Friday, October 22, 2021

October 9th Pelagic -- 2 Albatrosses, 4 Shearwaters

 Our October 9 trip had to travel a long way, but we found some fishing vessels far offshore, and although we were not able to spend as much time as we would have liked, we were able to pick out some good birds in the clouds of seabirds. Finding fishing boats is almost always a solid strategy, especially when there is a processor in the area, as there was that day. We had close encounters with one of our favorite birds, BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS, and were fortunate enough to also see 1-2 LAYSAN ALBATROSS. While traveling out and back, and also around the fishing boats, we managed 4 species of shearwaters: SOOTY, SHORT-TAILED, PINK-FOOTED, and the elegant BULLER'S. We had definitive views of the members of the jaeger/skua complex: POMARINE and LONG-TAILED JAEGERS, and nice views of a SOUTH POLAR SKUA. Several people had views of a possible Parasitic Jaeger, but this was not definitive enough to make the official list. CASSIN'S AUKLETS were plentiful, and we had a number of RHINOCEROS AUKLETS. A few lucky birders even had a glimpse of a MARBLED MURRELET as we returned. Our long travel times meant we did not spend time nearshore looking for this species. Our only regret was that we could not spend enough time to carefully scan all the bird flocks near the fishing vessels, so a couple of our hoped for species did not materialize. The ocean conditions were decent (a few birders might disagree), and it was a good day on the ocean. 

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