Sunday, September 12, 2010
3rd Day on the Bay
Yesterday we left the harbor at 5:35 AM in order to make the long ride out far enough to try for cook's petrel. We needed to get to deep water (over 10,000 ft) that was warm enough. Unfortunately, like Friday we had fog for a good part of the ride out, and did not find warmer water until after lunch. In this case warmer meant going from 56 degrees up to over 59 degrees. We also found some sun, but no special/rare birds other than a pair of scripsii xantu's murrelets.
On the way in we found a pair of tufted puffins (top photo above--remember to click on it to enlarge), and saw what the group concluded were 2 common terns sitting on a bunch of kelp (middle photo above). Surprisingly a bank swallow flew by the boat. We also had fin whales and blue whales plus dolphins of various types. At the harbor we were greeted by California sea lions (bottom photo above).
After doing a little land birding this morning, I am now sitting in my motel room in San Mateo talking with Bob Ake who is doing an all ABA area big year. He has just returned from 2 weeks up in Alaska where he hit 700 birds. Major congrats to Bob! Also, I am waiting to see if I am going to catch another red-eye flight tonite because a common-ringed plover was seen yesterday in Massachusetts. If not, I will be going out tomorrow with Bob on a pelagic trip from Half Moon Bay. Stay tuned!