(Port San Luis) Hartford pier at Avila Beach, Port San Luis found 30+ birders Saturday morning, 24 Jan 2009 at 0730 hours, eager to board a Patriot Sportfishing charter in search of Parakeet Auklets found the previous weekend.
Tubenose highlights included 23 Northern Fulmars, 7 Pink-footed Shearwaters,a total of 7 sooty/short-tailed shearwaters (all participants agreed on two Short-taileds and two Sooties with some conversation on the other three).A Flesh-footed Shearwater was very briefly but unmistakably seen by Todd McGrath. Wes Fritz and Terry Hunefeld far back in the wake with 3 Pink-footeds.
After motoring 50 km straight west through several spectacular clouds of Rhinoceros Auklets, we turned around and headed back empty-handed towards Point San Luis with a first-winter Glaucous Gull in tow. Black-legged Kittiwakes were plentiful and there were always a few Glaucous-winged Gulls in the wake.
About half way back to Port San Luis, those of us on the bow noted a clearly long-necked, round-headed auklet. We hollered at the captain to stop the boat and glided by where many on the stern got their first glimpse. We turned and were able to creep behind the bird for at least 5 minutes as related by Don Roberson on his website; the bird was a bit skittish, but as Don said “we wore it down” and everyone got good looks.
Following are sighting estimates as entered into eBird.These estimates were the interpolation of my recorded-in-the-moment sightings followed by input from Jon Dunn, Guy McCaskie, Lt Commander, USN (ret) Peter Arthur Ginsburg and Todd McGrath.Variance occurred mostly from whether one spent more time on the bow vs the stern. Don Roberson’s website has great photos and a wonderful “whack-a-mole” trip description of our adventures.
GLGUW -121.27°N 35.0695°40 km wsw of Point Buchon
PAAUW -121.112°N 35.0823°27 km wsw of Point Buchon
FFSHW -120.999°N 35.1087°20 km west of Point San Luis.
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