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Hornblower Whale Watch birds, July 15, 2019

Went out on the HB today, joined by some other birders.
So different from last week’s trip.
Overcast skies, calm sea with just some wind chop.

Virtually not a bird until we got to the first drop off, about 6 miles west of the tip of Pt. Loma.
1200-1500 common dolphins attracted a slew of birds.
We estimated there were 3000+ black-vented shearwaters.
Most shearwaters were rafting on the ocean, unless we scared them up or they were feeding in with the dolphins.
Also a juvenile humpback whale which we watched mill about—sometimes swimming left, sometimes swimming right—for a truly boring 90 minutes.
Sooooooo exciting.

Only unusual bird in that feeding frenzy was 1 juvenile brown booby.

Then we went a few miles to the Northwest, where we came upon several hundred bottlenose and common dolphins, including the infamous Patches.
This pod attracted about 400 more black-vented shearwaters.
1 pink-footed shearwater and 11 sooty shearwaters.
A minke whale which we watched mill about—sometimes swimming left, sometimes swimming right—for a truly boring 70 minutes.

Scattered groups of alcids:
33 Cassin’s auklets
2 Craveri’s murrelets
1 Guadaloupe murrelet

15 black storm-petrels
5 boobies; 3 definite browns including a beautiful adult male which came right up to the boat, the other 2 too distant for identification.

Stan Walens San Diego
July 15, 2019; 2:30 pm
Source: SanDiegoRegionBirding Latest Reports