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Offshore Trip #413 2 Masked Boobies, little else

2:38 pm

Went out on the Hornblower today. No wind, no swells, but wind waves.

We headed 4.5 miles SW from the tip of Pt Loma, where we encountered 2 gray whales, which we followed at glacial speed for an hour.
While we were dawdling there, 2 Masked Boobies flew around the boat. 1 was a full adult and one was a subadult with almost fully-adult features; just a small brown patch on the lower back and a few dark feathers in the wing coverts, but otherwise near fully adult.
Later, we headed WNW for another 5 miles; surprisingly, about 8 miles off Pt Loma, we came upon the subadult Masked Booby sitting on the water.
[We never really got much north of the tip of Pt Loma.]
Otherwise, birds were for the most part fairly sparse, except for a few concentrations. At one point we traveled over 5 miles without seeing a single bird, not even a gull or cormorant.
A total of maybe 200 black-vented shearwaters and 1 sooty shearwater, mostly in 2 concentrated areas.
10 Cassin’s Auklets, 2 Scripps’ Murrelets.
3 brown boobies.
On the way back, about 2 miles off Pt Loma, there was a huge concentration of birds a half-mile away from the boat. I’d say there were several hundred Bonaparte’s Gulls in that flock along with a mass of Western and California Gulls, as well as most of the day’s black-venteds.
Stan Walens, San Diego
January 19, 2023; 2:18pm

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