Hooded Grebes - Patagonia - November 2016

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Saturday, 16 January 2016

California - Day 11 - 22/1/16

Santa Cruz Island was the objective today to hopefully see the Island Scrub Jay, though beforehand we had time to visit Surfers Knoll, Oxnard where I was extremely pleased to see two Black Skimmers. Also lots more to see here but time was against us to meet the island boat.
The journey over was superb for seabirds as well as close encounters with yet more Common Dolphins. 
Santa Cruz Island was nice, or at least the quarter of a mile we saw of it as all our targets were within the first two hundred metres. 
After four hours on the island, we returned back to mainland where yet again we had close encounters with the marine mammals, but this time somewhat larger in the form of five Grey Whales. Yet another great day, and for Richard his last day as tomorrow morning I drop him off at LAX, and I continue south to Orange County. 
Night in Ventura. 

Surfers Knoll
Black Skimmer - 2
Glaucous-winged Gull - 5
Lesser Scaup - 1
Willet - 5
Snowy Plover - 15
Northern Harrier - 4
Mew Gull - 2

Oxnard to Santa Cruz Island and return
Black-vented Shearwater - 1000+
Cassin's Auklet - 15
Brown Booby - 1
Pomarine Skua - 2
Screpps's Murrelet - 20
Pacific Diver - 500
Western Grebe - 1500
Black Oystercatcher - 2
Red-throated Diver - 6

Grey Whale - 5
Common Dolphin - 150

Santa Cruz Island
ISLAND SCRUB JAY - 3
Allen's Hummingbird - 5
Orange-crowned Warbler - 3
Wilson's Warbler - 1
Thayer's Gull - 1
Glaucous-winged Gull - 7
Lesser Goldfinch - 1
Hermit Thrush - 3
Heermann's Gull - 30

Santa Cruz Island Fox - 6
Monarch - 1

 Willet at Surfers Knoll

 a much wanted bird for me - Black Skimmer
 adult Western Gull at Surfers Knoll
 this Brown Booby was spotted at some distance, but then gradually got closer and closer
 Common Dolphin 
 Santa Cruz Island Fox - the top predator on this island
 another memorable encounter with the mighty Grey Whales
Black-vented Shearwaters on a flat calm sea - a lovely setting
 phone-scoped shot of an IslandScrub Jay -endemic to Santa Cruz Island
 first-winter Thayer's Gull on Santa Cruz
 a lovely sunrise at Surfers Knoll
 leaving Oxnard Harbour
 arriving at Santa Cruz Island
 this 'rare' looking valley held a Wilson's Warbler, Scrub Jays and quite a few Hummingbirds
 leaving Santa Cruz Island
Richard's last full day, and what a superb day it was. The sunset was equally superb.



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