Cassin’s Auklet Resident. Almost always some to be seen on pelagic trips; numbers fluctuate as species is sensitive to variation in ocen productivity (Unitt, 2004). Usually fairly common November – June (McGrath & Feenstra, 2005).
2007: 88 from Condor Express 21 Apr (eBird). One off San Diego 31 Mar (McCaskie, SDBirds). 417 offshore San Diego 11 Jun (Hunefeld, SDBirds). 459 offshore San Diego 24 Jun (Povey, SDBirds). 49 off San Diego 5 Dec (Hunefeld, SDBirds).
2008: 300 off San Diego 19 Jan (Hunefeld, SDBirds). 1500 offshore San Diego 9 Feb from Grande. 4 off San Diego 11 Mar (Povey, SDBirds). 2 off San Diego from Grande15 Mar. 100 off San Diego from Grande10-11 May. 115 from Searcher2-5 Jun. 2 in deep water 90 miles west of San Diego from Grande19-20 Jul. 13 offshore San Diego 26 Jul (Povey, SDBirds). A total of 6 offshore SanDiego on two trips 23 Aug and 30 Aug (Povey, SDBirds). 15 seen over 4 days from Searcher1-4 Sep. 13 from Grande4 Oct. 12 at La Jolla 11 Oct (SDBirds). 600 from Grande day trip 22 Nov. 1500 seen at La Jolla San Diego 27 Nov (Altman, SDBirds). 1000 off San Diego 6 Dec (Hunefeld, SDBirds). 73 offshore Oceanside 27 Dec (Povey, SDBirds, Oceanside CBC).
2009: 100 off San Diego on 25th annual New Year's Day pelagic. 92 off Dana Point 10 Jan. 150 from Port San Luis 24 Jan. 175 at Nine Mile Bank San Diego28 Jan. 100 off Oceanside 31 Jan. 75 at La Jolla Cove San Diego 19 Feb (W. T. Hunefeld, pers obs). 175 off Palos Verdes Los Angeles28 Feb. 2100 sw of Santa Barbara 1 Mar from Condor Express. 117 on three San Diego Bird Festival day trips aboard Grande 5, 7 and 8 Mar. 98 off San Diego 20 Mar. 275 on Grande day trip 16 May and 220 in the Channel Islands 16 May. 186 off San Diego 12 Jun decreading to 10 on 16 Jun and 4 on 18 Jul in same region. 13 off Santa Barbara from Condor Express25 Jul. No more than 3 seen on any of 5 San Deigo day trips in Aug & Sept. None seen on the 4-day Searcher deep-water 7-11 Sep. 15 from Grande 10-11 Oct. 500 off San Diego 3 Nov. 1500 off San Diego 23 Nov. 250 off San Diego 3 Dec. 286 on pelaic portion of Oceanside CBC 26 Dec.
2010: 140 off San Diego on the 26th annual New Year's Day pelagic. 1800 off San Diego 12 Jan. 100 off Oceanside 30 Jan. 58 on 3 day-trips 4-7 Mar on San Diego Bird Festival. 43 off San Diego & Baja 14 Mar. 86 from Condor Express May 1. 48 from Grande May 15-17. 118 from Condor Express Jun 12. 45 at the Nine Mile Bank Jul 18 (Dave Povey SDBirds). 10 from Condor Express Jul 31. 36 from Searcher Sep 6-9. 11 from Grande Oct 2. 310 from Grane Nov 13. From La Jolla: 4 on Nov 21, 7+ on Nov 22 (Paul Lehman, SDBirds).
2011: 15 on the 26th annual San Diego New Year's Day pelagic. 319 at Nine Mile Bank and Coronado Canyon by Dave Povey 25 Jan. 810 from Grande at Nine Mile Bank and Coronado Canyon Jan 29. The San Diego Bird Festival had 4 day trips Mar 3-6 with a high count of 20 on Mar 5. 56 were seen between Santa Barbara and the Rodriguez Dome from the Condor Express on Apr 30. 140 were seen near the Nine Mile Bank off San Diego on May 6. 133 were reported between the Nine Mile Bank and Thirty Mile Bank San Diego from Grande May 14. 53 seen from Searcher May 28-30 between San Diego, the Los Coronados Islands and San Clemente Island.
Cassin's Auklet (c) Thomas Blackman
Cassin's Auklet (c) Tom Lindner
Parakeet Auklet Very rare winter visitor in SoCal deep water; may be regular over deep water (McGrath & Feenstra, 2005). 7 SoCal records from Jan - Apr (Hamilton, et. al, 2007).
2007: 8th record: 7 birds were well photographed on a Los Angeles Audubon day trip off Santa Barbara on 21 Apr. One found on the beach in Venice 18 Jun (NAB, McCaskie & Garrett).
2009: Two photographed 17 Jan west-southwest of Point Buchon San Luis Obispo (NAB, McCaskie & Garret). One off Port San Luis 24 Jan. (NAB, McCaskie & Garrett). 2 from Condo Express 1 Mar (NAB, McCaskie & Garrett) suggesting that many more were probably present in this general area.
2010: A flock of five was reported flying past Pt Piedras Blancas May 8; there is no accepted Califonia record of a healthy bird of this species this close to shore.
Parakeet Auklets (c) Brad Schram
Parakeet Auklet (c) Dave Pereksta
Crested Auklet Accidental June & July; breeds in western Alaska (McGrath & Feenstra, 2005). 4 records for Baja, Mex and California. 3 accepted: Baja, Mexico 7 Jul 1980, Monterey 16-17 Jun 1979, Bodega Head 24 Jun 1995. Not accepted: Marina del Rey (LA County) 4 Jul 1973. (Hamilton, et. al., 2007) This pattern of sightings suggests a pattern of summer vagrancy off the southern Pacific coast.
Rhinoceros Auklet Common in winter in the northern waters of SoCal Oct – May; rare to common off San Diego, may be missing entirely in some years (McGrath & Feenstra, 2005). April Searcher trips yielded about 25 per trip (Searcher, 2003-2007).
2007: 128 from Condor Express 21 Apr (eBird). 18 from Condor Express 21 Jul (Feenstra, 9 Aug 2007); 27 seen on 8 Sep 2007. The winter of 2007-2008 brought an influx to San Diego: scores counted from land Dec 2007 flying south past La Jolla Cove San Diego; 93 seen on 18 Dec 2007 (SDBirds).
2008: 175 on the 24th annual New Year's Day pelagic off San Diego (SDBirds). 850 were off Port San Luis 18 Jan. 175 were along the Nine-mile bank San Diego 19 Jan (SDBirds). 45 were off Oceanside 26 Jan. 67 off San Diego on Grande day trip 15 Mar. 30 off San Diego 25 Mar (Povey, SDBirds). 2 off San Diego from Grande10-11 May. 10 from Searcher2-5 Jun. 4 off San Diego 26 Jul and 3 in same area 23 Aug (Povey, SDBirds). 3 from Searcher 1-4 Sep. 1 was off Dana Point 20 Sep. 4 seen from Grande day trip 4-5 Oct. 3 from Grande day trip 22 Nov. 7 off Oceanside on CBC 27 Dec (Povey, SDBirds).
2009: 43 seen on 25th annual New Year's Day Pelagic off San Diego. 1200 were off Port San Luis San Luis Obispo24 Jan. 47 seen at Nine Mile Bank San Diego28 Jan. 250 off Oceanside 31 Jan. Four at La Jolla Cove San Diego 19 Feb (W. T. Hunefeld, pers obs). 1100 off Palos Verdes Los Angeles28 Feb, 2000 off Santa Barbara from Condor Express1 Mar. 40 off San Diego 5 Mar, 50 on 7 Mar and 240 on 8 Mar from Grande on San Diego Bird Festival. 242 off San Diego 20 Mar decreased to 6 in same area 4 Apr and 2 on 30 Apr. 175 in Channel Islands 16 May. 5 from Grande 29 May. 1 in Channel Islands 6 Jun. 1 at Nine Mile Bank 12 Jun. 1 from Grande 24-25 Aug. 2 from Grande 3 Oct. 16 from Condor Express 15 Nov. 2 off San Diego 23 Nov, one in the same area 3 Dec. 18 off Oceanside on CBC 26 Dec.
2010: 6 off San Diego on the 26th annual New Year's Day pelagic. 17 off San Diego 12 Jan. 18 off Oceanside 30 Jan. 67 on 3 day-trips 4-7 Mar on San Diego Bird Festival. 145 off San Diego & Baja 14 Mar. 33 on Nine Mile Bank Apr 8 (Dave Povey, SDBirds). 22 from Grande Apr 17. 33 from Condor Express May 1. 1 from Searcher May 29-31. 13 from Condor Express Jun 12. One at Nine Mile Bank Jul 18 (Dave Povey, SDBirds). One from Condor Express Jul 31. 1 from Grande Nine Mile Bank Sep 3. 2 from Grande Oct 2-4. One from Grande Oct 9. 2 from Grande Nov 13 Nine Mile Bank. One from La Jolla 22 Nov (Paul Lehman, SDBirds).
2011: 8 on the 26th annual San Diego New Year's Day pelagic. 65 at Nine Mile Bank and Coronado Canyon by Dave Povey 25 Jan. 26 from Grande at Nine Mile Bank and Coronado Canyon Jan 29. The San Diego Bird Festival had 4 day trips Mar 3-6 with a high count of 177 on Mar 6. 111 were seen between Santa Barbara and the Rodriguez Dome from the Condor Express on Apr 30. 4 were reported between the Nine Mile Bank and Thirty Mile Bank San Diego from Grande May 14.
Rhinoceros Auklets (c) W. Terry Hunefeld
Tufted Puffin Rare and irregular Jan – June.
2002: One immature May 2002 in the Channel Islands (McGrath & Feenstra, 2005).
2005: One at Point Piedras Blancas 28 Apr; one dead on Coronado beach 27 Apr; one near Santa Cruz Island 5 Jun (NAB, McCaskie & Garret).
2006: One 16 km off Refugio Santa Barbara 22 Apr (NAB, McCaskie & Garrett).
2010: One 17 km south of Santa Barbara Jul 5 (NAB, McCaskie & Garrett).
Horned Puffin Nests principally in Alaska and winters far out to sea (Unitt, 2004). An irregular and irruptive vagrant Jan – Jun (McGrath & Feenstra, 2005). Between April and June, 1975 and 1976, Horned Puffins numbered in the thousands near San Miguel Island (Hamilton et al, 2007).
2007: The first records in more than a decade came in en masse in 2007 when they were seen repeatedly throughout Southern California: one found dead on beach in Oxnard 22 May and Tijuana River mouth 3 May (NAB, McCaskie & Garrett). One 9 May near Cordell Bank and another 17 May between Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz Islands (pers comm L.Sheffield). 14 along the coast of San Luis Obispo and one at Vandenberg AFB 5 Jun, 2 in flight off Leo Carrillo State Beach 9 Jun, another in flight past San Vicente 30 Jun , and one alive at North Island Naval Air Station San Diego 31 Jul (McCaskie & Garrett, 2008).
2009: One photographed 16 May in the waters off San Miguel Island from Condor Express.
Horned Puffin 16 May 2009 (c) Todd McGrath
Horned Puffin 16 May 2009 (c) Dave Pereksta
Horned Puffin (c) Matt Sadowski
Horned Puffin (c) Matt Sadowski
Many sightings contain hyperlinks tied directly to detailed Trip Reports. More frequent sightings may not contain hyperlinks, but still have detailed trip reports with more documentation and locations; click on Trip Reports in the left column.
NAB, Erickson, et al: North American Birds - Baja Mexico reports, edited by Erickson, et al. Published quarterly by the American Birding Association.
NAB, McCaskie & Garrett: North American Birds - Southern California reports, edited by Guy McCaskie and Kimball Garrett. Published quarterly by the American Birding Association.
Status and distribution data (c) 2008 - 2011 W. Terry Hunefeld
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