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Rhinoceros Auklet record irruption! hybrid oystercatcher

Rhinoceros Auklet record irruption! hybrid oystercatcher
By – 12:19 pm
Several of us were seawatching today, 31 Dec, at La Jolla starting at dawn. Started out pretty calm and with several thousand Black-vented Shearwaters very, very, very close to shore. One Brown Booby. No alcids. But then at 9:45 all of a sudden flocks of southbound Rhinoceros Auklets started streaming by. Groups ranged in size of singles up to the low 20s. They passed by in substantial numbers for an hour, and then for another hour in much smaller numbers. By noon the count was at 453 Rhino Auklets, by far a high total for the county, by over 2x. Certainly have never seen anything like it off southern California. (And with all those Rhinos, just 2 Common Murres were mixed in.)Also at La Jolla today, the high count of 10 Black Oystercatchers continue, as does the hybrid American X Black Oystercatcher. Good photos obtained. This could well be the same bird that was present there briefly in spring and then again for a more extended period in summer. Looks largely the same, and the uppertail coverts may even be slightly darker than they were in summer…alas!–Paul Lehman, San Diego