Common Murre Irregular winter visitor off San Diego; numbers fluctuate from year to year. Usually uncommon with occasional large influxes (McGrath & Feenstra, 2005) e.g. 200 seen from shore La Jolla Cove San Diego 11 Oct 2008 (SDBirds). Sightings are typically close to the Channel Islands (McGrath & Feenstra, 2005).
2008: 2 off San Diego 13 Apr (Povey, SDBirds). 2 from Searcher2-5 Jun. One at La Jolla 16 July was quite far south for this time of year (NAB, McCaskie & Garret). 12 from Searcher3 Sep. One off Dana Point 20 Sep. The winter of 2008-2009 brought an invasion of Common Murre to SoCal including 210 at La Jolla Cove 11 Oct (NAB, McCaskie & Garret). 120 at LaJolla Cove San Diego 9 Nov (Altman, SDBirds). 50 at LaJolla Cove 10 Nov (Altman, SDBirds). 25 at Cardiff Beach San Diego 10 Nov (Patton, SDBirds). The fist 2 Common Murre recorded in Baja since 1991 were 2 of 3 seen offshore San Diego and Baja from Grande22 Nov (pictured below). Two seen from LaJolla Cove San Diego 27 Nov (Altman, SDBirds). Four off Oceanside 27 Dec (Povey, SDBirds).
2009: 2 off Dana Point 10 Jan. "Several hundred" seen 17 Jan on pelagic charter west of Port San Luis San Luis Obispo (Edell, slocobirding). 35 off Port San Luis San Luis Obispo24 Jan. 6 off Palos Verdes Los Angeles28 Feb. 19 from CondorExpress1 Mar off Santa Barbara. One off San Diego just over Mexican border 8 Mar from Grande. One 27 km off San Diego 12 Apr 2008 was late for SoCal (McCaskie & Garrett, 2008). 11 in the Channel Islands 16 May. One off San Diego 13 Jul. 10 off Santa Barbara 25 Jul. 4 from Searcher 8 Sep. 6 from Condor Express 15 Nov. One from La Jolla 14 Nov (Mulrooney, SDBirds). One from La Jolla 28 Nov (Sadowski, SDBirds).
2010: One off Oceanside 30 Jan. 3 off Northern Baja 14 Mar. 30 from Condor Exprss May 1. 3 from Condor Express Jun 12. 41 from Grande at Nine Mile Bank Nov 13. From shore La Jolla San Diego: 115 on Nov 11, 43 on Nov 21, More than 1000 on Nov 22 (Paul Lehman and Stan Walens, SDBirds) and (NAB, McCaskie & Garret). More than 800 on the following day (Eitan Altman and Stan Walens, SDBirds). 3 at San Diego Nine Mile Bank 8 Dec.
2011: Five on the 26th annual San Diego New Year's Day pelagic. 18 were seen between Santa Barbara and the Channel Islands from the Condor Express on Apr 30. One seen from Searcher May 30 six miles south of Los Coronados Islands.
Common Murre (c) Steve N.G. Howell
Common Murre (in Mexico) by Tom Blackman
Pigeon Guillemot Breeds on the rocky cliffs of the northern Channel Islands, present there from Feb to late August (Sowls et al. 1980). Seldom seen more than a half mile from the coast or from island breeding spots. Common from Shell Beach north, uncommon south of Santa Barbara. Rare occurrences in San Diego County are the result of post breeding dispersal (Stallcup, 1990). Winter whereabouts unknown, however, a northward movement is suspected (Sowls et al. 1980).
2007: 12 from Condor Express 21 Apr (eBird). One at La Jolla Cove San Diego 9 Jun and 14 Jun (SDBirds). A juv at La Jolla Cove 2 Sep (Rycenga, SDBirds).
2008: 5 near Anacapa Island 3 Jun from Searcher (Hunefeld, SDBirds). One at San Clemente Island 2 Aug (Stahl, SDBirds) was unusually far south as was one from Pt Dume Los Angeles 17 Aug (NAB, McCaskie & Garret).
2009: 36 from Condor Express off Santa Barbara 1 Mar. 27 in the Channel Islands 16 May. 10 in the Channel Islands 6 Jun. 15 from the Condor Express25 Jul.
2010: One at China Point, San Clemente Island, Jul 18 (NAB, McCaskie & Garret).
2011: 100 were seen between Santa Barbara and the Rodriguez Dome from the Condor Express on Apr 30.
Many sightings contain hyperlinks tied directly to detailed Trip Reports. More frequent sightings may not contain hyperlinks, but still have detailed trip reports with more documentation and locations; click on Trip Reports in the left column.
NAB, Erickson, et al: North American Birds - Baja Mexico reports, edited by Erickson, et al. Published quarterly by the American Birding Association.
NAB, McCaskie & Garrett: North American Birds - Southern California reports, edited by Guy McCaskie and Kimball Garrett. Published quarterly by the American Birding Association.
Status and distribution data (c) 2008 - 2011 W. Terry Hunefeld
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