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A further note on the short-tailed albatross

A further note on the short-tailed albatross
By – 11:13 am
All:First of all, I urge anyone who really wants a chance of seeing this bird to get on the chase trip tomorrow.But for those of you who cannot go, I want to add a little information.I saw this bird at around 11:00 a.m. on the Thursday Rancho Santa Fe CBC, off of Torrey Pines Preserve, where it flew in to the floating carcass of a dead whale, about 1/2 mile offshore. Other birds also were milling about and feeding on the carcass. At the time, the bill looked pale to me, but I attributed this to the effect of sunlight, at that point quite harsh; and although I saw no white in the bird’s face, the bird was too far out to see details of plumage. Like the observers on the January 1 pelagic trip, I simply said to myself “black-footed albatross.” Considering the season, and the fact that it would have been only the fifth black-footed albatross I had seen from land in 39 years and over 6,000 hours of seawatching from La Jolla, I should have been more circumspect in my identification.I mention this because the whale carcass was along the north rim of La Jolla [Underwater] Canyon, the underwater feature that runs from La Jolla southwest towards the Nine Mile Bank. Black-vented shearwaters and other tubenoses regularly move along the canyon rim between the two areas. [Of course, offshore is much better, wind-wise, for albatrosses, so the bird is more likely to be hanging around the Nine Mile Bank, but if that whale is still floating around La Jolla, it must be very tantalizing by now for birds that like putrescent food.]That means it is possible that the albatross may move back and forth between the open ocean and the whale carcass, and may be visible from land. So if you simply cannot go on the trip tomorrow, you might consider seawatching from land as a last resort. If you are at my bench on Pt. La Jolla, the carcass would be more or less in line with the Carlsbad power plant smokestacks [of course, it may have floated somewhere else in the past 5 days].Stan Walens, San DiegoJanuary 3, 2022; 11:00 a.m.