Los Farallones

Dispatches from Point Blue’s field station on the Farallon National Wildlife Refuge

SEFI Aerial_East Side_JohnWarzybok

A Seabird guy in a Songbird season

There are three main “seasons” on the Farallones. These are not defined by weather or hours of daylight, but rather by the species of animals that inhabit the island. December to early March is “the elephant seal season” when research activities center on the breeding biology of the Northern Elephant Seal. Mid-March through August is […]

By | October 25, 2008


SEFI Aerial_East Side_JohnWarzybok

14-October-2008

Light and variable winds with cloud cover overnight gave us hope for a wave day, but by morning we were in some pretty heavy fog. Since any migrating birds would have a hard time finding the island, we ended up only seeing a few new arrivals (flock of Cackling Geese flying over, Cassin’s Vireo, and […]

By | October 20, 2008


SEFI Aerial_East Side_JohnWarzybok

13-October-2008

Light winds with high visibility meant only a handful on new arrivals, but with most of the birds from yesterday sticking around. New birds included: Band-tailed Pigeon, Western Flycatcher, American Robin, Varied Thrush, Black-throated Gray Warbler, Spotted Towhee, Fox Sparrow, and Lincoln’s Sparrow. We also saw a shark attack off of Saddle Rock, a couple […]

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SEFI Aerial_East Side_JohnWarzybok

12-October-2008

Today was a boat day, meaning that we were transferring people and supplies from a boat to the island. The transfer was made easier because yesterday a helicopter ferrying the crew working on the roof back to the mainland, brought out all of our food. That left just people and gear to move back and […]

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SEFI Aerial_East Side_JohnWarzybok

11-October-2008

The winds of the past few days finally started to calm down, though they were still blowing 15 knots. Compared to the 30 knot winds, it felt like a light breeze. With this slight change in weather we saw a handful of new arrivals. They included: Least Sandpiper, Anna’s Hummingbird, another pure Yellow-shafted Flicker, Red-breasted […]

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SEFI Aerial_East Side_JohnWarzybok

10-October-2008

Our third straight day of very high NW winds was relected in our low species total. We only had 10 individual passerines of 7 species. A tough day for all of the biologists. The “list” is below. Location: Southeast Farallon IslandObservation date: 10/10/08Number of species: 20 Pacific Loon 4Eared Grebe 18Pink-footed Shearwater 25Buller’s Shearwater 25Sooty […]

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SEFI Aerial_East Side_JohnWarzybok

Playing catch-up

The internet connection has been very spotty and so we haven’t been able to get the bird lists up in a timely fashion. For the 6th-9th of October the winds started out moderate and increased to heavy from the NW. The bird lists reflect that by not having many new birds and decreasing diversity as […]

By | October 16, 2008


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Farallonathon Postscript

During this year’s dismal Farallonathon, which we knew could be the worst on record, we looked back into past journals to determine what the lowest total had ever been. We found that 1992 was the first year of the Farallonathon. From 1993-1995 they called it the Farallon Research Week, but continued with the same point […]

By | October 8, 2008


SEFI Aerial_East Side_JohnWarzybok

5-October-2008

****FARALLONATHON DAY 7****The last day of Farallonathon was somewhat eventful….though, much less than we had hoped for. The winds were light out of the SSW, but visibility was good enough that we (and the birds) could see the mainland. We added 11 points, making this the lowest final total (129 points) for the history of […]

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SEFI Aerial_East Side_JohnWarzybok

4-October-2008

****FARALLONATHON DAY 6****Absolutely no new birds arrived on the island, allowing us to delve deeply into the fun-filled world of data entry!!! Even though we were not socked in with fog today, the light westerly winds must have pushed the birds towards the mainland. Although there were no birds to look at today, the White […]

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