Los Farallones

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

September 30th


This was the 2nd day of the “Farallonathon”, the annual fall fundraising event for all of PRBO’s ongoing studies on Southeast Farallon Island. Yesterday, (29 Sept.) was a good day for us to start “Farallonathon”, with the interesting arrivals noted in that day’s blog. But today didn’t continue that trend since the island experienced light west winds and clear skies. Only an Anna’s Hummingbird and a Brown-headed Cowbird were new landbird arrivals. Wait…what is the Farallonathon, anyways? The Farallonathon is a week long event that would be similar to a week-long bird-a-thon except that all vertebrate species count for a point (e.g., cetaceans, pinnipeds, birds, fish, and the salamander), and butterflies and dragonflies count for a point. In addition, CBRC birds and shark attacks count for 5 points and every shark sighting counts for 1 point; it used to be even more shark-centric, but we recently toned it down from 5 points to only 1 point for shark sightings. So, today new points added (in parentheses) were 1 Gray Whale (1), 4 Blue Whales (1), 200 Pacific White-sided Dolphins (1), 1 Monarch butterfly (1), 1 White Shark sighting (1), 1 Short-tailed Shearwater (1), 1 South Polar Skua (1), 2 Pomarine Jaegers (1), and the aforementioned Anna’s Hummingbird (1), and Brown-headed Cowbird (1) for 10 new points, equaling 78 points total for this years “Farallonathon”. We need more birds and more shark attacks!

Also of note was the departure of a hatch-year male Rose-breasted Grosbeak that had been present on the island since 14 Sept.! We wish it well (how anthropromorphic!).

Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Photo © Matt Brady

Below is the ebird list from the day:

Location: Southeast Farallon Island
Observation date: 9/30/08
Number of species: 39

Pacific Loon 1
Eared Grebe 17
Western Grebe 1
Buller’s Shearwater 6
Sooty Shearwater 10
Short-tailed Shearwater 1
Brown Pelican 1243
Peregrine Falcon 2
Wandering Tattler 2
Willet 1
Whimbrel 14
Black Turnstone 30
Pectoral Sandpiper 1
Heermann’s Gull 20
California Gull 226
Elegant Tern 11
South Polar Skua 1
Pomarine Jaeger 2
Anna’s Hummingbird 2
Black Phoebe 4
Say’s Phoebe 2
House Wren 1
American Pipit 3
Tennessee Warbler 1
Yellow Warbler 3
Chestnut-sided Warbler 1
Magnolia Warbler 1
Cape May Warbler 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler 2
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon’s) 3
Townsend’s Warbler 2
Palm Warbler (Western) 1
Ovenbird 1
Chipping Sparrow 5
Clay-colored Sparrow 1
Savannah Sparrow 7
Rose-breasted Grosbeak 1
Brown-headed Cowbird 1

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(