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San Diego pelagic results, July 5th

On 5 July, 35 hopeful birders, with visions of Cook's Petrels dancing in their heads, departed San Diego Bay aboard "Grande" headed for the extreme southwest corner of San Diego County waters (actually known as "the Corner" for the abrupt change in direction of the international border there), which is about 30+ miles offshore. Seas were light. Winds were low. Temps were warm. And unfortunately we did not find any Cook's Petrels in either San Diego or Los Angeles County waters. Eight days earlier, when several of us were fortunate enough to tally over 30 Cook's, there were also tuna feeding in the area, but fisherman report that the tuna just a few days earlier moved another ca. 18nm to the SW to the "Butterfly Bank," which is much too far for us to reach in a one-day trip. But we plan on visiting "the Corner" on upcoming trips as well, as it seems to be a good area for rafting storm-petrels, and we hope the Cook's indeed appear there from time to time and can be found again in the not-to-distant future sometime between May-August. Bird numbers and diversity continue relatively low offshore off southern San Diego County. Total's for yesterday (offshore only, beyond 2 miles out) are:

Red-necked Phalarope: 9

Scripps's Murrelet: 3 (one adult with TWO almost fully grown young; getting late)

Cassin's Auklet: 16

small alcid sp.: 6

Heermann's Gull: 6

Western Gull: 84

Royal Tern: 1

Elegant Tern: 265

Least Tern: 3 (including one well offshore–over 30 miles out–in L. A. Co.)

Ashy Storm-Petrel: 14

Black Storm-Petrel: 185

storm-petrel sp. 4: (all smaller than Blacks, with POSSIBLE up to 3 Leach's and 1 Least, but all too distant and/or seen too briefly, and no photos are definitive)

Pink-footed Shearwater: 7

Sooty Shearwater: 10

Black-vented Shearwater: 33

Brown Booby: 11 (8 San Diego Co., 3 Los Angeles Co.)

Double-crested Cormorant: 1 (over 30+ mi offshore in L. A. Co.)

Great Blue Heron: 1 (landed on boat, 3 miles out)


Black Oystercatcher: 1 (flying south, just south of Point Loma)

–Paul Lehman, Dave Povey, and 33 additional pelagic souls, San Diego
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports