As Dave Povey charted our course through the fog and mist we (Lea Squires, Matt Sadowski and me) attempted to find birds for the first two hours with visibility less than 375 meters. The fog lifted as we approached the 30 mile bank and we put out a slick. On the way a near shore Long-tailed Jaeger (10 miles off La Jolla) was sighted and one on the 30 mile bank. Lots of Jaegers, and in particular Parasitic Jaegers. When the Jaegers were not chasing the numerous Common Terns, they were picking off migrants. A Wilson's Warbler as well as a Brown-headed Cowbird dodged and weaved to avoid the snapping beaks of the Jaegers. Not so lucky were two MODO's those plucked bodies we found floating in the sea.
Storm-Petrels were numerous. Two Leach's Storm-Petrels were found close to shore. Just North of the 182 a giant raft of 700 Least Storm-Petrels with Black Storm-Petrels were observed and photographed.Least Storm-Petrels outnumbered the Black Storm-Petrels by 4:1. Also seen were several Ashy Storm-Petrels.
Another highlight was a bird spotted and photographed by Matt on the 30 mile bank. An American Coot swimming along. I am sure Matt will post the stunning images of the Coot lifting off in the open sea. I was overcome by awe and didn't lift my camera for the shot.
On our return to Mission Bay, we spotted flocks of Black-vented Shearwaters and Common Terns working bait that was forced to the surface by tuna. The Black-vents are back in great numbers.
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