San Diego to Coronados Islands and the Nine-mile Bank
4 October 2008
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Saturday, October 4, 2008
By: Terry Hunefeld
The Buena Vista Audubon Society weekend pelagic double-header got underway at 6:30 a.m. with 60 participants, heading for the Nine-mile Bank and Coronados Islands.
Seas were gentle, skies overcast, temperature mild as we enjoyed a steady supply of seabirds. As usual, the Nine-mile Bank didn't disappoint; participants enjoyed CRAVERI’S MURRELET 3 species of shearwaters, Pomarine and Parasitic Jaegers, Common Terns, Sabine Gulls, Red Phalarope, Rhinoceros and Cassin's Auklets, 2 close pods of Risso's Dolphin, a pod of Bottlenose coming right up to the boat and at least 3 Blue Whales.
At the Coronados Islands we found more than ten Black Oystercatchers and two nearly pure (but not quite) American Oystercatchers, the black in their tails (visible only in photos) giving away their Black Oystercatcher genes. Participants enjoyed Wandering Tattlers, Pelagic Cormorants and 14 Brown Boobies, but the star of the islands show was an immature BLUE-FOOTED BOOBY on middle rock, perhaps the same bird that was photographed in San Diego waters in August.
Highlights of the return trip from the islands to Point Loma included a flock of thousands of Black-vented Shearwaters. We then entered a “murrelet zone,” seeing at least 2, perhaps 3 pairs of Craveri's; one pair being flushed from Mexican waters into US waters (leader Dave Pereksta was tracking the exact location on his GPS).
Buena Vista Audubon thanks our tireless leaders: Todd McGrath, Paul Lehman, Guy McCaskie, Matt Sadowski, Dave Povey, Dave Pereksta and Wes Fritz.
Pink-footed Shearwater 55 Sooty Shearwater 20 lack-vented Shearwater 2500 Brown Pelican 175 BROWN BOOBY 14 BLUE-FOOTED BOOBY 1 Brandt's Cormorant 466 Double-crested Cormorant 13 Pelagic Cormorant 3 Spotted Sandpiper 1 Wandering Tattler 4 Black Oystercatcher 11 American x Black Oystercatcher 3 Black-bellied Plover 6 Red Phalarope 11 Red-necked Phalarope 254 Pomarine Jaeger 4 Parasitic Jaeger 2 Jaeger sp. 2 Bonaparte's Gull 1 Sabine's Gull 5 Common Tern 13 Forster's Tern 4 Caspian Tern 2 Royal Tern 12 Elegant Tern 33 Cassin's Auklet 13 Rhinoceros Auklet 4 CRAVERI'S MURRELET 4
California Sea Lion 100+ Harbor Seal 10 Elephant Seal 2 Common Dolphin 400-500 Risso's Dolphin 20-25 Bottle-nosed Dolphin 10-15 Blue Whale 3-5 Mola mola (Ocean Sunfish) 4 California Flying Fish 1
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