Thursday, October 11, 2012

Fall Seabirds

Pink-footed Shearwater, or most likely Pink-footed Air-Dolphin. The bump on its forehead is a clear and obvious sign of its dolphin ancestry.

Within the last month I've made it onto a couple pelagic trips, trying to reconnect with my ocean-loving winged brethren. Here are a few shots from a trip with Alvaro's Adventures out of Monterey, CA. Shearwater numbers were low that day and storm-petrels practically nonexistent, but jaegers and skuas kept things entertaining, as well as a smattering of albatross. A much better trip than the previous boat out of San Diego...which I can blame the birds for, not the birders. Today's pictures feature some of the tubenoses that we crossed paths with out in open water.

Also on the boat were Jake and Christian of Camera Trapping Campus, a great blog based on (you guessed it) camera trapping in California, as well as giving nods to reptiles, amphibians and birds. Check it out! 

Pink-footed Shearwater.

Pink-footed Shearwater.


Buller's Shearwater, a very popular seabird around these parts.


Sooty Shearwater.


Sooty Shearwater.


Black-footed Albatross.


Black-footed Albatross. It's checking out Alvaro's revolutionary new seabird-attractant, the "chumcicle".


Black-footed Albatross. Adult birds can look pretty dingy this time of year, although you can see lots of fresh feathers molting in.


For comparison, here is a Black-footed Albatross photographed in spring at Midway Atoll. It's a different-looking beast. Yes, that is the normal water color there.


A terrible picture, but these 4 species sum up the boat trip pretty well. Pink-footed Shearwater, South Polar Skua, Western Gull and Pomarine Jaeger. If only the whole trip was this birdy.

12 comments:

  1. Cool shots! How far out are you guys going to see these? We usually stay pretty close to shore. I guess that's why we don't see anything new.

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    1. Sometimes these birds are pretty close in (<10 miles), often they are further. The last trip I was on (not this one) went out to 40 miles.

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  2. Hell yeah. You have finally worn me down and convinced me that I need to face my fears and trap myself on a boat with a bunch of nerds.

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    1. Yeah do it! Make a road trip down to CA next fall, I might be leading trips!

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  3. Goddamn Albatrosses are cool.
    As with Jen, you've converted me to Pelagianism.

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    1. The Pacific awaits Laurence. August-early October is the best time...next year?

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  4. Thanks for the plug. As always great pictures. Buller's shearwater is excellent, but the last picture did capture the day.

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    1. I finally got the Buller's shots I've always wanted! On a different boat though. Been birding lately?

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    2. Went out to Mono Basin with the Codger and Randomtruth a week or so back. Got some lifers and great looks at some other birds I don't see all that often. Will take me another week or so to get a post and some pics up though.

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  5. Buddy!! What did i say about the flight shots!? They're awesome though, geez.

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  6. this is my third time attempting a comment:
    Tucker! What did i say about the flight shots, seriously? No, they'are awesome. Good god, stop it.

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    1. It worked! Your internets are so good.

      Thanks. I love the flight shots, obvi.

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