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Monthly Archives: June 2022

San Diego pelagic trip 12 June: MANX Shearwater, 17 Craveri’s, Blue Whales galore

San Diego pelagic trip 12 June: MANX Shearwater, 17 Craveri’s, Blue Whales galore

By – 5:03 am

The pelagic trip on 12 June from Mission Bay out to the Nine-Mile & 30-Mile Banks and “the Corner” aboard “Legacy” and sponsored by Buena Vista Audubon Society took place under wonderfully light seas and a nice full-day overcast. Overall bird numbers were OK, and we had a great Blue Whale show, including one mammal right next to the boat, exhaling loudly. Certainly the best bird of the day unfortunately escaped detection until it had flown and photos were checked: a MANX SHEARWATER in with a flock of 100 Sooties on the central Nine-Mile Bank. We also had a good total of 17 Craveri’s Murrelets, 10 Scripps’s Murrelets including fuzzy chicks, a very rare in summer Rhinoceros Auklet, a very rare in mid-June adult Sabine’s Gull, 2 Brown Boobies, 10 Northern Fulmars, 6 Ashy Storm-Petrels, and some good rafts of Black Storm-Petrels. Offshore totals for the day were:

Scripps’s Murrelet 10


murrelet sp. 4

Cassin’s Auklet 16

RHINOCEROS AUKLET 1 (inside Nine-Mile Bank)

SABINE’S GULL 1 (adult; 30-Mile Bank)

Heermann’s Gull 4

Western Gull 95

California Gull 1

Least Tern 5

Forster’s Tern 2 (unusual was one 5-1/2 miles off La Jolla; typically not pelagic)

Royal Tern 3

Elegant Tern 320

Common Loon 1 (basic plumage, Nine-Mile Bank)

Ashy Storm-Petrel 6

Black Storm-Petrel 750

NORTHERN FULMAR 10 (very good count for June)

Pink-footed Shearwater 22

Sooty Shearwater 280

MANX SHEARWATER 1 (Nine-Mile Bank; very rare in county and casual in summer; photo’d)

Black-vented Shearwater 100

Brown Booby 2

Brown Pelican 55

Double-crested Cormorant 1

Brandt’s Cormorant 10

The next pelagic trip out of San Diego on 16 July is now full. There is still space on the trips on 13 August, 11 September, 1 October, and 22 October.

–Paul Lehman, Dave Povey, Bruce Rideout, Dave Pereksta, Stan Walens

Injured Western Grebe beached at Imperial Beach

Injured Western Grebe beached at Imperial Beach
By – 10:45 am
I am at Imperial Beach and there is an injured Western Grebe stuck on the beach near the water. We saw it struggling in the water at edge of the sand and now it’s beached as the tide goes out. Might have a broken leg. Don’t know if there is anyone that can get out here and get it. Not a great spot. General, but not exact coordinates below. Latitude: 32.55982Longitude: -117.13115,-117.13115Lisa RubySabre SpringsSent from ProtonMail mobile– Lisa RubySabre Springs

Sunday, June 12th. pelagic weather and seas forecast.

Sunday, June 12th. pelagic weather and seas forecast.
By – 9:16 am
The Marine forecast for the ocean south of San Mateo Point and out to 30 nautical miles. “Sunday wind variable less than 10kts. in the morning, becoming 10kts. from the west in the afternoon. Wind wave 2ft. or less. mixed swell W 2 ft. at 10 seconds, and S 1-2 ft. at 14 seconds”. That’s about as nice as it can get. Not flat calm but very close. Paul Lehman just reported in from La Jolla Cove and those were the conditions he was seeing this morning. That will be very comfortable on an 80ft. boat., like the Legacy.We still have spots available in the morning, if you’ve been holding out for just the right conditions tomorrow maybe your day. You can book directly at or call 619 224-3383. or take your chances and show up in the morning at Seaforth Sportfishing Landing, in Mission Bay. We will take you!Who would think of a Cook’s Petrel at the Safari Park? We gotta go find what is out there?BTW the July 16th. trip is now fully booked and will start a waiting list.Dave

Re: more on the Safari Park (Escondido) COOK’S PETREL

Re: more on the Safari Park (Escondido) COOK’S PETREL

By – 8:24 pm
On Fri, 10 Jun 2022 22:40:43 +0000 (UTC), “lehman.paul@…” <lehman.paul@…> wrote:Photos will undoubtedly be posted elsewhere soon by the observers. Found the photos here:–Joseph Morlan, Pacifica, CA

more on the Safari Park (Escondido) COOK’S PETREL

more on the Safari Park (Escondido) COOK’S PETREL

By – 3:40 pm

The details as I understand them are that this bird was found at around 1:15 PM today (10 June) by Kris McMillan and Geoff Veith at the lower pond at the Safari Park near Escondido. The pond near where the Gliossy Ibis hung out last year and where a couple Neotropic Cormorants have been seen in recent years. They did not know what the bird was, so they sent a photo or two out for comment. Everyone commented that it appeared to be a Cook’s Petrel or similar species. It stayed around the pond for only a minute or two, and was actually seen dropping to the water and picking up what may have been some sort of food (although I doubt it was squid!!). The bird then flew off. Geoff and Kris departed very soon thereafter and then sent additional photos out. Some time later, Safari Park staff member Eric Lutomski (of Wood Stork fame) gave a look for the bird there and did NOT see it. He said staff would look again later this afternoon.

Photos will undoubtedly be posted elsewhere soon by the observers. The bird looks like a Cook’s Petrel. Similar species such as Pycroft’s and DeFilippi’s–neither of which have yet to be recorded in California–seem to be eliminated (as best we can tell) on the basis of bill shape and tail pattern. As for how the bird got way inland to Safari Park, there are two main options: 1) It got trapped in the Gulf of California and headed this way, directly or via the Salton Sea where there are two or three previous summer records, sort of the same route taken by some spring Brant, scoters, and loons; or 2) it was found stranded at almost any spot in San Diego County by a good samaritan who didn’t know where to take it so figured the Safari Park might be able to take care of it.

Other than the Salton Sea birds, the only other Cook’s Petrel I am aware of to have occurred inside the beach in CA is a bird found in a Santa Cruz driveway on 17 Nov 1983.

Hopefully this portends numbers of Cook’s offshore San Diego as well! So please come on the pelagic trip this coming Sunday, or in July (almost full) and August, and we’ll definitely try!

–Paul Lehman, San Diego

Apparent Cook’s Petrel at Safari Park

Apparent Cook’s Petrel at Safari Park
By – 2:06 pm
Geoff Veith and Kris McMillan found what appears to be a Cook’s Petrel at the Safari Park around 1:00 today. Several pictures were taken and shared. GPS: (33.0985897, -116.9992571)Just getting the word out … David TrisselSan Diego, CA

Craveri’s Murrelets are here, for the June 12, 2022 San Diego pelagic trip

Craveri’s Murrelets are here, for the June 12, 2022 San Diego pelagic trip

By – 12:36 pm
Recent search trips in the ocean off San Diego and Los Angeles have found that Craveri’s Murrelets are now present. June is our best chance to see and compare Scripps’s and Craveri’s Murrelet. These two similar species can be separated with decent looks, and it’s nice when they can be compared on the same day.Scripps’s Murrelets are about to disperse out of the local breeding grounds off to the northwest. Craveri’s Murrelets are doing the same thing, from the breeding grounds in Mexico, and disperse into our area. During the recent warm water years Craveri’s Murrelets have even pushed up beyond San Diego and they became a little tougher for us to locate on later season trips.The Buena Vista Audubon sponsored pelagic trip this Sunday, June 12, 2022, out of Mission Bay Should place us about right.The current weather and seas forecast looks quite good and should help us out in spotting these species. Of course we still expect the regular pelagic birds and hope a rarity or two. Can we say an early Cook’s Petrel.We will be aboard the 80ft. Legacy out of Seaforth Landing in Mission Bay. Spaces are available. Call 619 224-3383or go to  Please be at the landing, parked and checked in by 6:30 a.m.Trip details, and expected species can be checked out on have also heard that a few Blue Whales have been seen locally, and although not our focus we wouldn’t avoid them either.Dave if you are planning to be on the July 16th, 2022 Cook’s Petrel chase trip and have not signed up yet. I would not waste time, at last check this morning, there were only 4 spaces left.