Re: [canberrabirds] Farallon Islands pelagic trip - March 2007

To: John Leonard <>
Subject: Re: [canberrabirds] Farallon Islands pelagic trip - March 2007
From: Robert Gosford <>
Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2007 18:17:26 +0930
Yes, the absence of our lumpy-nosed friends was a rather striking feature of the trip - I kept expecting to see a Jaeger or an albatross or at least a razor of shearwaters loom up over the boat ... but nothing. The sight of thousands of Surf Scoters and Eared Grebes on the water ... and taking off en masse, was something to behold - well worth the trip!!

John Leonard wrote:
Sounds like a great day, but funny to go on a pelagic without seeing a
single Procellarid!

John Leonard

On 4/24/07, Robert Gosford <> wrote:
Pelagic trip to the Farallon Islands with SF Bay Whale Watching & Marine
Life Expeditions - 31 March 2007

On 31 March, in company with a bunch of other ethnobiologists attending
the 30th Society of Ethnobiology conference at the University of
California, Berkeley, I jumped on board the MV Lovely Martha and set out
from  Fort Mason in San Francisco Bay and we headed for the Farallon
Islands, 27 miles offshore. For more information on Los Farallones have
a look at: and:

Lots of birds were seen as we motored through the Bay and before we went
under the Golden Gate bridge and reached open water. As the sea was
considered rough (for anyone who has been on a Wollongong pelagic on the
Sandra K in rough weather this was mild in the extreme - 'choppy' at
best, though the swells were fairly close together, so maybe 'choppy,
lumpy') we motored close to the coast until we were in line with the

No chumming en-route so we didn't attract any seabirds to the boat. A
heavy sea fog enveloped the islands from about 15 miles offshore and we
laboured through that for some time. It was wonderful to see the islands
looming out of the fog at a distance of about a half mile. We did a
quick loop of the islands, had some lunch then set off back for the coast.

Apart from the fog offshore it was a wonderfully sunny day, the sea was
relatively mild (until a Beaufort Force 6 wind got up while we were
running back in a long the coast - great for the parasailers under the
Bridge and the racing boats in the Bay - maybe not so much fun for those
with 'tender' stomachs!!)

I got some good shots of the islands, the Bay and the Bridge on the way
out and back - not a lot of birds close to boat so not many flight shots.

We were accompanied on the trip by the immensely knowledgeable Carol
Keiper, Director of the Oikonos Ecosystem Knowledge, whose new premises
she proudly pointed out as we motored past them. The MV Lovely Martha
was skippered by a friendly and keen Irishwoman and her two young
deckies looked after us with amusing anecdotes and stories all day long.
The service was great and the crew deserved all of the tips they got at
the end of the day - not quite the same as being on the Sandra K!!

A great day was had by all (well, apart from those suffering from
seasickness) and I would strongly recommend it to anyone visiting San
Francisco. We didn't see any of the Grey Whales that should usually be
migrating at this time of year - choppy seas and fog may be to blame.


Harbour Porpoise (10s)


California Sea Lion
Harbour Seal


Brandt's Cormorant
Pelagic Cormorant
Double-crested Cormorant
Caspian Tern
Common Murre (100s)
Rhinoceros Auklet
Pigeon Guillemot
Brandt Goose
Pacific Loon
Common Loon
Red-throated Loon
Eared Grebe
Western Grebe (1,000s)
Clark's Grebe
Western Gull
California Gull
Mew Gull
Glaucous-winged Gull
Sabine's Gull
Black Oyster Catcher
Black-crowned Night Heron
Surf Scoter (1,000s)
White-winged Scoter

******************************************************************************************************* This is the email announcement and discussion list of the Canberra Ornithologists Group.
List-Post: <>
List-Help: <>
List-Unsubscribe: <>
List-Subscribe: <>
List archive: <> List manager: David McDonald, email <>


To unsubscribe from this mailing list, send the message: unsubscribe (in the body of the message, with no Subject line)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU