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Friday, July 31, 2015

Feeding frenzy

During the last five days or so, some sort of bait fish has been concentrated just offshore of Bodega Head.  Joe mentioned there have been large schools of juvenile herring near the harbor entrance, so perhaps they're also along the outer coast?

The numbers of seabirds feeding on them have been impressive, although hard to capture in pictures.  Here's an example of one view from 27 July 2015, with gulls, terns, cormorants, pelicans, and probably a few murres.  [On this day, I think there were more murres offshore of Bodega Head than I've ever seen (or heard) before.]

And today the birds were joined by a few Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaeanglieae).  Note the knobby dorsal fin.

If the bait fish stick around this weekend, it could be a good time to catch a seabird and mammal show! 

P.S. For a few more Humpback pictures, and some tips about how to tell them apart from Gray Whales, see the post from 1 November 2012.

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