[All photographs copyright, Gary Nunn 2014] – Today the weather cleared, after some local dawn rain showers, which made seabird photography easier from Pt. La Jolla compared to yesterday. The undesirable wind, however, continued from the eastern sector, at least until the early afternoon when it finally went around to the west! Some high quality bird sightings were made today by the assembled crowd of birders. “Booby mania” got off to an exciting early morning start with a Blue-footed Booby Sula nebouxii, called out by Paul Lehman, cutting it’s way diagonally in flight across the kelp bed and headed away from the point. Wow! Some time later I was lucky enough to catch sight of a smaller sized white bellied alcid careening out of the cove and I quickly swung my super-telephoto camera lens combo onto it. All those practice shots on fast moving birds, with 1000 mm lens focal length, paid off and I quickly locked onto a fast moving Ancient Murrelet Synthliboramphus antiquus!
Looking over photographs later of some scoters which had passed by very close, right in front of us in fact, I realized there was a first winter male Black Scoter Melanitta americana tucked away among the immature Surf Scoters! A nice surprise and a lesson to look over the scoter flocks more carefully next time. Adding to the waterfowl collection, I followed up on reports of a Ross’s Goose Chen rossii seen on the La Jolla clifftop path earlier in the morning. Bizarre but true, not far along the popular footpath, there was a hatch year Ross’s Goose grazing on fresh green grass right beside the path and just feet from the precipitous cliff edge. A nice bird and so confidingly close I had problems backing up to get it all in the camera frame!