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offshore San Diego: PARAKEET AUKLET

offshore San Diego: PARAKEET AUKLET
By {authorlink} – 3:11 pm

Several folks ventured offshore to the Nine-Mile Bank area off San Diego and La Jolla on the morning of 19 March and were rewarded with the first county record of a live Parakeet Auklet, some 12.5 miles WSW of the tip of Point Loma. The bird was swimming around the boat for almost a half hour, seemed healthy, and was well photographed. The only previous record of Parakeet Auklet in the county involved three beached specimens (one preserved) near La Jolla in January 1937. This also establishes a new southern-most record for the North American west coast.

Photos of the bird taken by Barbara Wise may be viewed at:

Otherwise, the trip recorded just standard pelagic fare: 14 Scripps’s Murrelets, 5 Cassin’s Auklets, 72 Rhinoceros Auklets, 2-3 Parasitic Jaegers, 4 Pink-footed and 1 Sooty Shearwaters, and only 5 Black-vented Shearwaters.

I hear rumor that a dead Parakeet Auklet was found recently in Marin County. These two birds combined with the 2 or 3 Tufted Puffins seen recently off San Diego and Los Angeles Counties may give hope that there will be additional “northern alcids” found during this spring.

–Paul Lehman et al., San Diego