Birder slumber party.

Last Sunday's pelagic out of Half Moon Bay was far less exciting than last year's trip bird-wise, but bird-blogger-wise?  There were TWICE as many!  My "birder-tolerant" friend Sunni was along for the mola molas, Seagull Steve was leading, Nate of This Machine Watches Birds was drooling over albatross, and Laurence of Butler's Birds was trying to catch gulls with his bare hands.

By the time we got off the boat he had at least five Heermann's Gulls in his coat, presumably to be smuggled back to Arizona. 

Anyway.  We had a decent morning of birds.  I only picked up one lifer, South Polar Skua, but I got better looks at some birds I had only seen once before.  Plus dolphins.  Here are some highlights:

Common Murre

 Sooty Shearwater

 Northern Fulmar

 Pink-footed Shearwaters

 Black-footed Albatross

Killer shots of South Polar Skua

 Hmm.  Tern.  Hmm.  [Arctic!]

 Pomarine Jaeger

Long-beaked common dolphins

 Mola molas!!

So yeah, the morning was alright.  Then everything just stopped.  The sun came out.  People sat down.  People fell asleep.  Other people spoke quietly, as if to not wake the nappers.  It was over. 

I was still happy with the trip though- one lifer, a resting fulmar, good views of a Pom Jaeger, and piles of dolphins.  Not complaining.  Plus spending the day with these three nerds (and Sunni) was entertaining.

Good times!!


  1. Yes ma'am, Heermann's Gulls are $500 per view in Phoenix. At this rate I'll be able to buy a boat and we can all do pelagics on our watch next year.

    It wasn't action-packed, but with a dozen lifers I can't complain either. I'm looking forward to another out of HMB, and maybe a few more at different posts along the Pacific.

    Nice post Jen, great to meet ya!

    1. Yes, I look forward to this sketchy new endeavor.

  2. Some wonderful photos of the birds, been years since I went on a pelagic so thanks for sharing them :)

  3. Im ga-ga over the Albatross...along with all the rest of the line up...and that huge Mola Molas!!!

  4. Is that the tern that flew over that (I thought) no one got a good look at? Looks like an Arctic.

  5. On my first pelagic 25 years ago, I wasn't a hot birder and was more interested in the marine mammal potential. But even I sat up and paid attention when the South Polar Skua showed up.


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