Trips to the Coronado Islands, April and May 1924
L.M. Huey Field Notes
Thursday, June 10, 1926
As the guests of Dr. Van Wart, Wright M. Pierce of Claremont, Mr. Jones, botanist of Pomona College, and myself set sail at 4:30 this morning aboard D. Van Warts small yacht, "Loafer," bound for a days trip to the Coronado Islands. The tide was exceptionally low this morning and the skipper of the boat held his craft too close to the mud, causing us to stop with a jerk near Buoy No. 6. This caused us a delay of about 20 minutes and it necessary to launch the skiff and carry an anchor out into the deeper water and pull the ship off the mud.
After an uneventful trip, we were landed on the South Island of the Coronados at 8:30. We began an intensive search for Murrelets, but apparently the height of the season had passed, as I found many places where the eggs had recently been hatched. Most interesting, however, was the fact that in one of the holes where a Murrelet set had been taken on May 30, a single fresh egg was located of exactly the same type of egg taken from this hole on the date previous, showing that the bird had returned to this location in another attempt to make her summer home.
We left the island about 11:30, with but very little for our trouble, Pierce and I each having but two sets of eggs. We scanned the Little Middle Island as we passed, but was nothing of interest there. The great rookeries of Cormorants were not present this season, although Gulls were abundant and no doubt nesting.
We arrived at North Coronado Island at 12 sharp, dropping anchor about halfway down on the east sled of the island. Lunch was eaten before attempting to land. A survey from the water of the birds present on this island proved interesting as there were but very few Farallon Cormorants near the central summit and the large rookeries of Brandt Cormorants that were formerly present on the northeastern cliffs were entirely lacking this season. Gulls were in abundance and I would venture to say that they showed an increase of 200% over their abundance in 1916.
Landing at the old quarry, we searched hours for Murrelets. I was fortunate in finding two more good sets and an old bird with two small young. Pierce had gone to the top of the island and reported, upon his return, nothing but large quantities of young Gulls that had been recently hatched. The time was so short on this island that I did not have the opportunity of getting to the summit.
As Dr. Van Wart was anxious to get into the harbor before dark, it was necessary for us to start back at 2:30. Just before starting about a dozen gulls were shot about the boat and I selected eight of the most perfect ones for specimens.
En route home several Sooty Shearwaters were seen and one or two Black-vented Shearwaters.
We arrived at the Municipal Pier at 5:45 P.M.