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Thursday Nov. 5, 2020 trip offshore

Three of us took a look offshore Thursday, which included the Nine and Thirty Mile Banks.. Very quiet overall.

Interesting were two juvenile Sabine's Gulls at  26.3 n. miles west of La Jolla. (32.783349 N and 117.783498 W). 

This area of the Thirty Mile Bank about as far west as one can go and stay in the county. ( Tom Blackman has posted photos on his facebook page ).

These Sabine's Gulls are somewhat late and perhaps hold overs in the mid weather conditions we've had this fall. Phil Unitt's San Diego County Bird Atlas 2002 shows two later dates 1 on  22 Nov. 1969 J. Dunn, and 1 on 6 Dec. 1999 G. McCaskie. I show one in my notes from 1 Nov. 2014. Most fall records are between mid July thru October.
The upper end of the Thirty Mile Bank had much of the life today. The birds there appeared to be chasing fast moving small bait fish pushed to the surface by tuna. The flock there included Pomarine Jaegers, Northern Fulmar, Pink-footed and Black-vented Shearwaters (many), Brown Boobies (2), and many gulls including both of the Sabine's Gulls, and a small number of Bonaparte's Gulls.
No storm-petrels today, not a surprise, this being close to their normal departure. No phalaropes was kind of a surprise.
List from the birds from the ocean;
Surf Scoter    21
Pomarine Jaeger    8
Cassin's Auklet     8
Sabine's Gull    2
Bonaparte's Gulls    10
Heermann's Gull   12  (several on the Thirty Mile Bank)
Western Gull  100
California Gull 15
Common Loon    5
Pacific Loon    1
loon sp.    25
Northern Fulmar    5    ( 4 gray, one white morph )
Pink-footed Shearwater     7
Black-vented Shearwater     350
Brown Booby   6
Brandt's Cormorant    9
Brown Pelican    22
As a side note; We checked the San Diego Bait receivers for the Red-footed Booby at both ends of the day with no success. For what it's worth, I did ask an employee on the dock if the booby had been seen that day. He replied he had not, but that "it came and went, and that they were down to just the one the other had left"  I ask if he had had two? He said yes, and that they had been feeding both of them. I asked if they were light brown coffee colored and he said yes. So maybe two Red-footed Boobies?  Might be worth checking photos if they exist? Not that far fetched considering the number of red-footed Boobies we'd seen this fall.
We did also check the old fuel dock (a roosting spot for cormorants), the security fence, Ballast Point ( a.m.), and Zuniga Jetty ( p.m.). 
We did have a few Black Turnstones, on Zuniga Jetty, with one on the bait dock and one on the security fence for about a  dozen. No other rocky shore birds seen.
Dave Povey

Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports