|Humpback Whale Surfaces at Surfer's Beach|
The waters around Half Moon Bay have been 60 F or higher since early July, a phenomenon that has not likely occurred in the resent past. This higher temperature correlates with past El Niño years.
There is a major Common Murre die-off that FMSA (Farallones Marine Sanctuary Association) sponsor of Beach Watch of which I'm a volunteer has been investigating. On my last survey of Gazos Creek Beach 9/9/15 we documented approximately 75 dead murres. This die-off is 4X the normal year and is consistent with past El Niño years.
About 7-9 Brown Boobies have been observed on the Farallones and some have been spotted at Alcatraz and even one Boobie has been hanging out on the buoy off Miramar in the Half Moon Bay area. At least two Blue-footed Boobies have been observed on the Farallones and some have been seen from Santa Cruz to Point Reyes! Also of note but not a southern species is the Northern Gannet that has been hanging out on the Farallones for several years.
Some other activity of note are at least two incidents of Vellela Vellela (by-the-wind sailor) strandings in very large numbers. There has been an unusual number of Mola Mola (sunfish) juveniles washing up on beaches, plus the troubling rise in California Sea Lion mortality and Guadalupe Fur Seal strandings.
|Heermann's Gulls enjoying|
Speaking of rare, today it actually sprinkled here, finally an opportunity for the weather gurus to use their much touted and little utilized "Storm Tracker" radar!