We woke early and hit the Ventura harbor hoping to pick up some cormorants, shorebirds, and terns. We did well on all accounts, seeing Brandt’s and Pelagic Cormorant, a bunch of Elegant Terns, three Surfbirds, a Ruddy Turnstone and a smattering of Whimbrel. I couldn’t get any pics of the Brandt’s or Elegant Terns as they were too far out, but I knew we would get them from the boat.
It was time to check in with Island Packers, so we got our boarding passes really early and went to get some coffee to combat the drowsiness brought on by Dramamine. We got more than we bargained for as we witnessed a very hostile man nearly fight another man just for asking “how are you this morning”. But I digress…
Finally we boarded the boat and secured front spots on the bow. There wasn’t any competition. Elegant Terns flew overhead as we made our way out of the harbor. Brandt’s Cormorants were loafing on the rocks.
|Brandt's Cormorant (showing pale throat patch)|
|Black-vented Shearwater (left) with Pink-footed Shearwater|
In with the frenzy I also photographed Western and Heerman’s Gulls.
We felt really lucky to get all three Shearwaters so easily and with such great looks. Once we started heading for the island again, the activity really died. However, we did get on two Cassin’s Auklets which seemed pretty close to shore, but I haven’t seen many so perhaps they are to be expected. I scrambled to take a few distant shots.