Finally getting around to a highly cropped shot of the single Tufted Puffin seen on the trip. Turns out that only 40 or 50 pairs of these birds nest on the Farallon Islands, while something like 10,000 Common Murres are in the same place. Makes the puffins hard to locate. No food, not a close-up, but a lifer none the less!
This "whale watching" trip had one huge, unexpected bonus: a Northern Gannet! This bird, which we did see, is the first of its species to be recorded in the Pacific.
Boarding the boat, I noticed a large proportion of the passengers (60-70%) were birders...very odd for June...not much of interest happening off-shore in June. Some of the birders were folks I know of by name, reputation and published works. This was an IMPRESSIVE crowd of knowledgeable people (almost all men.... :-( ...)
The Gannet hadn't been seen on the previous day and the boat only goes out on weekends...not a good month for whales or birds. Suffice it to say, our boatload of people saw the Gannet. It was at quite a distance (~400 yards), but we did see it. No one saw it this weekend, so we were extraordinarily lucky.
I've put a shot of the Gannet in the comment section. It's been getting quite a bit of interest from the birding community, although it's a pretty poor shot.
© 2012 Maureen Sullivan
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