Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Another Update: Salton Sea (October 14) and ABA Pelagic Trip (october 15)

On October 14, 2013, I went to the Salton Sea in search of Yellow-footed Gull.  I updated my blog with the previous post in the morning before leaving at about noon.  Google maps took me to the west end of the Sonny Bono NWR where I found Prairie Falcon, a new bird for the year.  This time I was not unhappy with the error by Google Maps!  I had discounted a previous potential sighting at the tams near Ventura, because I did not see the field marks that I needed to see to count it.  At the Sea, I also added Yellow-footed Gull, a second winter bird and another new bird for the year, on Lack Road near the intersection with Lindsey Road on the south end of the Salton Sea just before sunset. 

Yesterday, I was able to go on the first of two ABA pelagic trips as did Neil Hayward due the help and kindness of Paul Lehman who told us in Gambell that he had asked for two extra spaces to be set aside apparently for Neil and me.  Paul also spotted the two Craveri's Murrelets on the ABA trip, another new bird for the year.  "Snatched from the jaws of defeat." as Paul put it, because it was assumed that most if not all of the Craveri's Murrelets had departed south.  Thanks Paul for your help!  I got some extremely good photos of the dark feathers under the bill and of the mottled under-wings when one of the murrelets sat up and flapped.  More about that later.

I spent a number of hours last night and this morning organizing my photos since arriving in California from St. Paul, Alaska and will provide further updates over the next few days or weeks.

I forgot to mention the Black-vented Shearwater as a new bird in my summary in the previous post.  Thanks to John Habig, a birding friend from Ohio.  Prairie Falcon, Yellow-footed Gull and Craveri's Murrelet raise my total to 683 + 2!  Back to birding!

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