregon again to do a pelagic trip there in September to raise my odds of finding the fork-tailed SP. Instead, I get to drive less in September, and take more pelagic trips out of the Monterey area. Hooray!

As on Wednesday, we had birds with us all day, including both black-footed (top photo) and laysan (bottom photo) albatrosses. There were lots of black-footed, but we had only the 1 laysan which stayed with us all afternoon, and even followed us almost all the way into the harbor. We had all the same birds as on Wednesday including another fly-by tufted puffin, and ten's of buller's shearwaters. Other than being another long, tiring day at sea, the birding was excellent.

Week #33 begins with 37 birds seen, and the fork-tailed brings the YTD up to 669. Tomorrow looks like it will be similar to yesterday, but on Sunday I am back out for another pelagic. Stay tuned!

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