San Diego 9 and 30 – SoCal Pelagic Birding

I met Dan in the lobby early the next morning,  grabbed a coffee and drove over to Mission Bay for our trip out to 9 and 30 mile banks in search of seabirds.

We had booked a 10 hour trip with:

I’d hoped for a possible Tropicbird and any of the 3 Storm-Petrels (Least, Black and Ashy) but as pelagics go, you just never know what can show up, if anything at all.

The seas were calmer than I had ever experienced before, this was my 7th pelagic trip, and by far the easiest on the stomach (never really been bothered by motion sickness, lucky I guess).

I pick up 2 life birds on this trip Black-venter Shearwater – Life Bird #700 and Black Storm-Petrel – Life Bird #701.

Below are the photos in the order I took them.

Black-footed Albatross



Imagine being 15 miles out in the ocean and having a White-winged Dove fly by.


Common Dolphins


Black Storm-Petrel


Brown Booby Adult


Leach’s Storm-Petrel – (chapmani) – no white on tail


Western Gull’s,  followed us most of the day, the crew (BJ Stacey, more on him later) chummed popcorn all day to attract the gulls behind the boat.


Not really sure on this one?


Pink-footed Shearwater


Juvenile Sabine’s Gull


Parasitic Jaeger


Brown Booby Sub-Adult


Pink-footed Shearwater – best photo to date


California Gull – 1st year ?


Black-vented Shearwater




I hate gull ID’s


Adult Brown Booby


1st year Glaucous-winged


At the end of 10 hours, I finished with 2 ABA life bird and it but I met new friend BJ Stacey.  We both share a common interest, a love of seeing and photographing, anything to do with nature.  That day on the boat we became fast friends and if you want to see how much of a fanatic he is visit the link below.
I may not have seen the Tropicbirds or the Laysan Albatross but I enjoyed a day with my good friend Dan Brown, fellow dark camera and lens user extraordinaire and met a few new friends.

Ciao for now…








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1 Response to San Diego 9 and 30 – SoCal Pelagic Birding

  1. Dan Brown says:

    Sure was fun birding with you and Sue!

    BTW, I think that all of the above gulls are hatch-year Western Gulls, very dark overall and pink legs. My 2 cents on gulls!

    Hope to see you soon. dan b.

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