Where I've been/What I've seen
Yay! First pelagic in 11 months!
Another early start to the morning, and it was definitely worth it. I arrived at the festival around 6:00, and the boat left at about 7. There I discovered that two other young birders had chosen to go on this pelagic. In the harbor we immediately had Red-breasted Merganser, Great Blue Heron, and Snowy and Great Egrets, along with some coots. We then left for the entrance channel, where some Black-bellied Plovers, Western Sandpipers, Brant, and a Ruddy Turnstone were hanging out (no Surfbirds).
Further out, we started to have our first Shearwaters of the day, all of which were Black-vented. On the water were some very uncooperative alcids, being Cassin’s Auklet, Scripps’s Murrelet, and Rhinoceros Auklet. Later in the day we would get better looks of these.
By lunch, we had many good looks at these Alcids, and this is when the good stuff started to show up.
The leader of the trip spotted a COMMON TERN flying northward, a very unusual species for San Diego in the middle of February. I got maybe the worst photo possible of the bird, and it’s nearly impossible to tell it’s a COTE from this photo:
About an hour later, I was discussing how nice it would be to had a rare gull show up right about now, when KITTIWAKE was called out. Sure enough, the bird was a Black-legged Kittiwake, and my only lifer of the day.
At the last spot we headed to, there was a raft of shearwaters and gulls. We were unable to pick out anything of interest here, until a jaeger was spotted. It was identified as a Pomarine, and was the only jaeger seen that day. It was a surprisingly cooperative bird, and I was quite happy, as I had been hoping to see one throughout the day.
We then progressed back to the harbor, where we added a day bird Whimbrel, and dipped on the Surfbirds.