|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