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Monterey Bay Pelagic -- 29 July 2016

It was a pretty tough day on the water. Dense fog for most of the first 4 hours made spotting wildlife tough.
Mood lifted dramatically when we ran into a pod of Northern Right Whale Dolphins, White-sided Dolphins, and a mix of Humpbacks/Blue Whales/Fin Whale.

Scripps' Murrelets were the best bird of the day. Shearwater numbers were low, I guess typical for July trips.

Looked at a Terrafin map, and it seems like all the cold water is rather close to shore. But at least there is cold water this year! Dense swarms of low-totem pole pelagic food (forage fish? krill?) showed up on our fish finder, and it even seemed like we could see pockets or 'holes' where there were whales feeding inside the cloud of food:

Pelagic food

Feeling a bit frustrated at how difficult it is to get a diagnostic look at rorquals. Without extensive field experience, it seems like the variability of the dorsal fin shape and size makes it so that a good head/jaw view required for separating Fin and Sei whales.

Posted by leptonia leptonia, August 01, 2016 19:37

Observations

Photos / Sounds

What

Black Oystercatcher (Haematopus bachmani)

Observer

leptonia

Date

July 29, 2016 07:54 AM PDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Black-footed Albatross (Phoebastria nigripes)

Observer

leptonia

Date

July 2016

Place

Missing Location

Photos / Sounds

What

California Sea Lion (Zalophus californianus)

Observer

leptonia

Date

July 29, 2016 01:56 PM PDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Cassin's Auklet (Ptychoramphus aleuticus)

Observer

leptonia

Date

July 2016

Place

Missing Location

Photos / Sounds

What

Common Murre (Uria aalge)

Observer

leptonia

Date

July 29, 2016 08:04 AM PDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Harbor Seal (Phoca vitulina)

Observer

leptonia

Date

July 29, 2016 07:38 AM PDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae)

Observer

leptonia

Date

July 29, 2016 02:00 PM PDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Common Mola (Mola mola)

Observer

leptonia

Date

July 29, 2016 08:16 AM PDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Northern Fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis)

Observer

leptonia

Date

July 29, 2016 12:46 PM PDT

Description

dark morph

Photos / Sounds

What

Northern Right Whale Dolphin (Lissodelphis borealis)

Observer

leptonia

Date

July 29, 2016 09:09 AM PDT

Description

A group of ~ 100 or so? Consorting with Pacific White-sided Dolphins, Humpback Whales, and a Blue Whale

Photos / Sounds

What

Northern Fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis)

Observer

leptonia

Date

July 29, 2016 12:46 PM PDT

Description

light morph

Photos / Sounds

What

Southern Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris ssp. nereis)

Observer

leptonia

Date

July 2016

Photos / Sounds

What

Pacific White-sided Dolphin (Lagenorhynchus obliquidens)

Observer

leptonia

Date

July 29, 2016 09:16 AM PDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Pink-footed Shearwater (Ardenna creatopus)

Observer

leptonia

Date

July 2016

Place

Missing Location

Photos / Sounds

Observer

leptonia

Date

July 29, 2016 09:41 AM PDT

Description

Tall, narrow, sharp upright dorsal fin suggests Sei Whale, but... I have no experience with that species and we didn't get a look at the head.

Photos / Sounds

What

Fin Whale (Balaenoptera physalus)

Observer

leptonia

Date

July 2016

Place

Missing Location

Photos / Sounds

What

Sabine's Gull (Xema sabini)

Observer

leptonia

Date

July 29, 2016 12:26 PM PDT

Description

with Sooty Shearwaters

Photos / Sounds

What

Scripps's Murrelet (Synthliboramphus scrippsi)

Observer

leptonia

Date

July 2016

Place

Missing Location

Description

Fairly rare here

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