March 18 in Laguna San Ignacio

Researchers in Laguna San Ignacio reported the following estimated numbers of gray whales during their 25 Mar 2021 census:

  • 17 mother/calf pairs and 31 singles for a total of 65 whales

Gray whale calf meets an admirer aboard Searcher. (photos thanks to Chris Earley)

2021-03-30T09:28:35-07:00March 30th, 2021|Census|

March 18 in Laguna San Ignacio

Researchers in Laguna San Ignacio reported the following estimated numbers of gray whales during their 18 Mar 2021 census:

  • 19 mother/calf pairs and 89 singles for a total of 127 whales

Gray whale calf meets an admirer aboard Searcher. (photos thanks to Chris Earley)

2021-03-20T08:11:53-07:00March 20th, 2021|Census|

March 7 in Laguna San Ignacio

Researchers in Laguna San Ignacio reported the following estimated numbers of gray whales during their 7 Mar 2021 census:

  • 16 mother/calf pairs and 101 singles for a total of 133 whales
2021-03-08T13:08:08-08:00March 8th, 2021|Census|

February 24 in Laguna San Ignacio

Researchers in Laguna San Ignacio reported the following numbers of gray whales during their 24 Feb 2021 census:

  • 26 mother/calf pairs and 95 singles for a total of 147 whales
2021-02-27T11:34:55-08:00February 27th, 2021|Census|

San Diego Bird Festival Pelagic trip report

On 19 February, the San Diego Bird Festival pelagic trip travelled out to the 9-Mile Bank and off La Jolla. Here is the sightings report:

“We enjoyed fairly light seas and overall good weather. The highlight of the trip was the individual Manx Shearwater sitting on the water at moderate distance. Sighting report follows.”

Brant: 50

Surf Scoter: 14

Red-breasted Merganser: 2

Eared Grebe: 4 (offshore)

Whimbrel: 1

Black Turnstone: 1

Surfbird: 6

Least Sandpiper: 3

Spotted Sandpiper: 5

Red Phalarope: 2

Pomarine Jaeger: 1

jaeger sp.: 1

SCRIPPS’S MURRELET: 12 (mostly flighty, but very good views of one pair)

Cassin’s Auklet: 6

Rhinoceros Auklet: 1

Bonaparte’s Gull: 130

Heermann’s Gull: 25

California Gull: 250

Western Gull: 1500

Royal Tern: 6

Pacific Loon: 2

Common Loon: 6

Herring Gull: 1

PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATER: 1 (rare to very rare in February; distant) Photo at left by Todd McGrath

MANX SHEARWATER: (with rafts of Black-vented Shearwaters; approx. the 17th individual recorded in San Diego Co. waters, of which all but two are between mid-Feb and mid-Apr)

Black-vented Shearwater: 2500

BROWN BOOBY: 2 (distant views)

Double-crested Cormorant: 4

Brandt’s Cormorant: 60

Brown Pelican: 120

Great Blue Heron: 4

Great Egret: 8

Snowy Egret: 2

Osprey: 1

TRICOLORED HERON: 1 (flying south past dock in AM, heading toward its favored San Diego River channel)

–Paul Lehman, Dave Povey, Bruce Rideout, Nancy Christensen, Tom Blackman, Matt Sadowski, et al., San Diego, leaders

2021-02-22T07:39:10-08:00February 22nd, 2021|News|

Still Time to Bid for Spot on 5-day Pelagic Birding Tour!

San Diego’s Bird Festival virtual silent auction is now open for bids! You could win a spot on this trip for a good deal AND benefit the San Diego Audubon Society. The rest of the festival will be held in a hybrid model (virtual and in-person) from February 17-21, 2021.

2021 Pelagic Trip Auction

Picture yourself aboard with us as we search for deep-water Southern California pelagic birds and offshore rarities with expert leaders in the comfort of a 95-foot vessel. Don’t wait! Get your bid in today!

Trip details: 2021 Pelagic Trip Tour details

2021-02-19T10:21:13-08:00February 5th, 2021|News|

Gray Whale Research updates from Baja Lagoon

Are you wondering how gray whales are doing in Laguna San Ignacio this season? So are we!

We won’t be visiting the lagoon this year with our usual ecotourism trips, but we want to stay informed about the whales and about our good friends at Kuyima who provide boat services for our guests while in Laguna San Ignacio.

If you’ve been aboard Searcher, you’ve either met or heard about US gray whale expert and friend, Steven Swartz. His bi-national research group will be in the lagoon during this gray whale season, though in a scaled-back way in order to maintain safe conditions during the Covid 19 pandemic for the locals, researchers and visitors. Steven reports:

Our research plan is to have a small team of our researchers from the University in La Paz conduct regular census and photo-ID surveys to monitor numbers and whales’ body condition. We will post updates on our website as they are able to send information to us by email.

We will monitor the numbers as they are reported and share them here.

Gray moms and calves are beginning to show up in one of their winter destinations, Laguna San Ignacio.

2021-02-01T09:40:47-08:00January 29th, 2021|Census, News|

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