It was another long day yesterday. I woke up at 3:30AM to drive down to San Diego to catch the “Grande” fishing/birding pelagic boat out to the Coronado Islands in Mexican waters. The weather was magnificent as we all enjoyed a beautiful sunrise just before the boat departed at 7AM. The sea wasn’t as gracious. Just as we left the safety of the harbor the waters began getting a little choppy. Within the first hour, I observed a few people graciously donating their breakfasts to the birds at the rear of the boat. Fortunately I’m never one to get sick – I suppose it’s the fact I always take a dramamine and make sure I have plenty of food and water in my stomach throughout the day. They also say you should also get a good nights sleep and don’t drink alcohol the night before. But that’s never stopped me!
As we were leaving the harbor we were greeted with Black-vented, Sooty and Pink-footed Shearwaters later joined by several Northern Fulmars. We were surpised at not seeing any Alcids (Rhino, Cassin’s Auklet, Xantus’ Murrelet, etc.) But by mid-day we encountered at least a half dozen Xantus’ Murrelets and several Rhinoceros Auklets. Along the lines of mammals, we had a few Gray Whales, a Fin Whale heading south, lots of Common, Risso’s and Bottlenose Dolphins and many California Sea Lions.
At the Coronado Islands themselves we found 20+ Brown Boobies, many of them nesting already. There was also a Peregrine Falcon pair entertaining us with their aerial acrobatics and high speed nose dives. All the other common stuff included Black Oystercatchers (many Am./Black hybrids), Brandt’s, Pelagic and Double-crested Cormorants, lots of Brown Pelicans and many Western and California Gulls.
Searching the rocks for Boobies @ Coronado Islands
GPS Track plotted by Google Earth