La Jolla Cove, Feb 25; and a Birdfest questions
I’ve been at the Cove for 3-4 hours every day for the past week, checking it out for my Bird Festival walks. Mostly trying to keep tabs on rocky shorebirds.
There have been plenty of birds feeding out 1-1/2 miles from shore, over the edge of the canyon as it heads south.
Today, the birds were much closer in. Still large numbers of gulls, terns, cormorants and pelicans.
But today there was a huge swarm of black-vented shearwaters feeding over the canyon edge. I estimated 5000.
Then at about 9:00, another 3-4 thousand came in from the south, inshore just over the kelp bed, making something like 8-9 thousand total.
At 7:45, a lone shearwater flying north inshore over the kelp bed was darker black than the black-venteds, with white saddles, almost pure white underwings and completely white body and undertail.
I find that Manx shearwaters at the Cove are usually separate from the flocks of black-venteds, though the only ones I count are those so close in that I can see all their field marks, so maybe there are some out there further away from shore.
At 8:10, a large flight of pelicans came out of the Cove only 50 yards offshore. In with them was a subadult red-footed booby. All dark underwings, pale body, some brown still on the head and neck, pink and blue bill.
Other birds included 3 parasitic and 2 pomarine jaegers, all 3 loon species.
Now, every year I ask if anyone has seen surfbirds in the past week before Birdfest.
I found 2 on the south jetty at Mission Beach, but they are way out on the jetty and don’t provide close enough looks for what I want to show the participants on my walk.
Has anyone been seeing them at other haunts: Oceanside jetty, beaches in Coronado, etc.?
Please respond off-list.
Stan Walens, San Diego
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports