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San Diego pelagic 30 Sep: Masked/Nazca Booby, 300 Least Storm-Petrels

5:32 am

The San Diego pelagic trip on 30 September aboard “Legacy” and sponsored by Buena Vista Audubon Society ventured out to the Nine-Mile and 30-Mile Banks. Weather was generally fine, despite some forecasts to the contrary, with fairly low swell, light chop, and dry skies. The slight chop, however, did make it difficult to spot alcids on the water, so all murrelets and auklets were seen only in flight. Highlights included a well-seen one-year-old Masked/Nazca Booby at the Nine-Mile Bank, a young age which is typically difficult to identify to species, but we’ll work on photos, just in case. Good numbers of storm-petrels on the 30-Mile Bank included approx. 300 Leasts, an Ashy, a briefly seen dark-rumped Townsend’s, and good numbers of Blacks. Totals for the day once offshore were:
Red-necked Phalarope  26
Red Phalarope  2
Pomarine Jaeger  5
Parasitic Jaeger  5
jaeger sp.  2
Craveri’s Murrelet  2
murrelet sp.  8
Cassin’s Auklet  8
Sabine’s Gull  3
Heermann’s Gull  11
Western Gull  250
California Gull  1
Common Tern  20
Forster’s Tern  1  (7-1/4 mi off Ocean Beach, farther offshore than usual)
Elegant Tern  20
Common Loon  1
Townsend’s Storm-Petrel  1  (dark rumped; 30-Mile)
Leach’s/Townsend’s Storm-Petrel  1  (white-rumped; 30-Mile)
Ashy Storm-Petrel  1  (30-Mile; scarce in fall)
Black Storm-Petrel  1400  (including several rafts)
Least Storm-Petrel  300  (30-Mile; good count)
Pink-footed Shearwater  35
Black-vented Shearwater  250
Masked/Nazca Booby  1  (upper Nine-Mile Bank; one-year old)
Brown Booby  2
Brown Pelican  90
Brandt’s Cormorant 9
Also:  Surfbird  26  (jetties)
This was the final BVAS San Diego pelagic trip of 2023. Look for our 2024 schedule by New Year’s or soon thereafter on sandiegopelagics.com
–Paul Lehman, Dave Povey, Bruce Rideout, Dan King, Matt Sadowski, Justyn Stahl, San Diego