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May 2018 Monthly Report

Long-beaked Common Dolphin

The month of May brought a few changes to distribution of wildlife out in the Santa Barbara Channel. The last significant movements of the Loons passed through, Elegant Terns showed up in numbers, a few Jaegers zipped through, and there was another report of a Brown Booby passing down the length of Santa Cruz Island.

Elegant Terns

Parasitic Jaegar in hot pursuit

The Western Gulls on Anacapa were laying eggs, and the young Brown Pelicans were leaving the nest. Some of the Brandt's Cormorants were active on their traditional nesting sites along with a whole host of other breeders on the islands.

Brandt's Cormorants

Brandt's Cormorants Nesting

Young Brown Pelican

Some notable first sightings this month were an Ashy Storm-Petrel near a known breeding site on Santa Cruz Island. Also the first few Pink-footed Shearwaters have shown up, a bit later than they did last year. Sooty Shearwaters have really filled out their numbers and are the dominate bird seen most days. A single Black-vented Shearwater was seen this month, most of them should be down south right now on their breeding islands off Mexico. Toward the end of the month sightings of Red-necked Phalaropes were becoming rare but whale sightings persisted with a very reliable group of Humpbacks hanging around Chinese Harbor, Santa Cruz Island.

Sooty Shearwater

Sooty Shearwater (showing significant wing molt)

Huge rafts of California Sea Lions have been mingling with the whales near Chinese Harbor, Santa Cruz Island

Humpback Whale that we have been seeing with odd deformations on its back and head.

Well that is it for this past month of May. I have been really busy lately so I just barely found enough time to slap this post together. Soon we will be into the saltiest part of the year... Pelagic Season!

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