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San Diego pelagic 10 Sep: 7 Nazca & Masked/Nazca Boobies, Craveri’s, Least and Townsend’s

4:56 am

The pelagic trip off San Diego on Sunday, 10 September, sponsored by Buena Vista Audubon Society and aboard “Legacy,” visited nearshore waters and out to the 9-Mile and 30-Mile Banks. Sea conditions ended up being appreciably better than had been forecast, with only mostly light winds and light to moderate swell. As has been the case the past few weeks, the largest concentration of birds (especially shearwaters) was inshore. Highlights certainly included the Nazca Booby show, with a total of FIVE adult and near-adult birds scattered between 6 miles offshore out to the 30-Mile Bank, as well as 2 much younger birds that are currently being left as Masked/Nazca Boobies but we’ll see if photo analysis and discussion in the near future can raise either bird to “full species rank.” In comparison, “only” 2 Brown Boobies were seen. We also had pairs of Craveri’s Murrelets, as well as brief or rather distant views of 1 white-rumped Townsend’s and several Least Storm-Petrels, plus better views of at least 8 “Chapman’s” Leach’s Storm-Petrels. Totals for the day once offshore were:
Whimbrel  3
Red-necked Phalarope  150
Pomarine Jaeger  7
Parasitic Jaeger  6
jaeger sp.  4
Craveri’s Murrelet  6  (w. SD Trough/30-Mile Bank)
Cassin’s Auklet  5
small alcid sp.  5
Sabine’s Gull  8
Heermann’s Gull  12
Western Gull  350
California Gull  2
Common Tern  115  (good count)
Royal Tern  1
Elegant Tern  55
Leach’s (Chapman’s) Storm-Petrel  8  (mostly 30-Mile Bank)
Townsend’s Storm-Petrel  1  (30-Mile Bank)
Black Storm-Petrel  115
Least Storm-Petrel  4  (30-Mile Bank and w. SD Trough)
Sooty Shearwater  40
Pink-footed Shearwater  400
Black-vented Shearwater  1100
[Manx Shearwater  1 (possible bird inshore on return, photos to be studied)]
Nazca Booby  5  (first bird 6 mi off Mission Bay, more out as far as 30-Mile Bank)
Masked/Nazca Booby  2
Brown Booby 2
Brandt’s Cormorant  55
Double-crested Cormorant  1
Brown Pelican  185
Guadalupe Fur Seal  1
The final trip of the season is 30 September; currently full, but worth being out on the waiting list. See sandiegopelagics.com. Next year’s schedule of trips will be worked out and posted by about January 2024.
–Paul Lehman, Dave Povey, Bruce Rideout, Alex Abela, Dan Jehl, Matt Sadowski, San Diego