Los Farallones

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

Farallonathon: Day 1

The Score
Breeding Birds:  8 points
Migrant Birds:  53 points
Pinnipeds:  5 points
Cetaceans:  3 points
Butterflies:  3 points
Dragonflies:  3 points
Shark Attacks: 2 (10 points)
Total: 85 points
Opening day of Farallonathon was a strong beginning to what will hopefully become a record setting year.  We had decent numbers of the more common fall migrants. There were good butterfly/dragonfly totals, three species of Cetaceans (Northern Right-whale Dolphin, Pacific White-sided Dolphin, and California Gray Whale), and most importantly- two shark attacks!
Yesterday was the first time this fall that we saw good numbers of Golden-crowned and White-crowned Sparrows.  The first White-throated Sparrows of the fall were also seen.  Other notable birds included Pectoral Sandpiper, Merlin, Chimney Swift, and Palm Warbler.  
 Here are a few photos of things we saw yesterday.

This hatch-year male Anna’s Hummingbird was one of two individuals seen buzzing around the island.
Here you can see the oil slick and swarming gulls that are a telltale sign of a shark attack in progress.
This Burrowing Owl on Lighthouse Hill was worth a Farallonathon point.

We have been seeing this guy out on the Marine Terrace for the last few days now.

One of our only warblers so far for Farallonathon.  Hopefully there are many more to come.

 Stay tuned for days 2 through 7 of Farallonathon 2011!