Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wait. I Thought We Weren't Supposed To Go On Pelagic Trips.

Rhinoceros Auklet. Not a Whiskered Auklet, despite the whiskers. But that's ok, because I have seen hundreds of Whiskered Auklets. No big deal.

Last month I had the opportunity to go on another pelagic with Debi Shearwater, out of Half Moon Bay, California. A big storm was coming in out of the north so we did not get as far offshore as planned, but we still managed to find a lot of the pelagic birds that one could reasonably hope for this time of year.

I'll post some more shots later. Today I'm going out to Point Reyes again to stare at a Dickcissel, amongst other things. Picture me birding.

Bonaparte's Gulls are stylish.

Red Phalaropes were seen on and off throughout the trip. They are too well-camouflaged for the brain of my autofocus, and this is one of the very few usable shots I ended up with.

A Sooty Shearwater impersonates a Black-footed Albatross, in order to mock all the birders on the boat hoping to see a Black-footed Albatross that day (we saw none).

Not tack-sharp, but otherwise I'm pretty happy with this Short-tailed Shearwater shot. They're not easy birds to accurately identify, let alone photograph.

Another Sooty Shearwater for comparison.

We saw a few Marbled Murrelets, including this rather "confiding" bird.

Northern Fulmars were often just a few feet off the stern of the boat. All the better to study their grunginess. For any nonbirders reading this, that strange apparatus on its beak is part of the bird's salt filtration system...they can drink salt water all day, no problem.

Pacific Loon. Economy of style.

The rarely seen cruise-missile flight mode of the Pelagic Cormorant. The pelican exploded a second after this photograph was taken.


  1. that cormorant is trippy. great shot.

  2. That was definitely one of those shots where I had no idea what my camera had just done. Good job camera.

  3. The corm-missile is hilarious, and the colors you captured on it made my mind explode too. Your winter birds make me drool.

  4. Lauren, you are in Maine? I will trade winter birds with you, gladly. I may want to keep the weather though.