Päiväkirja-arkisto kohteelle marraskuu 2020

3. marraskuuta 2020

Offshore from Half Moon Bay

Many of us deal with the intense stresses of life by spending time in nature, sometimes photographing what we find, and often sharing it with others. I believe it is true for almost everyone here that the difficulties of the last year have sometimes made getting out more challenging or it can be harder to disassociate ones self from the barrage of the day when we do offer ourselves an escape.

For those reasons, I was especially delighted to spend a full day off the coast of San Mateo County on Oct. 17. Meeting at 06:30 at the Half Moon Bay Harbor, we joined about 18 other people for a masks-mandatory, half capacity trip on the Huli-Cat out to the continental shelf with Alvaro Jamarillo and Alvaro's Birding Adventures. Pelagic birding has long been one of my favorite pastimes and what made this trip exceptional was that in addition to the birds, we stopped for all the wildlife; jellies, whales. fish, and more. The Salmon Shark (which was seen through the water much better than my photos imply) and the Leatherback Sea Turtle were pure lifers. Additionally, I added three species to my inaturalist photo-lifer list - Blue Whale, Buller's Shearwater, and Marbled Murrelets.

With a thermos of hot coffee and the sun at our backs we headed offshore, and truthfully, we couldn't have asked for a better day. Harbor porpoises swam just outside the breakwater and soon we were at the edge of a large mixed species feeding flock of seabirds including multiple gulls, Pink-footed and Black-vented Shearwaters, Brown Pelicans, and Pomeraine Jaegers. Other highlights included sneaking up on a surface-resting Salmon Shark before watching it swim away and seeing a Leatherback Sea Turtle, (a species I never thought I would encounter) slowly swimming along the surface, its head and distinctly ridged back clearly visible. Around lunchtime we came across a pod of four to six Blue Whales, soon followed by 500 or more Pacific White-sided Dolphins. Additional highlights included finding several Tufted Puffins, a Short-tailed Shearwater, numerous Mola molas, and coming back into the harbor, and a pair of Marbled Murrelets, robin-sized seabirds that can be difficult to approach at sea and even harder to photograph from shore.

The ocean was smooth, the day was warm, the company enjoyable, and there was wildlife in abundance. This trip also put me at 143 species for San Mateo County, well over the halfway mark for the county and great addition to my goal of photo-documenting 250 species in each of California's 58 counties.

Lähetetty 3. marraskuuta 2020 22:03 käyttäjältä rjadams55 rjadams55 | 28 havaintoa | 1 kommentti | Jätä kommentti