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trending topics in last 20 posts.
Last 5 Posts:
· World Shorebirds Day, 6 September (Aug 30, 2014)
· Boobies galore, gannet. (Aug 30, 2014)
· Re: Monterey pelagic last Sunday (Aug 27, 2014)
· Help re-locate and release birds (Aug 29, 2014)
· Brian Sullivan - (eBird) message (Aug 28, 2014)
  1. World Shorebirds Day, 6 September LINK
    DATE: Aug 30, 2014 @ 3:48pm, 3 day(s) ago
    Dear Birdwatchers,
    You might have heard about the World Shorebirds Day to be held on 6 September, 2014 for the first time. One of the key programs of this special day is the Global Shorebird Counting, which is a public awareness initiative. I ask all bird enthusiasts in California to take part in the counting in any areas where shorebirds occur. Don't worry, if there are no huge number of shorebirds in your area. We don't ask money to help. We just ask to go out birding, what every birdwatcher love to do anyway.
    Please consider supporting this initiative and register your location on our website. By registering a location you can be a part of a draw to win a fantastic bird book package worth about 150.
    Registration of the location and more details about the Global Shorebird Counting Program can be found here:
    The map with more than 340 already registered locations can be viewed here:
    Thanks for your time and please help us to reach our goal of having a thousand locations registered by 6th of September 2014.
    Best wishes, Szimi
    Gyorgy Szimuly
    Coordinator of the Global Events of the World Shorebirds Day
    Milton Keynes, UK
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  3. Boobies galore, gannet. LINK
    DATE: Aug 30, 2014 @ 7:17pm, 3 day(s) ago
    Hi Birders,
    A very quick summary of our trip to the Farallon Islands today out of Half Moon Bay. The stars of the show were boobies. We started the day off with a young Brown Booby very close to shore off the Devil’s Slide. I think that chances are high that birders visiting the new Devil’s slide trail this weekend may have a chance of seeing one here, and do look on Devil’s slide rock and the cliff to the south, it may be roosting there. Heading to the island we saw a juvenile Brown Booby on three occasions, 3-12 miles or so from the first location. Given one situation where the bird headed off to the west and then minutes later we saw “it” again coming in from the east, we think that there may have been at least two juvenile Brown Boobies but we are not sure. At the island the Northern Gannet was there, as well as the Blue-footed Booby and a Brown Booby female. We enjoyed these guys as well as the many Tufted Puffins, mammals etc. After heading out to the deeper water offshore we sighted another female Brown Booby!! We were able to radio back to the island, we were about 6 miles away by then, and the booby was still on the island, so this was a new birds.
    Quick summary two booby species and a gannet all visible at the same time! We saw a minimum of three Brown Boobies, likely 4…and who knows it could have been more. Amazing!
    Alvaro Jaramillo
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  5. Re: Monterey pelagic last Sunday LINK
    DATE: Aug 27, 2014 @ 5:12pm, 6 day(s) ago
    whoops, next trip is Sept 7 half day, the Sept 5 is a full day trip on Alvaro's charter trip.
    sorry for the confusion
    John Sterling
    26 Palm Ave
    Woodland, CA 95695
    530 908-3836
    Monterey Seabirds
    (831) 375-4658
    Special Galapagos Birding Tour
    9-19 July 2015
    On Aug 26, 2014, at 8:58 PM, John Sterling <jsterling@...> wrote:
    > We had a nice day on the ocean on our Monterey Seabirds trip. A full boat full of happy birders including a few who saw their first albatross. We did not have a dead zone all day with shearwaters in sight the entire time....and albatross for 80% of the time. The bird highlight was a Manx Shearwater just off Pt. Pinos at the end of the day. But the main event was our capture and life-saving effort in freeing a female Northern Fur Seal that was wrapped tightly in a fishing tight that the net was cutting into her. We released her after cutting the net free and I swear that she did a happy dance once back in the water. It was a sublimely good moment for all of us on board.
    > We still have a few spots open for our Sept 5 (four hour trip) and our regular eight hour trips on Sept 21 and 28, Oct. 5 and 12. Hope to see you on our boat for some fun birding.
    > John Sterling
    > 26 Palm Ave
    > Woodland, CA 95695
    > 530 908-3836
    > jsterling@...
    > Monterey Seabirds
    > (831) 375-4658
    > Special Galapagos Birding Tour
    > 9-19 July 2015
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  7. Help re-locate and release birds LINK
    DATE: Aug 29, 2014 @ 11:10am, 4 day(s) ago
    I'd like to pass along a message from Ann Lynch, Director of South Bay Wildlife Rehab.
    She's aking for your help in re-locating rescued birds. Please see message below. Thanks.
    Lam-Son Vinh
    Huntington Beach, CA
    Hi, All
    As of today we have 129 raptors, between my house and the Ranch. Some of those are young and are learning to hunt ("mouse school") and won't be released until another month or two. Some may be recovering from injuries.
    Of those birds we have 8 Red-tailed Hawks, 11 Coopers Hawks, 8 American Kestrels, and 1 Prairie Falcon, old enough for release, waiting for rides out of the area. These birds are relocs from the airports we assist, Red-tailed Hawks need to go 200+ miles and the Prairie Falcon to a more specialized location. The rest could go 100 - 150 miles.
    We are running out of money for food. Our rodent bills are running over $1000 each WEEK!!!! And the birds keep coming. We desperately need people to relocate these birds. If you or any of your friends are traveling by car for a long distance PLEASE let us know ASAP.
    The boxes used for release are standard cardboard pet carriers, about 9" x 18" x 12" H and release is really easy and fun.
    At the moment we are concentrating on relocate birds from the airport so we are looking for people who are already going on a long driving trip. The reloc birds are those that USDA has trapped at one of six airports to keep our airplanes, and the birds, safe from collisions.
    Later we will be concentrating on releasing rehabilitated or orphaned birds, which are more local.
    We can add you to our email list if you like. That way you will hear about releases as the year progresses. Also, if you are going to drive a long distance and want to take some birds to release, please let us know, by email to Karin West at raptorqueen123@... AND to me, Ann Lynch at SBWildliferehab@..., about a week ahead. Karin is in charge of all release schedules. We usually have birds that need to be relocated.
    If you would like to contribute to the care of these birds you can donate on our website, We very much appreciate your support!
    Ann C Lynch, Director
    South Bay Wildlife Rehab
    26363 Silver Spur Rd.
    Rancho Palos Verdes
    California 90275
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  9. Brian Sullivan - (eBird) message LINK
    DATE: Aug 28, 2014 @ 11:51am, 5 day(s) ago
    We just got this message this morning from Brian and thought the CA. birding community might want to know about this.
    I've been off for the past few months dealing with a bad family health situation. Our 2 year old daughter was diagnosed with a very rare combination of cancer and a neurological disorder called Opsoclonus Myoclonus Syndrome in July. It's been rough. We set up this page to tell her story:Click here to support Ella Sullivan Fights OMS by Brian Sullivan
    Click here to support Ella Sullivan Fights OMS by Bri... In May 2014, in less than 48 hours our 2-year-old daughter suddenly lost the ability to walk. Three months, four hospitals, and several misdiagnoses...
    View on www.gof...
    Preview by Yahoo
    tom rusert & darren peterie
    sonoma, ca.
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  11. Bodega Bay Pelagic Trip: Sep. 1 LINK
    DATE: Aug 27, 2014 @ 12:33pm, 6 day(s) ago
    Hello, Birders,
    Just received an update this morning regarding offshore at the Cordell Bank and Bodega Canyon: Yesterday there was lots of marine life, including seabirds and Baird's Beaked Whales (They eat squid. As I said: Anything that eats squid is on the menu for this season!). Seas were greasy, glass-smooth.
    We still have some spaces available on the "Leader's Party" trip, September 1 departing from Port O' Bodega at 7 am. (Don't worry, we'll find seabirds while we have a good time).
    The leader line up for now: Steve Howell, Scott Terrill, Linda Terrill, Lisa Hug, Tim Miller, Al DeMartini, Gerry McChesney, Annie Schmidt, Russ Bradley, Debi Shearwater. That's TEN leaders!
    To make a reservation, email me: debi@....
    Party Seabirds Forever,
    Debi Shearwater
    Shearwater Journeys, Inc.
    PO Box 190
    Hollister, CA 95024
    Pacific Odyssey Voyages: April/May 2015
    Russian Far East Voyages: May/June 2016- with Debi
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  13. Monterey pelagic last Sunday LINK
    DATE: Aug 27, 2014 @ 8:58pm, 6 day(s) ago
    We had a nice day on the ocean on our Monterey Seabirds trip. A full boat full of happy birders including a few who saw their first albatross. We did not have a dead zone all day with shearwaters in sight the entire time....and albatross for 80% of the time. The bird highlight was a Manx Shearwater just off Pt. Pinos at the end of the day. But the main event was our capture and life-saving effort in freeing a female Northern Fur Seal that was wrapped tightly in a fishing tight that the net was cutting into her. We released her after cutting the net free and I swear that she did a happy dance once back in the water. It was a sublimely good moment for all of us on board.
    We still have a few spots open for our Sept 5 (four hour trip) and our regular eight hour trips on Sept 21 and 28, Oct. 5 and 12. Hope to see you on our boat for some fun birding.
    John Sterling
    26 Palm Ave
    Woodland, CA 95695
    530 908-3836
    Monterey Seabirds
    (831) 375-4658
    Special Galapagos Birding Tour
    9-19 July 2015
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  15. MASKED/NAZCA BOOBY-San Mateo County LINK
    DATE: Aug 26, 2014 @ 7:32pm, 7 day(s) ago
    Hi Calbirders,
    Forwarding a message regarding a Masked/Nazca Booby, see message below. Ron saw a juvenal-plumaged Masked/Nazca Booby pass by headed south from Moss Beach
    Leonie for Ron
    From: []
    On Behalf Of Ronald- Thorn Tronthorn@... [peninsula-birding]
    Sent: Monday, August 25, 2014 7:12 PM
    Subject: [pen-bird] MASKED/NAZCA BOOBY
    There was ( 8 ) mile visibility at Half Moon Bay early this morning. So, I was out the
    door to Moss Beach for a seawatch.
    Time ( 07:00-09:30 ) Sky high overcast Visibility clear out to near the horizon
    Wind south 7 knots
    At ( 07:50 ) I got on a booby coming in from the north. Passing straight out from
    where I was scoping it was a juvenal-plumaged MASKED/NAZCA BOOBY.
    What I observed I was able to eliminate Brown Booby and Blue-footed Booby.
    I noted the features of the Masked/Nazca Booby, but I could not get a good view
    if it had a white collar or was lacking one. I watched it flying south until it was out
    of sight.
    Other birds noted during the seawatch
    ( 3,000 ) Sooty Shearwaters were flying north. There were ( 52 ) Black-vented
    Shearwaters with most flying with the Sooty Shearwaters. There was
    ( 1 ) Pink-footed Shearwater. ( 3 ) Adult pale morph Parasitic Jaegers were
    trailing Elegant Terns south. Brandt's Cormorants flying north had a leucistic
    individual standing out among the group. The only shorebirds southbound were
    ( 78 ) Red-necked Phalaropes.
    Ron Thorn
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  17. Monterey Bay Birding Festival Pelagic Opportunities LINK
    DATE: Aug 25, 2014 @ 2:56pm, 8 day(s) ago
    Hello, Calbirders,
    Shearwater Journeys is proud to be the provider of pelagic trips for the Monterey Bay Birding Festival, September 25 - 28, headquartered in Watsonville. Kenn Kaufman will present the keynote talk on Saturday, September 27th at 7 p.m. Festival web site:
    Popular leaders, Scott & Linda Terrill will present a seabird workshop on Thursday, September 25 from 3:30 to 5 p.m.
    Pelagic birding opportunities for folks attending the festival include the trips listed below, including trips for folks arriving earlier than the festival dates. Trips are open to anyone whether attending the festival, or not. We have a great line up of leaders! Debi Shearwater will be co-leading on all trips. Book pelagic trips directly with Debi Shearwater; debi@....
    SEP. 19: BODEGA BAY: Steve Howell, Peter Pyle, Lisa Hug, Steve Tucker, Jennifer Green
    SEP. 21: HALF MOON BAY: Steve Hampton, Marisa Ortega-Welch, Will Brooks
    SEP. 24: HALF MOON BAY: Jon Dunn, Peter Pyle, Jim Holmes, Jim Danzenbaker, Jennifer Green
    SEP. 25: MONTEREY BAY: Jon Dunn, Jim Danzenbaker, Nick Levendosky
    SEP. 26: MONTEREY BAY: Kenn & Kimberly Kaufman, Scott & Linda Terrill
    SEP. 27: MONTEREY BAY: Scott & Linda Terrill, Jim Danzenbaker, Jennifer Green
    SEP. 28: MONTEREY BAY: Rick Fournier, Marissa Ortega-Welch, Courtenay Ray
    See our latest trip report with Beth Hamel's images, for the Shearwater Journeys's August 22 Monterey pelagic trip at:
    Highlights were many: a leucistic BLACK-VENTED SHEARWATER; great views of a SCRIPPS'S MURRELET; all three jaeger species, including a spectacular robbery of a fish from a SABINE'S GULL by a PARASITIC JAEGER; ocean sunfish sucking in by-the-wind-sailors; Risso's dolphin with a deformed dorsal fin, and more. It was quite a day!
    Our very next trip is this Monday, Labor Day, September 1 departing from Bodega Bay. And, storm-petrels are THERE! I've declared this trip a "Leader's Party" day! Go seabirding with your favorite leaders ? Steve Howell, Lisa Hug, Scott Terrill, Linda Terrill, Tim Miller, Russ Bradley, Annie Schmidt, Al DeMartini and yours truly, will all be on board. Read about our epic September 20, 2013 Bodega Bay trip with 17,325 storm-petrels:
    Let's party with the storm-petrels on September 1at Bodega Bay!
    See you out there!
    Debi Shearwater
    Shearwater Journeys, Inc.
    PO Box 190
    Hollister, CA 95024
    Birding Down Under: SubAntarctic Islands, November 9 - 25, 2014 with Debi (2 berths available)
    Pacific Odyssey: April 6 - 23 and April 23-7 May
    Russian Far East Voyages: May 27 - 8 June & June 9 - 20 with Debi
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  19. URLs for pictures of the 3rd-year masked/Nazca booby seen just south of San Diego LINK
    DATE: Aug 25, 2014 @ 8:40pm, 8 day(s) ago
    Forgot to include the url?s for the photos of the booby.
    Christopher Adler:
    Justin Bosler:
    Justyn Stahl: The bird was roughly at: 32.47486, -117.32561, which is 6.25 miles south of the border, or 13 miles SW of the end of Sea Coast Drive [the southwestmost part of mainland San Diego].
    Stan Walens
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  21. Fwd: [SanDiegoRegionBirding] Hornblower trips; some comments on recent booby sightings; Nazca i.d. LINK
    DATE: Aug 25, 2014 @ 6:02pm, 8 day(s) ago
    On August 17, a masked/Nazca-type booby was photographed 6 miles south of the U.S. border, in Mexican waters. It was a third-year/subadult bird, with a bill that was orange at the base but yellow for the distal half. Photographs are linked to in the bottom part of this message.There has been much offlist discussion of this bird, but we are looking for sulid experts who might have developed/discovered/studied any diagnostic characteristics for Nazca vs. masked booby in. See Sue Smith?s clarification to my post.
    The question: Can masked boobies be told from Nazca boobies at ages less than full adult? And what features can be used to separate either from masked/Nazca hybrids in subadult stages?
    Sue and my email addresses are embedded in the email headings. Thanks in advance for your help.
    Stan Walens
    San DiegoBegin forwarded message:
    From: Susan Smith <seiurus ataoldotcom>
    Subject: Re: [SanDiegoRegionBirding] Hornblower trips; some comments on recent booby sightings; Nazca i.d.
    Date: August 24, 2014 at 5:45:03 PM PDT
    To: stan.walens atgmaildotcom,
    To Stan and SDRBirders,
    To perhaps clarify a bit more about the Nazca or Nazca-Masked Booby thing, I'll try to paraphrase some recent comments I got from by Bob Pitman (NOAA,Southwest Fisheries Science Center, La Jolla), who wrote the original paper with Jehl on separating out these two species. What Bob said was that he could only rule out a "pure" Masked Booby based on the photographs, but he could not rule out a Nazca- Masked Booby hybrid based on his experience. He hadn't worked on the large Nazca colonies much (only those colonies where both species overlap, e.g Clipperton) to have had enough experience with the 3rd year plumage of Nazca Boobies to tell definitively whether last Sunday's bird was a pure Nazca rather than a hybrid. So its still possible it could be a third year Nazca. He also added that sub-adults tend to be rare on the breeding colonies, where most people study these birds, so maybe we will never know unless this same bird is seen and photographed again next year (at presumed full adulthood). Nonetheless, he suggested that someone might want to contact people working with the Nazcas on the Galapagos. They may have more experience with this particular plumage, and might have some useful photos. Or maybe they could comment on Christopher's photos. I looked up some Nazca Booby research and there is a Dr. David Anderson of Wake Forest University, N.C. (behavioral studies on Nazcas at Galapagos)who might have some comments on this. Some of you out there who are more familiar with the sulid literature and may know of researchers at the Galapagos who might also be of help.
    Happy Sulid-ing...Sue
    Susan SmithSeiurus Biological Consulting
    Del Mar, CA
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  23. Possible Stilt Sandpiper at Moss Landing LINK
    DATE: Aug 24, 2014 @ 9:30pm, 9 day(s) ago
    Late this afternoon I birded along the road into Moss Landing State Beach. About a hundred yards in from highway 1 I saw what I believe to be a winter-plumage Stilt Sandpiper. I say "believe" because I have no previous experience with this species, and am far from an expert on unusual sandpipers. Still, after observing it for about 90 minutes (some of that with help from two other birders who also shared my sandpiper limitations), that's the only verdict I could reach. Here's what I can tell you:
    Size: the bird was together with Least Sandpipers, Semipalmated Plovers, Dowitchers, and Black-bellied Plovers. It was markedly bigger than the first two of those, and smaller than the second two. As such, it seemed about perfectly sized for Stilt Sandpiper
    Behavior: the bird spent most of its time in shallow water, probing the mud with a very rapid and irregular rhythm. Its posture was tilted quite far forward much of the time while feeding. It was not easily spooked, even when many of the other birds around it flushed. Because of that, I never got to see it in flight.
    Field marks: the bird had pale gray upperparts, a strong white supercilium with a somewhat dark eyestripe, slightly drooping bill, long greenish legs, and light streaking on breast and neck. The belly and undertail coverts were white. It appeared to have a white rump visible between the folded wings. It raised its wings for a brief moment a few times, and I saw white underwings surrounded by gray. It was difficult to tell if the wing tips extended beyond the tail, though we finally decided that they did very slightly. Since it didn't fly, I can't say anything about those marks.
    The other birders took a few photographs, and I asked them to email them to me. If they do so, I'll post a photo.
    Kevin Enns-Rempel
    Fresno, CA
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  25. Results of Island Packers pelagic trip, August 21 LINK
    DATE: Aug 22, 2014 @ 9:28am, 11 day(s) ago
    Hello All:
    The Islander spent from 8AM to 6:45PM in Ventura and Santa Barbara County waters yesterday. Our basic route involved heading out from the Ventura harbor to East Anacapa, then southeast over the Pilgrim Banks to Santa Barbara Island (SBI). After dropping off campers there, we circled the island (which included good coverage of the vertical cliff faces at Sutil Island off the SW corner of SBI), and then headed south to Osborn Bank. Our return trip skirted the eastern edge of the Santa Cruz Basin towards the "footprint" and through the Anacapa Passage. Overall, weather and sea conditions were excellent, and we had good, extended views of most species encountered.
    Highlights were 3 pairs of CRAVERI'S MURRELETS, a RED-BILLED TROPICBIRD, and a total of 11 BROWN BOOBIES. One subadult Brown was seen perched with cormorants on East Anacapa Island at the "traditional" booby roost there, and the remaining 10 were seen at Sutil Island. The Sutil bunch included one adult (or near-adult), with up to 7 individuals perched together on the same cliff face.
    Just outside the harbor, we spent time sorting through a very large raft of Black-vented Shearwaters, totaling at least 7,500 birds. Other mentionables were steady groups of Red-necked Phalaropes seen throughout the day and a single, heavily worn Northern Fulmar. Storm-petrels were in short supply (only a couple of Blacks seen), and we observed only 3-4 Sooty Shearwaters.
    Thanks to Joel Barrett and Island Packers for organizing and making this trip happen, Captain Lee, all the participants, and to co-leaders Joel Barrett, Wes Fritz, Matt Victoria and Greg Smith.
    Peter Gaede
    Santa Barbara
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    DATE: Aug 21, 2014 @ 8:28pm, 12 day(s) ago
    Howdy, CalBirders,
    Highlights of Shearwater Journeys's most recent three pelagic trips are as follows:
    August 15, Monterey (all birds for Monterey County): a massive feeding flock of SOOTY and BLACK-VENTED (450) SHEARWATERS along with as many as 30 Humpback Whales just outside of the harbor; offshore we found SOUTH POLAR SKUA and the first juvenile SABINE'S GULLS of the season, and one CRAVERI'S MURRELET. Marine mammals were terrific, ending the day with breaching Humpbacks. Full report:
    August 16, Half Moon Bay was an incredibly amazing day at sea. Highlights: continuing good numbers of (129) BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSSES; continuing BLACK-VENTED SHEARWATERS, more BULLER'S SHEARWATERS (first found on our 26 July trip); WILSON'S (12), ASHY (13) and BLACK (450) STORM-PETRELS near the 100 fathom edge (I have not found numbers of storm-petrels in such shallow water since the late 1970's to early 1980's); SOUTH POLAR SKUAS; SCRIPPS'S MURRELETS (2); and TUFTED PUFFINS (2).
    Marine mammals that favor more tropical areas were a surprise on this trip. This included 250 LONG-BEAKED COMMON DOLPHINS, one "presumed" offshore BOTTLENOSE DOLPHIN and one DWARF/PYGMY SPERM WHALE. During the 39 years I've been doing pelagic trips, I've only seen Dwarf/Pygmy Sperm Whale once. (I have seen them on long range voyages in both the Atlantic and Pacific, though). I had views of this unique and little known cetacean five times on August 16th. Scott Terrill also saw this animal, but we were the only two on the trip who saw it. We prefer to identify it as Kogia, only, for want of a better view.
    A ten foot SALMON SHARK that swam around our vessel for about 10 minutes gave everyone great views however. The full trip report with images:
    The central coast of California is teaming with food. We have, in abundance, anchovies, sardines, squid and juvenile rockfish, along with loads of zooplankton (see my report). Squid is of particular interest. The salmon shark and dwarf/pygmy sperm whale, as well as Risso's dolphins and albatrosses are feeding on the squid. I am loathe to make "predictions" because they are so often off the mark, but I think it is safe to say that just about anything that feeds on squid could turn up. That includes the nocturnal feeding Swallow-tailed gull.
    Our next trips from Monterey are August 22 with Scott Terrill, Rick Fournier, Jennifer Green and I co-leading, and from Half Moon Bay on August 23 with Scott Terrill, Linda Terrill, Steve Tucker, Will Brooks and I co-leading. Most (all) of Monterey Bay and Half Moon Bay are welling in warm water at 61 to 63 F. It is like one big bathtub out there. The "edge" is 70 miles off Half Moon Bay at this time. These things will, of course, change over the next several weeks. It seems likely to me that a lot of the birdlife is out at the edge, including most of the jaegers, Buller's shearwaters and Arctic and Common Terns.
    Departing from Bodega Bay, we have trips on September 1 with Steve Howell, Lisa Hug, Tim Miller, Al DeMartini and I co-leading and on September 19 with Peter Pyle, Steve Howell, Lisa Hug, Steve Tucker, Jennifer Green and I co-leading. The only 50-some degree water is out at Bodega Canyon. If this holds up and the area is not infiltrated by warm water, it could be a very interesting place for seabirds.
    And, loads more trips from Monterey and Half Moon Bay throughout September and October. See our full schedule at:
    Squid Schools Forever,
    Debi Shearwater
    Shearwater Journeys, Inc.
    PO Box 190
    Hollister, CA 95024
    Birding Down Under: SubAntarctic Islands, November 9 - 25, 2014 with Debi- SOLD OUT
    Russian Far East Voyages: May/June 2016 with Debi- discounted cabins available now
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  29. Sept 14th - Optics & Nature Festival + LINK
    DATE: Aug 18, 2014 @ 12:12pm, 15 day(s) ago
    Sonoma Birding will host another festive day long event featuring most of the major binoculars and scopes companies in the USA along with extraordinary nature organizations and distinguished nature artists and authors from Northern California. Free family event and free parking at the beautiful Cornerstone Gardens, 23570 Arnold Drive, Sonoma 95476. (info -707-939-8007)
    Visit - for fall lecture information. On Sept 10th Amaroq Weiss - with Return of the Wolf (Center for Biological Diversity) and on 10/8 - Sundance Director, Judy Irving discussing her new documentary on pelican. The movie "Pelican Dreams" will premiere in the North Bay on Oct. 31st at the Sebastini Theatre in Sonoma.
    tom rusert & darren peterie
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  31. Heermann's Gull update LINK
    DATE: Aug 15, 2014 @ 1:42pm, 18 day(s) ago
    Hi folks
    Essentially there are no juvenile Heermann’s Gulls being seen on the West Coast. Today I saw my first juvenile in Half Moon Bay after diligent looking at hundreds on most days. There were 860 Heermann’s on the beach here today, which is a large number for our county, and the one juvenile. Birds from last year, the uniform chocolate-brown birds, comprised about 20% of the flock to give an idea of how few juveniles there are. Uniform chocolate-brown birds molting primary feathers are young from last year. Juveniles should look scaly (pale fringed) on the coverts, paler brown, than the older birds. BJ Stacey sent me the only photo I have seen of a juvenile this year from Sinaloa, Mex: Guy McCaskie reports that he has not seen any Juvenile Yellow-footed Gulls either this year (that was over a week ago, things may have changed). Based on Half Moon Bay numbers, which may not be representative, right now juvenile Heermann’s are about 1 in a thousand! That is looooowwww. There is a chance that the few that are out there have not pushed north yet, and we will get an influx. But the overall pattern shows how bad the breeding season for seabirds was in Baja this year!! Elegant Terns fared better as it appears that a sizeable portion flew Baja, and re-nested in San Diego later than usual, where conditions were better.
    BTW, Michael Force doing a research cruise had a couple of Juan Fernandez Petrels 265 miles WSW of Pigeon Point, San Mateo County. As the petrel flies, that is only a couple of hours flying to get to California waters!!
    Good birding
    Alvaro Jaramillo
  32. -back to top-
  33. Pelagic Seabirding Trip News LINK
    DATE: Aug 15, 2014 @ 8:44pm, 18 day(s) ago
    Howdy, Calbirders,
    Shearwater Journeys has just completed the first six of thirty three pelagic seabirding trips this season. Highlights have been many, including: HAWAIIAN PETREL; SALVIN'S ALBATROSS; LAYSAN ALBATROSS; SCRIPPS'S and CRAVERI'S MURRELETS; first BLACK-VENTED, BULLER'S and FLESH-FOOTED SHEARWATERS; first ASHY and BLACK STORM-PETRELS; a single LEACH'S STORM-PETREL; first SABINE'S GULLS; NORTHERN GANNET and BROWN BOOBY and TUFTED PUFFINS.
    This week, I posted quite a lot of new images on the blog:
    Bryan Hix's images:
    Images by Scott Terrill:
    Images by Todd McGrath:
    To read Three Pelagic Birding Trips: 33 Species of Seabirds:
    For a recap of the season to date: Loving Seabirds: A Snapshot in Time:
    Shearwater Journeys is a well established, internationally renown company with nearly four decades of offering pelagic seabirding trips from ports that span the entire length of California, from Eureka to San Diego. Currently, we offer trips departing from Monterey Bay, Half Moon Bay, and Bodega Bay. We've indoctrinated many, many boat captains to the world of seabirds and marine mammals, beginning in 1976 when such a thing as birders going out on boat trips was foreign to them. More than 65,000 folks have joined our trips over these many long years.
    Without a doubt the backbone of our trips is the leaders on board who are rejoice in seabirds, over and over again. How else could one explain Scott Terrill's presence on boat trips since the 1960's?
    Our leaders include: Peter Pyle, Steve Howell, Jon Dunn, Steve Rottenborn, Scott Terrill, Linda Terrill, Todd McGrath, Dave Pereksta, Sophie Webb, Brian Sullivan, Abe Borker, Lisa Hug, Steve Hampton, Tim Miller, Steve Tucker, Jim Holmes, Clay Kempf, Rick Fournier, Jennifer Green, Nick Levendosky, Dena Spatz, Jim Danzenbaker, Tom Johnson, John Garrett, Marisa Ortega-Welch, Courtenay Ray, Al De Martini, Gerry McChesney, Adam Searcy, Mary Gustafson, and other guest leaders and chummers.
    As one person exclaimed, "This list reads like 'Who's Who in Birding." To read more about our leaders and see their biographies:
    To date, though the most popular post (I guess because these people look so darn happy) has been: Dads Take Their Chicks to Sea:
    With 27 trips still to go, we have a lot on offer this season. You can see our entire program here:
    Monterey Bay is the classic seabirding location, great for beginners, but still able to turn up a rarity (I spotted a Hawaiian Petrel on August 2, 2013. So, the rare birds are still cranking out of Monterey. Half Moon Bay has had its share of rarities, too. It is easy to reach for folks who live in the Bay Area. And, no port in the entire USA has cranked out more rare and mega-rare seabirds than Bodega Bay (Trips onvSeptember 1, Labor Day and September 19).
    I hope you'll be on board when we call out, "Skuaaaaaa!" Once we saw so many South Polar Skuas, that I got the entire boat to call out, "Skuaaaa" as each and every one flew in to the wake! Such is life at sea!
    Shearwaters Forever,
    Debi Shearwater
    Shearwater Journeys, Inc.
    PO Box 190
    Hollister, CA 95024
    Birding Down Under: SubAntarctic Islands, November 9 - 25, 2014 with Debi, SOLD OUT
    Russian Far East Voyages: May/June 2016 with Debi, berths available
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  35. Monterey Seabirds LINK
    DATE: Aug 13, 2014 @ 1:16pm, 20 day(s) ago
    Just a follow up to my earlier announcement about pelagic trips with Monterey Seabirds for this fall. Our August 24th trip is fully booked, but we do have spaces on our September 7 (half day), 21, 28, October 5 and 12th, and November 7 (half day) trips.
    As usual, we have great leaders including the incomparable Todd Easterla, and the best boat captain of all, Richard Ternullo--a trained biologist and seasoned captain for many decades. We are the friendliest boat in the Monterey area, no stress, no yelling, no problems.
    As others have mentioned, this is already a very interesting fall for pelagic seabirds and is the best opportunity to see Craveri's Murrelets in many, many years off Monterey. With Alvaro's recent sighting of the Salvin's Albatross off San Mateo, who knows what else is out there.
    We at Monterey Seabirds are proud to partner with Alvaro Jaramillo's "Alvaro's Adventures", and there is an opportunity to go on our boat on his chartered trip and our regular trip on back-to-back days--Oct 11 & 12. The more time you spend on the water, the more likely you'll be on the boat when a mega rarity shows up. Also everyday on the water is different!
    Reservations are required. Reservations can be made using our online reservation form or by calling (831) 375-4658 with a credit card number to hold your spot. Go to Whale Watch Trip Information Page for further details (trip preparation, directions, etc.). For the Seabird trips we have a 2-week cancellation policy.
    26 Palm AveWoodland, CA 95695530
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  37. Masked Booby-San Mateo County LINK
    DATE: Aug 12, 2014 @ 7:12am, 22 day(s) ago
    Ron just called he is in Moss Beach doing a seawatch at 7am he saw an adult MASKED BOOBY flying north. Details to follow later.
    The messenger from home,
    Leonie Batkin for Ron Thorn
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  39. Ventura Pelagic Breakdown LINK
    DATE: Aug 11, 2014 @ 10:13pm, 22 day(s) ago
    Island Packers Pelagic Birding Trip, Thursday August 21st
    Departs: Ventura Harbor 8 am (check in from 7-7:30am)
    Returns: 5-6 pm
    Price $125
    Bring your own food, or select from our Galley snacks, beverages, and some microwave ready foods.
    Contact: Island Packers @
    or call us (805) 642-1393 to book your trip or to answer any of your questions.
    Sorry for the lack of price detail on the original post!
    Joel Barrett
    Oxnard, Ca
    Island Packers
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  41. Island Packers, August 21st Pelagic trip LINK
    DATE: Aug 12, 2014 @ 9:45pm, 21 day(s) ago
    Hello Birders.
    I wanted to let everyone out there know about a special
    Pelagic Birding trip coming up on Thursday August 21st. The trip
    will run out of Ventura Harbor, departing at 8 am and returning to the Dock at approximately
    5-6 pm. We have some spaces available still, and we at Island Packers didn?t
    want anyone to miss out on this trip for lack of knowledge of the event. Our
    trip is priced lower than many other pelagic trips for distance covered and
    time at sea, due to the fact that it is partially subsidized by a small group
    of hearty campers. The campers are being transported to Santa Barbara Island 55
    miles away from the Harbor and 38 miles from the nearest point on the mainland.
    This will be aboard our high-speed power
    catamaran which usually reaches this destination in 2.5 hrs. We will, however,
    be on the lookout for great birds that are notorious along this route,
    including rafts of Ashy and Black Storm-petrels. This gives us the added bonus
    of looking for rare birds that are sometimes found out on the Channel Islands.
    Around the Island we will search for birds such as American Oystercatcher,
    Brown Boobies, Blue-footed Boobies and perhaps the rarer Masked, or Red-footed
    The disembarkation process for the campers generally takes
    30-60 minutes and then the rest of the trip is pure Pelagic Birding bliss. We
    will work with the weather (which is typically great late summer/fall) and try
    to tease out the best off shore areas to find those coveted birds. We have a
    lot to work with, deep basins, underwater ridges, and hotspots that seem to
    always hold some activity. The benefit of booking this trip is that Island
    Packers and the Crew have experience running these types of trips, and along
    with our hand selected leaders, we will be searching the horizons non-stop,
    even when you are tired and have gone into the galley to get refreshments and
    some lunch.
    The vessel you will be riding on is a 64 foot, high-speed
    Catamaran. We generally cruise at 18-20 knots, but always slow for interesting
    groups of birds, whales, and whatever else is out there, or take some time to
    let out some chum and popcorn to bring the birds into us! We are licensed to
    carry over 150 passengers but we have limited this trip to a fraction of our
    capacity to allow for a comfortable ride with plenty of space for everyone
    either on the upper deck or on the main deck from the bow to the stern. A
    select group of handpicked leaders will be aboard to help find and identify
    those tricky pelagic birds, and help train your eye on the ones you don?t see.
    The other benefit of traveling with us is that we are literally
    out on the ocean every day and know what is currently being seen through the
    area and if interesting trends are occurring. Here is a rundown of some of the
    birds we have seen just this summer:
    Ashy Storm petrel
    South Polar
    Brown Booby
    Common Murre
    Three types
    of Cormorant
    Heermann?s, and California Gulls
    Royal, Elegant, Black, Common, and Caspian Tern
    We will be
    searching for all of these and MORE on this trip?
    Hope to see you aboard,
    Joel Barrett
    Oxnard, Ca
    Book your
    Or call us
    at (805) 642-1393
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  43. Fwd: [MBB] CA Condor-Citizen science project LINK
    DATE: Aug 12, 2014 @ 9:41pm, 21 day(s) ago
    Sophie Webb asked me to forward this for her.
    26 Palm AveWoodland, CA 95695530
    Begin forwarded message:
    From: Sophie Webb <sophie@...>
    Subject: [MBB] CA Condor-Citizen science project
    Date: August 11, 2014 at 7:15:36 PM PDT
    To: Monterey Bay Birds <mbb@...>
    Hi All,
    A friend of mine, Myra Finkelstein, who works on CA Condors, (she's a toxicologist), asked me to post the following citizen science project that some folks might want to participate in.
    Here's the press release:
    And here's more information:
    If you have further questions you can contact Myra directly:
    Myra Finkelstein <myraf@...>
    ??????????Sophie Webbwww.sophiewebb.comSophie@...
    _______________________________________________mbb mailing listmbb@...
  44. -back to top-
  45. Re: [CALBIRDS] Withdrawing Immature Heermann's Gull Post LINK
    DATE: Aug 8, 2014 @ 1:54pm, 25 day(s) ago
    In that case, does this furthet reinforce Álvaro's hypothesis of breeding failure caused by warm El Niño waters???TomThomas Geza MikoClaremont, Los Angeles CountyCell: 909.241.3300 "Don't confuse age with rust, Mister Palmer." - Doctor MallardConnected by DROID on Verizon Wireless
    -----Original message-----From: "orcorba@... [CALBIRDS]" <>To: CALBIRDS@yahoogroups.comSent: Fri, Aug 8, 2014 17:47:27 GMT+00:00Subject: [CALBIRDS] Withdrawing Immature Heermann's Gull Post
    Kimball Garrett has looked at my sequence of photos of this morning's Gull flock, and indicated that none of the brownish birds were hatch-year birds. Thus I'm withdrawing that earlier post.ThanksJoel WeintraubDana Point, CA
  46. -back to top-
  47. Withdrawing Immature Heermann's Gull Post LINK
    DATE: Aug 8, 2014 @ 10:47am, 25 day(s) ago
    Kimball Garrett has looked at my sequence of photos of this morning's Gull flock, and indicated that none of the brownish birds were hatch-year birds. Thus I'm withdrawing that earlier post.ThanksJoel WeintraubDana Point, CA
  48. -back to top-
  49. Immature Heermann's Gulls LINK
    DATE: Aug 8, 2014 @ 9:56am, 25 day(s) ago
    Alvaro posted a while ago that he was seeing at that time only adult Heermann's Gulls in northern California and requested information on flocks in southern California. There is usually a small flock of this species along Strand and Salt Creek Beaches in Dana Point, Orange County, CA. This morning at Strand Beach, in a flock of about 75 Heermann's Gulls, 7 chocolate brown immatures were counted. I don't think this ratio is unusual, but I've not been recording that information in the past.Joel WeintraubDana Point, CA
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-revision history-
v1.23 - 12/08/11 - Added direct link to CBRC records.
v1.22 - 12/03/11 - Corrected GMT offsets on dates. Added last 5 posts at top.
v1.21 - 11/24/11 - Added direct link to range map for NA birds.
v1.2  - 11/23/11 - Greatly improved graphing technology - separates month vs. year by posts. Added species auto-complete functionality.
v1.14 - 11/22/11 - Added cloud bubble for common thread topics.
v1.13 - 11/22/11 - Added integrated photos where available.
v1.12 - 11/22/11 - Added multiple input boxes for additional refinement, negative search criteria (eg. -keyword).
v1.11 - 11/22/11 - Added banding code, species look-up. Also direct link to recent eBird observations.
 v1.1 - 11/22/11 - Added 'date' functionality. Shows top 'month/year' combinations for a query. Restrict results to that 'month/year'.
 v1.0 - 11/21/11 - Initial version coded. Currently archiving 'lacobirds' and 'calbirds'. 

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