|Northern Gannet crossing in front of Saddle Rock (photo copyright Sophie Webb)|
|Northern Gannet crossing Mirounga Bay (photo copyright Sophie Webb)|
Having seen gannets on several occasions on the East Coast, I instantly recognized it, but then realized that I shouldn't be seeing a gannet here and tried to turn it into something more likely. Maybe a Masked or Red-footed Booby. Both are superficially similar and have been spotted here before, though also extremely rare for California. But a quick glance at the field guide confirmed the original identification. It must be a Gannet, there is nothing else it could be.
|Northern Gannet close up (photo copyright Sophie Webb)|
|Northern Gannet (photo copyright Sophie Webb)|
But what is it doing at the Farallones? As you can see from the range map below, it has no business being here. How did it get to the Farallones?
|Northern Gannet range map|