These pages feature the regular pelagic birds to be found on Monterey Bay
boat trips, but each species has its own season. Of course, not all birds
will be found every trip, even in the prime season. Inshore species are
excluded; all these migrate primarily offshore although some (Parasitic
Jaeger, Common Tern) are also regular along the shoreline and at river
mouths. All photos on this page were taken on Monterey Bay (or nearby).
We continue with
JAEGERS THROUGH TERNS
text & most photos by Don Roberson
those attributed to other photographers
used with permission; all rights reserved.
Photos above © D. Roberson, 22 Oct 1998 (left) & 22 Sep
1982 (right). Photos below © D. Roberson, 5 Feb 1994 (left)
& 17 Nov 1979 (right).
South Polar Skua is a regular visitor in small numbers in
autumn (esp. Aug-Oct). All birds seem to be first-year individuals. They
generally do not seem attracted to boats, and are thus usually seen as
fly-bys or at a distance.
Photos below © D. Roberson, 22 Sep 1982 (left) & 5 Oct
Pomarine Jaeger is perhaps the commonest jaeger overall,
with substantial numbers passing by offshore in fall and spring, and some
wintering offshore annually. Although some may be seen by sea-watching
from shore, the vast majority are farther offshore in Monterey Bay.
Photos below © D. Roberson, 16 Aug 1998 (left) & 22 Sep
1982 (right; juv. at Salinas wastewater ponds)
Parasitic Jaeger appears in good numbers in early fall (July-Sep
is the peak) although some are passing through into early winter. This
is the most 'inshore' of the jaegers, regularly seen at river mouths or
working the Elegant Tern flocks off Pt. Pinos in autumn. Shown here are
a juvenal (left) and a subadult (right).
Photos below © D. Roberson, 4 Sep 2000 (left) & 23 Aug
Long-tailed Jaeger migrates well offshore, working the flocks
of Arctic Terns found there. It is quite unusual to see one from shore,
and onshore birds are extraordinary (as was this juvenal at Salinas ponds,
near left). Adults (far left) are regularly found Aug-Sep on boat trips
to the Monterey seavalley, but many are in tail molt (as in this photo)
and lack the full long tail.
Photos below © D. Roberson 24 Aug 1980 (left) & ©
Richard Ternullo 25 Sep 2000 (right)
Sabine's Gull is a common migrant offshore in fall, esp.
Aug-Sep, and it is always a treat to come upon a flock of this delicate
gull over the sparkling sea (near right). The characteristic wing pattern
is apparent even from below when backlit (far right; subadult). A return
spring migration occurs far offshore in Apr-May.
Photos below © D. Roberson 22 Sep 1982 (both photos)
Common Tern is a fall migrant (Aug-Sep). The two (right)
landed on a boat offshore; others appear regularly in tern flocks at river
Arctic Tern is a common migrant far offshore in autumn,
esp. Aug-Oct. It is much scarcer near shore and is rather rare at tern
roosts at river mouths. From below (near left) note the thin and well-defined
black line at the tips of the outer primaries. From above (far left) not
the uniform upperwings.
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Page created 10 Nov 2002