Sunday 8th September 2013

   Her we go then, our first Pelagic of the holiday. This is what Mark has been waiting for. Big fog bank hanging over the sea this morning in Half Moon Bay, typical!!!! As we got farther out it cleared, but never really brightened up all day. Black seabirds on a grey sea, in grey light, not what you expect from California, the sunshine state!!!!!!!!!! Oh well crack on. Shearwater Pelagics are renowned worldwide as great pelagics, lets hope they are right?

Grey & Red-necked Phalaropes
   After travelling along the shoreline, not too far out, looking for Marbled Murrelets, which we didn't find, we went farther out. There were lots of mixed flocks of Grey and Red-necked Phalaropes, more than i had ever seen before. A Diver flew over, which turned out to be a Pacific Diver. Then someone picked up a Murrelet, after a while we managed to get fairly close, and the 'experts' decided it was a Scripp's Murrelet. A lifer! We also picked up a few Cassins Auklets, another lifer. Some Storm-petrels were now being seen and a Sabines Gull.
Pacific Diver
   Ashy & Wilsons Storm-petrels were being seen, mainly the former.
Then we found a Tufted Puffin, which was almost still in full breeding plumage, about half an hour later, we found one in winter plumage too.
  Just one thing that put us off, a bit anyway, was the lack of 'chumming'. So the birds never really stayed close to the boat. Will see if it improves on the next trip in a few days?

Scripp's Murrelet
Cassins Auklet
Ashy Storm-petrel

Tufted Puffin (Summer)

Tufted Puffin (Winter)

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