Short-tailed Shearwaters Squid-eating Sea Lions San Diego Brown Booby 3 December 2009
By Terry Hunefeld
Dave Povey, Matt Sadowski, Peter Ginsburg and I departed Shelter Island in Daveís boat at 6:30 a.m. Thursday to see what we could see at sea. The weather was partly cloudy, hazy (6-8 miles visibility), light breeze ( 4-6kts ), 2-4 ft swell, air temps low 60's, sea surface temps 61-63.
The route took us from S.D. Bay (two Black Oystercatchers at Ballast Point, Common and Pacific Loon in the harbor) north along the Point Loma Kelp line (Pacific White-sided Dolphin) checking out mixed feeding flocks along the way. Water temp was 60 F, actually warming to 63 F as we made our way to deeper water as we headed westerly toward the "270" spot about 6 nautical miles off Mission Beach.
Just 5.7 n. miles offshore we encountered our first Northern Fulmars and Short-tailed Shearwater of the day. A bit further out we encountered more feeding flocks consisting of Black-vented Shearwaters, Common Dolphins, gulls (including Bonaparteís and a first winter Glaucous-winged). We counted 50-60 Fulmar during our trip.
We proceeded southwest toward the "178" spot on the Nine Mile Bank approx 12-13 n miles offshore where we saw dozens more Northern Fulmar a Pink-footed Shearwater. Right at the 178 spot an adult male Brown Booby came in to check out the gull flock.
We then meandered down the length of the Nine Mile Bank where a second Short-tailed Shearwater circled the boat several times and then sat down with the gull flock. We continued towards the Coronado Canyon where we crossed the border into Mexico and found lots of Cassinís Auklets and three more Brown Boobies over Coronado Canyon.
We took a direct route back to San Diego harbor where we found the clean-looking American Oystercatcher on the Zuniga Jetty.
The slide show features Mattís photos of the Short-tailed Shearwater and the California Sea Lion ripping into the Humboldt Squid, the Northern Fulmar, American Oystercatcher and adult male Brown Booby.
Our next two SoCal trips from San Diego are the annual New Yearís Day trip and our annual Jan 30, 2009 Whales, Marine Mammals and Seabirds trip from Helgrenís in Oceanside. Both trips are very reasonably priced. Dave saw his first migrating Gray Whale of the season on December 2. We expect to see whales, lots of marine mammals plus loons, jaegers, auklets, murrelets and shearwaters on both trips. Please join us.
Brown Booby 1 male U.S., 1 female Mex, 2 more distant in Mex
Brown Pelican 18 (75)
Brandt's Cormorant 50 (400)
Great blue Heron (5)
Snowy Egret (4)
Little Blue Heron (1) flying high over the bay
Black Oystercatcher (2) at Ballast Point
American Oystercatcher (1) on Zuinga jetty
Black-bellied Plover (4)on Zuniga jetty
Whimbrel (3)on Zuniga jetty
Black Turnstone (2)
Red Phalarope 3
Bonaparte's Gull 120
Herrmann's Gull 35, (80)
Ring-billed Gull (3)
California Gull 45
Western Gull 150, (60)
Glaucous-winged Gull 1
Royal Tern 1
Forsterís Tern 1, (2)
Xantusís Murrelet 4 (scrippsi)
Cassin's Auklet 250
Rhinoceros Auklet 1
Mammals, Fish & Cephalopods
Common Dolphin 5-6 pods, 350-400
Pacific White-sided Dolphin 2-3 pods, 15-20
Minke Whale 1
California Sealion 8, (50)
Harbor Seal 1
Mola mola 1-2
Humboldt Squid being eaten by a California Sea Lion
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