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  1. Searcher Pelagic Results LINK
    DATE: Sep 7, 2018 @ 10:35pm, 2 month(s) ago
    Birders,
    The annual Searcher pelagic trip departed San Diego about noon on Labor Day and was back to the dock Friday morning at 730 AM. Highlights were many. Monday afternoon was spent crossing the 9 mile bank and working our way up the 30 mile. Highlights were excellent looks at a couple of Brown Boobies as well as close passes by a RED-FOOTED BOOBY. Ashy, Black, and Leach's Storm-Petrels, plus a few leaders and participants were able to glimpse and photo one or two LEAST STORM_PETRELS along the way.
    We decided to start day 2 at Santa Barbara Island where we saw the continuing immature NAZCA BOOBY plus about 80 Brown Boobies. From Santa Barbara we worked our way northwest along the Santa Cruz basin, seeing good numbers of Pomarine and Long-tailed Jaegers, Arctic Terns, as well as the expected shearwater species. We were treated to another RED-FOOTED BOOBY not too far from SB Island. In the late afternoon we arrived at a bank south east of San Miguel Island called "The Condor Bank" as it was a fishing spot frequented by the original Condor board from Santa Barbara. Here we encountered large boils of 200lb Bluefin Tuna, and the bird show was spectacular. Several South Polar Skuas, a dozen jaegers, many hundreds of Pink-footed Shearwaters and likely a hundred Arctic Terns. The show was spectacular, and here we found yet another immature NAZCA BOOBY and a couple of Brown Boobies.
    After anchoring near San Miguel for the night, DAY 3 we headed out to The Rodriguez Dome about 30 miles to the west. We departed Miguel about 5 AM, and were on the dome about 730 AM. Just before arriving at Rodriguez we encountered yet another immature NAZCA BOOBY. Exceptional numbers of Buller's Shearwaters, 8 Guadalupe Murrelets (seen well by all onboard) as well as our first Red-billed Tropicbird of the trip were highlights of our day headed south. We had as many as 10 Black-footed Albatross with us at once, and there were several behind the boarWe finished the day at the San Juan Seamount. We encountered dozens of Blue Whales in this deep water as well as some Fin whales, and a couple of cooperative BAIRD"S-BEAKED Whales. Guadalupe Fur Seals were seen regularly. Our first TOWNSEND"S STORM-PETRELS
    DAY 4 was spent traveling traveling from the western edge of the Tanner and Cortez Banks to the San Clemente Island basin. We found a cooperative RED-BILLED TROPICBIRD on the water, as well our first of nearly a dozen COOK'S PETRELS. Leach's Storm-petrels were present in numbers, and we were able to get folks on a handful of TOWNSEND's Storm-Petrels. Inside the Cortez we had the familiar cry of "White Booby behind the boat", and had an immature booby circle the boat. This one seemed to show characters of MASKED BOOBY, but this bird was not as straightforward as the others, so we will be sending photos out to get some expert opinions before putting this one in the books.
    As we approached Sam Clemente we were treated to one of the most spectacular afternoons I have ever spent at sea. Boils of smaller bluefin tuna were everywhere, and there were literally thousands of Pink-footed Shearwaters wheeling about, as well as. hundreds of Arctic and Common Terns, dozens of Sabine's gulls and jaegers were in flight. We also saw about 35 Craveri's Murrelets in this area, some very close to the boat allowing great looks. We poked through flock after flock of birds until dark, eventually getting brief looks at a FLESH_FOOTED SHEARWATER. In the middle of this feeding frenzy we also saw yet another NAZCA BOOBY, this one a full adult.
    The high overcast conditions were also good for migrants, and we had Willow Flycatcher, Macgillvray'a Warbler as well as Orange-crowned, Townsend's, Black-throated Gray as well as multiple cowbirds and several species of shorebird.
    One of the best trips I have done off SoCal and certainly continues the excellent results this year. Thanks to Celia Condit and Captain Art Taylor from Searcher Natural History Tours, my co-leaders Dave Pereksta, Dave Povey, and Rob Hynson. Thanks to all the participants as well.
    Todd McGrath SKUA@... The Woodlands, TX
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  3. MTY PELAGIC REPORT: MASKED BOOBY & EVEN SEAS LINK
    DATE: Aug 28, 2018 @ 10:36am, 3 month(s) ago
    Hello, Calbirders,
    
    This is a report for Shearwater Journeys August 24, 2019 Monterey Bay pelagic trip. We had a fantastic day with calm seas and nearly non-stop seabirds. The most exciting seabird occurred during our return to Point Pinos at the end of the day when leader, Steve Tucker spotted a very distant booby.
    
    An exhilarating chase to keep up with the booby which was often flying through the blows of humpback whales ensued. The booby made multiple passes directly over our bow, thanks to the skill of our captain. We saw it plunge-diving amongst the many feeding seabirds and whales. Many images were made. After reviewing the images, and with input from Peter Pyle and Todd McGrath, the identification is presumed MASKED BOOBY about 10 months of age.
    
    It has been a great year for tropical boobies along the California coast, especially southern California. As we returned to the harbor, everyone was on high alert, hoping for a booby! And, it happened! Im sure this wont be the last booby sighted in Monterey this season.
    
    In addition to the MASKED BOOBY, we found a good assortment of fall seabirds. Highlights included: BULLERS SHEARWATERS, ASHY STORM-PETRELS; POMARINE, PARASITIC, and LONG-TAILED JAEGERS; SABINES GULLS; RHINOCEROS AUKLETS; and a beautiful TUFTED PUFFIN. We saw many HUMPBACK WHALES, 2 traveling BLUE WHALES, RISSOS DOLPHINS, DALLS PORPOISE, and NORTHERN FUR SEALS.
    
    EVEN SEAS: The sea surface temperature remained near 60 F throughout the day. So, although the flat-calm seas and the 60 F SST might tend to make one think that the conditions were good for finding Craveris, Scrippss, or Guadalupe Murrelets, this was not the case.
    Over my four decades of experience, finding these murrelets requires more than just warm water. Two additional conditions are needed: a temperature break and clear water. For instance, on our August 11th Half Moon Bay trip, the SSTs ran from 54 F to 58F over a short distance. And, the 58 F waters were clear. So, we had both a temp break and clear water. And, we found Scrippss Murrelets. Conversely, on this August 24th trip, we had pea soup green water, not clear at all. Of course, there will always be the odd exception, but in general, Ive observed that finding murrelets requires three things: 1. calmer seas, 2. temp break, and 3. clear water.
    
    Our next trip with spaces available is FRIDAY, AUGUST 31 with leaders Christian Schwarz, Alex Rinkert, Jim Holmes, and Debi Shearwater. We will be spending time in Santa Cruz County , a hard county for ticking seabirds! Spaces are available.
    
    The complete species list for AUGUST 24, 2019 SHEARWATER JOURNEYS MONTEREY BAY PELAGIC TRIP:
    All birds were recorded in Monterey County.
    
    COMMON LOON- 1
    BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS- 20
    NORTHERN FULMAR- 15
    PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATER- 75
    BULLERS SHEARWATER- 4
    SOOTY SHEARWATER- 8500
    ASHY STORM-PETREL- 26
    ****MASKED BOOBY- 1
    BROWN PELICAN- 80
    BRANDTS CORMORANT- 500
    DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT- 2
    PELAGIC CORMORANT- 2
    WESTERN SANDPIPER- 33
    DOWITCHER SP.- 8
    BLACK TURNSTONE- 2
    SEMIPALMATED SANDPIPER- 2
    RED-NECKED PHALAROPE- 125
    RED PHALAROPE- 18
    POMARINE JAEGER- 6
    POMARINE/PARASITIC JAEGER- 4
    PARASITIC JAEGER- 8
    PARASITIC/LONG-TAILED JAEGER- 2
    LONG-TAILED JAEGER- 9
    JAEGER SP.- 10
    HEERMANNS GULL- 40
    CALIFORNIA GULL- 15
    HERRING GULL- 1
    WESTERN GULL- 100
    SABINES GULL- 2
    ELEGANT TERN- 40
    COMMON MURRE- 550
    PIGEON GUILLEMOT- 7
    CASSINS AUKLET- 1
    RHINOCEROS AUKLET- 70
    *TUFTED PUFFIN- 1
    SEA OTTER- +
    CALIFORNIA SEA LION- +
    NORTHERN FUR SEAL- 4
    HARBOR SEAL- +
    BLUE WHALE- 2
    HUMPBACK WHALE- 20
    RISSOS DOLPHIN- 17
    DALLS PORPOISE- 2
    OCEAN SUNFISH- 1
    
    Leaders on the August 24, 2019 trip included: Steve Tucker, Christian Schwarz, Alex Rinkert, Nick Levendosky, Will Brooks, and Debi Shearwater. Many thanks to the keen-eyed leaders and birders from near and far for making this trip possible.
    
    Conditions on this August 24th trip were very different from our first trip on August 3rd where we encountered a strong red tide near shore, and very cold water (51 F, SST).
    
    One thing we can be certain of conditions will change, again. Perhaps, well get some clearing of the high chlorophyll conditions and a temperature break. On the other hand, perhaps, the conditions were just right for the MASKED BOOBY!
    
    Seabirding for Science,
    Debi Shearwater
    
    DEBRA SHEARWATER
    Shearwater Journeys, Inc.
    PO Box 190
    Hollister, CA 95024
    831.637.8527
    debi@...
    www.shearwaterjourneys.com
    www.shearwaterjourneys.blogspot.com
    
    Celebrating 43 Years of Seabirding with Shearwater Journeys
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  5. August 25 pelagic trip to Tanner and Cortez Banks LINK
    DATE: Aug 2, 2018 @ 2:16pm, 4 month(s) ago
    Birders,
    
    I have organized a pelagic trip to the Cortez and Tanner Banks at the end of this month. The basic details are: departure from Dana Point aboard the R/V Sea Explorer, leaving at 1 AM and returning at 9 PM on Saturday, August 25 (20 hours); there are NO bunks or full galley on board, but possibly enough room to sleep on the floor or benches inside (plenty of room outside). The per person cost is $200, and there are only TWO spaces remaining.
    
    This should be an excellent opportunity to see species like Black-footed Albatross, Leach's Storm-Petrel, Red-billed Tropicbird, Craveri's Murrelet, Arctic Tern, South Polar Skua, and Long-tailed Jaeger. It is also a good opportunity to look for rare species such as Cook's and Hawaiian Petrels, Townsend's Storm-Petrel, Least Storm-Petrel, and Guadalupe Murrelet. On July 15 a trip from Ventura to nearby waters recorded nearly 100 Cook's Petrels, Tristram's Storm-Petrel, Wedge-rumped Storm-Petrel, two Nazca Boobies, Long-tailed Jaeger, South Polar Skua, Sabine's Gull, and Black, Ashy, and Leach's Storm-Petrels. Additionally, t hree Townsend's Storm-Petrels were photographed on a trip out of San Diego on July 29. <
    /div>
    
    If you are interested in going or have any questions, please email me back (off list) and I will send you additional details and/or payment information.
    
    Tom Benson
    San Bernardino, CA
    thomasabenson AT aol.com
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  7. August 25 pelagic trip to Tanner and Cortez Banks LINK
    DATE: Jul 9, 2018 @ 10:45am, 4 month(s) ago
    Birders,
    
    I have organized a pelagic trip to the Cortez and Tanner Banks next month. The basic details are: departure from Dana Point aboard the R/V Sea Explorer, leaving at 1-2 AM and returning at 8-9 PM on Saturday, August 25 (18-20 hours); there are NO bunks or full galley on board, but possibly enough room to sleep on the floor or benches inside (plenty of room outside). The per person cost is $200, and there are currently about 10 spaces remaining.
    
    This should be an excellent opportunity to see species like Black-footed Albatross, Leach's Storm-Petrel, Red-billed Tropicbird, Craveri's Murrelet, Arctic Tern, South Polar Skua, and Long-tailed Jaeger. It is also a good opportunity to look for rare species such as Cook's and Hawaiian Petrels, Townsend's Storm-Petrel, Least Storm-Petrel, and Guadalupe Murrelet.
    
    If you are interested in going or have any questions, please email me back (off list) and I will send you additional details and/or payment information.
    
    Tom Benson
    San Bernardino, CA
    thomasabenson AT aol.com
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  9. El Niño might be on the way LINK
    DATE: Jul 8, 2018 @ 11:15am, 4 month(s) ago
    Hi folks, NOAA climatologists are predicting a chance that an El Nio develops by late summer or fall and an even better chance that by winter one will have developed. We came out La Nia by the spring, and are now in neutral conditions. As a reminder, the warm water cycle of ENSO (El Nio Southern Oscillation) is called the El Nio and the cold water cycle is the La Nia. The major ocean effects in water temperature change are felt along the Equator, however in strong El Nio, the warming can extend to Baja and California. Changes in ocean temperature regimes affect where productivity and food is on the ocean, and this can shuffle the distribution of seabirds around. In any case, this bears some attention particularly a few months from now when we can see if this develops or fizzles. The June forecast is an important one as it is past an uncertainty period that occurs during the spring months, so this forecast is much more accurate than anything done in the spring. https://www.climate.gov/news-features/blogs/enso/june-2018-enso-update-el-ni%C3%B1o-watch In Central California we are seeing a warm water push closer to shore. Water went above the magic 60F temperature about 20 miles offshore a couple of days ago before retreating. The Chlorophyll maps show that some of this water is food poor, so blue albacore water. More of this water may come in during the next weeks, giving a greater chance for some offshore goodies, such as Pterodroma petrels, Craveris or Guadalupe murrelets etc. BTW, we are heading to the Farallon Islands next weekend, and on the 23d. July 21 is our July trip which has had some good birds in the past. All out of Half Moon Bay. http://alvarosadventures.com/boat-trips/pelagics/ Alvaro Alvaro Jaramillo alvaro@... www.alvarosadventures.com 
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  11. Upcoming pelagic trip out of Ventura on July 15 LINK
    DATE: Jul 3, 2018 @ 10:55am, 5 month(s) ago
     Hi All
    
    This is a reminder that Island Packers is offering a 12-hour
    deepwater pelagic trip from the Ventura Harbor at 7 am on Sunday July 15. This trip will allow us to get to offshore
    waters beyond the reach of most day trips where we will have a chance to see a
    number of outstanding pelagic birds and marine mammals. Our intention is to go southwest from Ventura
    towards San Nicolas Island and the banks, knolls, canyons and other productive
    features in the area. This will give us
    a chance to look for sought after species like Cooks Petrel, Red-billed
    Tropicbird, Least Storm-Petrel, Leach's Storm-Petrel, Townsend's Storm-Petrel,
    Guadalupe Murrelet and Craveri's Murrelet.
    Our trip to this area last year was outstanding and yielded Cooks
    Petrels, Black-footed Albatross, 45 Craveris Murrelets (!!), Brown Booby, and
    a variety of other pelagic species. Recent pelagic trips out of San Diego have
    found Craveris Murrelets, Nazca Booby, Masked Booby, and Townsends
    Storm-Petrel so there are some great birds in the Southern California Bight at
    the moment. We will decide what our offshore destination will be after
    reviewing oceanographic conditions at the time of the trip, which will help
    determine where the birds and other marine life may be present or concentrated.
    
    Summer trips in July and August coincide with the earlier
    parts of the southbound fall migration of arctic nesting species, the northward
    dispersal of southern nesting species, and the nesting and fledging periods of
    breeding species on the Channel Islands.
    Past trips have found Cooks Petrel (rare), Manx Shearwater (rare),
    Black-footed Albatross, Laysan Albatross (rare), Buller's Shearwater, Leach's
    Storm-Petrel, Blue-footed Booby, Brown Booby, Long-tailed Jaeger, South Polar
    Skua, Scripps's Murrelet, Craveri's Murrelet, Arctic Tern, and a variety of
    other shearwaters, storm-petrels, pelagic gulls and terns, phalaropes, and
    alcids. Patrolling the shoreline of
    Anacapa Island has yielded American Oystercatchers over the last few
    years. Summer is also an excellent time
    for Ashy and Black Storm-Petrels, and Cassin's Auklets. There is often a flock of 1000's of Black
    Storm-Petrels south of the islands that we will attempt to find. A few Rhinoceros Auklets and Common Murres
    should still be around, along with Pigeon Guillemots near the islands. Red-billed Tropicbird is always possible on
    summer trips, although not found every year.
    
    The trip will be on an ultra-fast catamaran that features a
    spacious and comfortable cabin, galley, and excellent viewing from both the
    upper and lower decks. A full contingent of outstanding seabird leaders will be
    present to make sure we see all that is out there. The Captain and crew know how to run birding
    trips and are enthusiastic and helpful.
    In addition, we work hard to creep up on birds and get them in the right
    light...photographers will not be disappointed!
    
    Trips can be booked over the phone by calling (805) 642-1393
    or online at www.IslandPackers.com by clicking the Reserve Trip tab, select the
    Special Trips tab, and select your desired departure. The cost of the trip is
    $195 per adult.
    
    Hope to see you at sea!
    
    Dave Pereksta
    Ventura, CA
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  13. Potential Cortez Bank pelagic trip, August 25 LINK
    DATE: May 29, 2018, 6 month(s) ago
    California birders,
    
    I am trying to organize a pelagic trip to the Cortez Bank this year. The basic details are: departure from Dana Point aboard the R/V Sea Explorer (same boat used on Orange County Audubon pelagics), leaving at 1-2 AM and returning at 8-9 PM on Saturday, August 25 (18-20 hours); there are NO bunks or full galley on board, but possibly enough room to sleep on the floor or benches inside (plenty of room outside). The per person cost will likely be $200 (it will not be more than that).
    
    This should be an excellent opportunity to add species like Black-footed Albatross, Leach's Storm-Petrel, Red-billed Tropicbird, Craveri's Murrelet, Arctic Tern, South Polar Skua, and Long-tailed Jaeger to your LA County (and California) list. It is also a good opportunity to look for rare species such as Cook's and Hawaiian Petrels, Townsend's Storm-Petrel, Least Storm-Petrel, and Guadalupe Murrelet.
    
    If you are interested in going, please email me back (off list) and let me know so I can put your name on the manifest and determine if there is enough interest to fill the boat. I have a list of about 15 people who have expressed interest already, but we need at least 15 more to fill the boat and make this trip happen. If you have any questions regarding the details of the trip, please contact me and I will answer them to the best of my ability.
    
    Tom
    thomasabenson AT aol.com
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  15. JOUANIN'S PETREL: A FIRST RECORD FOR NORTH AMERICA LINK
    DATE: Apr 11, 2018 @ 9:05pm, 7 month(s) ago
    Howdy, CalBirders,
    
    JOUANIN’S PETREL: FIRST NORTH AMERICAN RECORD:
    
    Today I learned that the “mystery” petrel briefly observed and photographed during the Saturday, September 12, 2015 Shearwater Journeys’ offshore albacore trip has been accepted by the California Bird Records Committee as a JOUANIN’S PETREL ( Bulweria fallax ). This record represents the first accepted record of this north-west Indian Ocean seabird for North America.
    
    This was a sold out trip accompanied by leaders: Scott Terrill, Linda Terrill, Alex Rinkert, Mary Gustafson, Rick Fournier, and Debi Shearwater. In addition, Will Brooks (a leader) was on board as a “regular” along with his father, Jim Brooks. Expert seabirder, Fabio Olmos from Brazil was on board, along with many keen local and out-of-state seabirders: Cooper Scallan, Doug Koch, Bryan Hix, Paul Fenwick, Chris Hartzell, Hillary White, Peder Svingen, Peter Haines, and others. Our captain this day was John Klusmire whose experience with Debi dates back to the mid-1980’s.
    
    Ace leader, Alex Rinkert, first spotted the petrel and called it a “Bulwer’s Petrel” from the stern of the boat which was a pretty darned good call. As the petrel circled the vessel toward the bow, Scott Terrill and I had a view as it crossed to the other side. However, having seen quite a few Bulwer’s Petrels (including the first record for North America on another of our Monterey Bay trips some years ago), I was immediately convinced that this bird was not a Bulwer’s Petrel, based on size alone. The sighting was in Santa Cruz County, based on using “nearest point of land” and at a depth of only 200 fathoms. This species occurs in shallow waters within its normal range.
    
    It should be noted that an extremely warm water “river” occurred along the north coast, off Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay during this period. The presence of warm water by itself was not so much a factor, as the fact that it smashed into a front of significantly cold water. It was this frontal zone that produced the food for seabirds. (It’s all about food.) Indeed, only 3 days later, we found a WHITE-CHINNED PETREL on our September 15, 2015 Half Moon Bay trip. That petrel flew in and sat on the water for 45 minutes— birders seemed to become bored with it!
    
    Much discussion ensued following the sighting of the September 12 petrel. Eventually, Scott Terrill and I put together all of the details we could muster— including many (not-so-great) photos which became known as “the petrel package.” This was circulated to some of the top world seabirders. David Ainley, Peter Harrison and Hadoram Shirihai responded independently and immediately that they judged the petrel to be a JOUANIN’S PETREL!
    
    Finally, the package went to the CBRC and they made a concurring diagnosis. Of course, any first record for North America requires a laborious vetting, but especially so with seabirds which often present the most fleeting of views.
    
    So, although we had a very good number of images, I would not particularly call any of them “great.” I will try to put up a post on my blog with some of these images. I will post about that when it becomes available.
    
    Subsequent to our first record, nine months later (June 2016) a petrel captured during mist netting at Santa Cruz Island (southern California) was identified as a Jouanin’s Petrel. It may or may not have been the same individual we saw in September 2015.
    
    Jouanin’s Petrel occurs widely offshore in the Arabian Sea and Gulfs of Aden and Oman, where it is the commonest pelagic seabird. It has showed up as a vagrant off Australia, Kenya, Seychelles, Saudi Arabia, and other places. BirdLife lists this species as Near Threatened. There are about 4 records for Hawaii.
    
    If you’d like to read an interesting and fun tale about Jouanin’s Petrels, I recommend this article by my friend, Bob Flood:
    http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/Scilly_Pelagics_Jouanins_Petrels.aspxs_id=746315633
    
    HISTORY OF OFFSHORE MONTEREY ALBACORE TRIPS:
    
    The “albacore, offshore Monterey” pelagic trip was invented by Debi Shearwater back in 1983. During the 1980’s albacore, a type of tuna, regularly occurred off Monterey Bay. Reports from fishermen of incredible seabird activity prompted me to begin offering these 12 hour trips. The purpose of this trip was to present a wholistic approach to enjoying marine life. To that end, we endeavored to search for key seabirds, including Craveri’s, Scripps’s, and Guadalupe Murrelets; blue and Baird’s Beaked whales; and to catch albacore, the “cadillac” of the tunas. We never dreamed these trips would turn out to produce so many incredible seabird records. Even though the albacore changed their migration pattern and rarely occur off Monterey nowadays, we continue to operate albacore trips. These trips always sell out in advance.
    
    Other rare, or very uncommon seabirds we have discovered on Shearwater Journeys’ past albacore trips have included: Laysan Albatross; Cook’s and Hawaiian Petrels; Streaked, Flesh-footed, Greater, and Manx Shearwaters; Least and Leach’s Storm-Petrels; Red-billed and Red-tailed Tropicbirds; Brown Booby; Craveri’s, Scripps’s, and Guadalupe Murrelets. This is a spectacular trip for jaegers, often encountering over 100 in one day! We almost always have a “grand slam” on Pomarine, Parasitic, and Long-tailed Jaegers, Long-tailed being the most commonly sighted. It is the single best trip to see South Polar Skua.
    
    Our September 9, 2017 Albacore trip indeed found all of the jaegers, South Polar Skua; Guadalupe, Scripps’s, and Craveri’s Murrelets, and many of the “regular” fall species. Northern Waterthrush and American Redstart were “bonus” birds.
    
    OUR UPCOMING ALBACORE: OFFSHORE MONTEREY TRIPS:
    SUN. SEP. 9
    SAT. SEP. 15
    
    See our complete schedule for 2018:
    http://www.shearwaterjourneys.com/schedule.html
    
    Past trip reports:
    Oct. 6, 2001 with STREAKED SHEARWATER and Black-throated Gray Warbler:
    http://www.shearwaterjourneys.com/ag011006.html
    Sep. 15, 2002 with 42 LONG-TAILED JAEGERS and murrelets:
    http://www.shearwaterjourneys.com/020913.html
    Sep. 10, 2006 with ten FLESH-FOOTED SHEARWATERS and 1500+ Buller’s Shearwaters:
    http://www.shearwaterjourneys.com/ag060910.htm
    Sep. 13, 2008 with 7000 ASHY STORM-PETRELS:
    http://shearwaterjourneys.blogspot.com/2008/09/shearwater-birthday-birding-sep-13-2008.html
    Sep. 12, 2009 with 24 COOK’S PETRELS and one HAWAIIAN PETREL:
    http://shearwaterjourneys.blogspot.com/2009/09/trip-report-sep-12-2009-monterey.html
    
    I gratefully thank all of the leaders and especially, the participants from near and far —representing 14 different states in the USA and Canada and Brazil. Without you , the participants, we have nothing. Special thanks to the many photographers on board who sent their images, and to the reviewers who worked on this amazing record.
    
    Now check that box!
    What’s next
    Still discovering first North American records after 40 years of trips!
    Debi Shearwater
    
    DEBRA SHEARWATER
    Shearwater Journeys, Inc.
    PO Box 190
    Hollister, CA 95024
    831.637.8527
    debi@...
    www.shearwaterjourneys.com
    www.shearwaterjourneys.blogspot.com
    
    Celebrating 43 Years of Seabirding with Shearwater Journeys
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  17. JOUANIN'S PETREL: A FIRST RECORD FOR NORTH AMERICA LINK
    DATE: Apr 11, 2018 @ 9:04pm, 7 month(s) ago
    Howdy, CalBirders,
    
    JOUANIN’S PETREL: FIRST NORTH AMERICAN RECORD:
    
    Today I learned that the “mystery” petrel briefly observed and photographed during the Saturday, September 12, 2015 Shearwater Journeys’ offshore albacore trip has been accepted by the California Bird Records Committee as a JOUANIN’S PETREL ( Bulweria fallax ). This record represents the first accepted record of this north-west Indian Ocean seabird for North America.
    
    This was a sold out trip accompanied by leaders: Scott Terrill, Linda Terrill, Alex Rinkert, Mary Gustafson, Rick Fournier, and Debi Shearwater. In addition, Will Brooks (a leader) was on board as a “regular” along with his father, Jim Brooks. Expert seabirder, Fabio Olmos from Brazil was on board, along with many keen local and out-of-state seabirders: Cooper Scallan, Doug Koch, Bryan Hix, Paul Fenwick, Chris Hartzell, Hillary White, Peder Svingen, Peter Haines, and others. Our captain this day was John Klusmire whose experience with Debi dates back to the mid-1980’s.
    
    Ace leader, Alex Rinkert, first spotted the petrel and called it a “Bulwer’s Petrel” from the stern of the boat which was a pretty darned good call. As the petrel circled the vessel toward the bow, Scott Terrill and I had a view as it crossed to the other side. However, having seen quite a few Bulwer’s Petrels (including the first record for North America on another of our Monterey Bay trips some years ago), I was immediately convinced that this bird was not a Bulwer’s Petrel, based on size alone. The sighting was in Santa Cruz County, based on using “nearest point of land” and at a depth of only 200 fathoms. This species occurs in shallow waters within its normal range.
    
    It should be noted that an extremely warm water “river” occurred along the north coast, off Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay during this period. The presence of warm water by itself was not so much a factor, as the fact that it smashed into a front of significantly cold water. It was this frontal zone that produced the food for seabirds. (It’s all about food.) Indeed, only 3 days later, we found a WHITE-CHINNED PETREL on our September 15, 2015 Half Moon Bay trip. That petrel flew in and sat on the water for 45 minutes— birders seemed to become bored with it!
    
    Much discussion ensued following the sighting of the September 12 petrel. Eventually, Scott Terrill and I put together all of the details we could muster— including many (not-so-great) photos which became known as “the petrel package.” This was circulated to some of the top world seabirders. David Ainley, Peter Harrison and Hadoram Shirihai responded independently and immediately that they judged the petrel to be a JOUANIN’S PETREL!
    
    Finally, the package went to the CBRC and they made a concurring diagnosis. Of course, any first record for North America requires a laborious vetting, but especially so with seabirds which often present the most fleeting of views.
    
    So, although we had a very good number of images, I would not particularly call any of them “great.” I will try to put up a post on my blog with some of these images. I will post about that when it becomes available.
    
    Subsequent to our first record, nine months later (June 2016) a petrel captured during mist netting at Santa Cruz Island (southern California) was identified as a Jouanin’s Petrel. It may or may not have been the same individual we saw in September 2015.
    
    Jouanin’s Petrel occurs widely offshore in the Arabian Sea and Gulfs of Aden and Oman, where it is the commonest pelagic seabird. It has showed up as a vagrant off Australia, Kenya, Seychelles, Saudi Arabia, and other places. BirdLife lists this species as Near Threatened. There are about 4 records for Hawaii.
    
    If you’d like to read an interesting and fun tale about Jouanin’s Petrels, I recommend this article by my friend, Bob Flood:
    http://www.rarebirdalert.co.uk/v2/Content/Scilly_Pelagics_Jouanins_Petrels.aspxs_id=746315633
    
    HISTORY OF OFFSHORE MONTEREY ALBACORE TRIPS:
    
    The “albacore, offshore Monterey” pelagic trip was invented by Debi Shearwater back in 1983. During the 1980’s albacore, a type of tuna, regularly occurred off Monterey Bay. Reports from fishermen of incredible seabird activity prompted me to begin offering these 12 hour trips. The purpose of this trip was to present a wholistic approach to enjoying marine life. To that end, we endeavored to search for key seabirds, including Craveri’s, Scripps’s, and Guadalupe Murrelets; blue and Baird’s Beaked whales; and to catch albacore, the “cadillac” of the tunas. We never dreamed these trips would turn out to produce so many incredible seabird records. Even though the albacore changed their migration pattern and rarely occur off Monterey nowadays, we continue to operate albacore trips. These trips always sell out in advance.
    
    Other rare, or very uncommon seabirds we have discovered on Shearwater Journeys’ past albacore trips have included: Laysan Albatross; Cook’s and Hawaiian Petrels; Streaked, Flesh-footed, Greater, and Manx Shearwaters; Least and Leach’s Storm-Petrels; Red-billed and Red-tailed Tropicbirds; Brown Booby; Craveri’s, Scripps’s, and Guadalupe Murrelets. This is a spectacular trip for jaegers, often encountering over 100 in one day! We almost always have a “grand slam” on Pomarine, Parasitic, and Long-tailed Jaegers, Long-tailed being the most commonly sighted. It is the single best trip to see South Polar Skua.
    
    Our September 9, 2017 Albacore trip indeed found all of the jaegers, South Polar Skua; Guadalupe, Scripps’s, and Craveri’s Murrelets, and many of the “regular” fall species. Northern Waterthrush and American Redstart were “bonus” birds.
    
    OUR UPCOMING ALBACORE: OFFSHORE MONTEREY TRIPS:
    SUN. SEP. 9
    SAT. SEP. 15
    
    See our complete schedule for 2018:
    http://www.shearwaterjourneys.com/schedule.html
    
    Past trip reports:
    Oct. 6, 2001 with STREAKED SHEARWATER and Black-throated Gray Warbler:
    http://www.shearwaterjourneys.com/ag011006.html
    Sep. 15, 2002 with 42 LONG-TAILED JAEGERS and murrelets:
    http://www.shearwaterjourneys.com/020913.html
    Sep. 10, 2006 with ten FLESH-FOOTED SHEARWATERS and 1500+ Buller’s Shearwaters:
    http://www.shearwaterjourneys.com/ag060910.htm
    Sep. 13, 2008 with 7000 ASHY STORM-PETRELS:
    http://shearwaterjourneys.blogspot.com/2008/09/shearwater-birthday-birding-sep-13-2008.html
    Sep. 12, 2009 with 24 COOK’S PETRELS and one HAWAIIAN PETREL:
    http://shearwaterjourneys.blogspot.com/2009/09/trip-report-sep-12-2009-monterey.html
    
    I gratefully thank all of the leaders and especially, the participants from near and far —representing 14 different states in the USA and Canada and Brazil. Without you , the participants, we have nothing. Special thanks to the many photographers on board who sent their images, and to the reviewers who worked on this amazing record.
    
    Now check that box!
    What’s next
    Still discovering first North American records after 40 years of trips!
    Debi Shearwater
    
    DEBRA SHEARWATER
    Shearwater Journeys, Inc.
    PO Box 190
    Hollister, CA 95024
    831.637.8527
    debi@...
    www.shearwaterjourneys.com
    www.shearwaterjourneys.blogspot.com
    
    Celebrating 43 Years of Seabirding with Shearwater Journeys
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  19. 10/16 Monterey Seabirds trip report-Scripps's, Guadalupe Murrelets, Flesh-foot, and other goodies LINK
    DATE: Oct 17, 2017 @ 2:01pm, 1 year(s) ago
    All,    Monterey Seabirds ended our pelagic season with an incredible tour of Monterey County yesterday.  This hearty and patient bunch of birders was a great group to be with for the day.  Everyone aboard was eager to run far offshore to get to a strong temperature break and it paid off.
      First, we had to get there.  Inside the Monterey Bay, we encountered BULLER'S, PINK-FOOTED, SOOTY and BLACK-VENTED SHEARWATERS.  One probable Short-tailed shearwater got away before a positive identification.  NORTHERN FULMAR (13) and BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS were encountered farther out.  We enjoyed great studies of POMARINE (7) and PARASITIC JAEGER.
      Conditions far from shore were calm and glassy.  We enjoyed the near t-shirt weather.
      A Skua slam was rounded out with a LONG-TAILED JAEGER when we got into deeper water.  SOUTH POLAR SKUA (7) were out in the deeper water as well.
      It took some patience to get to the warmer water as we hit a spell of very few birds for a while. One of two YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS landed on the boat and helped us pass the time. 
      Water temperatures quickly jumped from mid/upper 50s to mid 60s as we hit the temperature break. This is where we found the first pair of GUADALUPE MURRELETS (4 total). Two more were found well south of the first two.  While tracking the second pair, a pair of SCRIPPS'S MURRELETS (2) were also found.  Eight SABINE'S GULLS flew south during our time in the warm zone.
      Four more MURRELET SPP. got away when we got closer to shore.
      Icing for our cake Yes please!  A single FLESH-FOOTED SHEARWATER gave us distant but satisfying looks with gorgeous views of the Big Sur coast as background. 
      Also seen during the trip were several offshore COMMON LOON as well as RED-THROATED LOON.
      We enjoyed a stunning sunset with HUMPBACK WHALES, PACIFIC WHITE-SIDED and NORTHERN RIGHT WHALE DOLPHINS in the foreground.  BLUE SHARK (4) and Mola mola were found at various times during the epic journey.
      I owe a huge thanks to all of our participants this season.  I also have a deep gratitude for all of our spotters this year.  An extra thanks goes out to Dorian Anderson for spotting on so many of our trips and for finding most of our Tufted Puffins this season!
      Looking forward to next season!
      Photos will be posted soon to our facebook page as well as the eBird lists. Here's one:
    ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S39979385  
    https://www.facebook.com/montereyseabirdtours/  
    
    Good birding to all,
    
    Mark Kudrav
    Pacific Grove
    Monterey Seabirds
    
      
      
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  21. Pelagic trip out of Ventura with Island Packers on 7 Oct 2017 LINK
    DATE: Sep 25, 2017 @ 1:30pm, 1 year(s) ago
    Hi All
    
    This
    is a reminder that Island Packers is offering an 11-hour deepwater
    pelagic trip from the Ventura Harbor at 7 am on Saturday October 7. This
    trip will allow us to get to offshore waters beyond the reach of most
    day trips where we will
    have a chance to see a number of outstanding pelagic birds and marine
    mammals. The waters around the northern
    Channel Islands can be very productive during the fall when hundreds
    (sometimes thousands) of shearwaters crowd into the inter-island gaps. We will be looking through flocks of Black-vented,
    Pink-footed, and Sooty Shearwaters for Buller's, Flesh-footed (uncommon),
    and Manx (rare) Shearwaters. This is peak season for seabird diversity
    so in addition to the species already mentioned, Black-footed Albatross,
    Black and Ashy Storm-Petrels, Cassin's and Rhinoceros Auklets, and
    Pomarine and Long-tailed Jaegers are all possible. It is a good time of
    year for South Polar Skua, Sabine's Gull, and Arctic Tern. Recent trips
    near the islands have found Blue-footed Booby (2013-2014, 2016) and Brown
    Booby (2013-2017). There is also a potential for sought-after species
    like Cooks' Petrel, Red-billed Tropicbird, Least Storm-Petrel, Townsend's Storm-Petrel, Guadalupe Murrelet, and
    Craveri's Murrelet. The last 4 years have been exceptional for Craveri's
    Murrelet off southern California and with warm water continuing, our chances to find this elusive species may be good. We saw approximately 45 Craveri's Murrelets on our recent July trip from Ventura! In addition, there was a Nazca Booby seen on a pelagic trip out of San Diego this weekend so anything is possible out there. We
    will decide what our offshore destinations will be after reviewing
    oceanographic conditions at the time of the trip, which will help
    determine where birds and other marine life may be present.
    
    The trip will be on an ultra-fast catamaran that features a
    spacious and comfortable cabin, galley, and excellent viewing from
    both the upper and lower decks. A full contingent of outstanding seabird
    leaders will be present to make sure we see all that is out there. The
    Captain and crew know how to run birding trips and are enthusiastic
    and helpful.In addition, we work hard to creep up on birds and get
    them in the right light for photographers.
    
    Trips can be booked over the phone by calling (805) 642-1393 or online at www.IslandPackers.comby
    clicking the Reserve Trip tab, select the Special Trips tab, and select
    your desired departure. The cost of the trip is $170 per adult.
    
    Hope to see you at sea!
    
    Dave Pereksta
    Ventura, CA
  22. -back to top-
  23. SEP 9: MONTEREY, SANTA CRUZ, SAN MATEO PELAGIC BIRDS LINK
    DATE: Sep 12, 2017 @ 7:00pm, 1 year(s) ago
    Howdy, Birders,
    
    Shearwater Journeys’ September 9 Albacore Grounds, offshore from Monterey covered three counties: Monterey, Santa Cruz, and San Mateo. I haven’t done this for a number of years. And, last time I ventured into San Mateo County on a Monterey albacore trip, I saw two Red-billed Tropicbirds. We didn’t find any tropicbirds, but we did find a number of murrelets. We had excellent sea conditions with a light swell, but good visibility.
    
    Below, I present the species list by counties. Murrelets and jaegers are our target species on this trip and we fared very well. We recorded 19 murrelets, in total and had excellent views of most of them. We recorded 26 LONG-TAILED JAEGERS which is low compared to previous years for this trip.
    
    Note that the only ARCTIC TERNS were in San Mateo County. Some cool birds in Santa Cruz County included: BULLER’S SHEARWATER; SOUTH POLAR SKUA; GUADALUPE, SCRIPPS’S and CRAVERI’S MURRELETS; NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH and AMERICAN REDSTART.
    
    Many thanks to all of the birders who joined us from near and far. The leaders on this trip were: Scott & Linda Terrill, Alex Rinkert, Nick Levendosky, Mary Gustafson, Todd McGrath, and Debi Shearwater. We also saw blue, fin, and humpback whales.
    
    Upcoming trips include: Sep 14, 22, 24, and 30 from Monterey. Sep 15 and 16 from Half Moon Bay. Email me for a reservation: debi@... .
    
    September 9, 2017 Albacore Grounds: Offshore Monterey (more than 40 miles offshore on this trip)
    San Mateo (SM)/Santa Cruz (SCZ)/ Monterey (MTY)
    
    BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS- 3/3/19
    PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATER - 1/9/138
    BULLER’S SHEARWATER - 8/48/118
    SOOTY SHEARWATER - 10/64/5687
    BLACK-VENTED SHEARWATER - 0/0/28
    ASHY STORM-PETREL- 2/4/4
    BRANDT’S CORMORANT - 0/0/70
    PELAGIC CORMORANT - 0/0/1
    BROWN PELICAN- 0/0/25
    BLACK TURNSTONE - 0/5/0
    RED-NECKED PHALAROPE - 2/51/8
    RED PHALAROPE - 1/2/3
    SOUTH POLAR SKUA - 0/2/0
    POMARINE JAEGER - 3/3/6
    PARASITIC JAEGER - 1/2/15
    LONG-TAILED JAEGER - 5/10/11
    GUADALUPE MURRELET - 5/2/0
    SCRIPPS’S MURRELET - 0/4/2
    CRAVERI’S MURRELET - 0/2/0
    SCRIPPS’S/GUADALUPE/CRAVERI’S - 0/2/2
    RHINOCEROS AUKLET - 0/8/94
    CASSIN’S AUKLET - 1/0/1
    COMMON MURRE - 0/1/248
    SABINE’S GULL - 1/13/39
    WESTERN GULL- 0/1/55
    CALIFORNIA GULL - 0/1/66
    HEERMANN’S GULL - 0/0/6
    COMMON TERN - 1/3/7
    ARCTIC TERN - 2/0/0
    ELEGANT TERN - 0/0/100
    NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH - 0/1/0
    AMERICAN REDSTART - 0/1/0
    
    Living the Salt Live and SeaBirding for Science,
    Debi Shearwater
    
    DEBRA SHEARWATER
    Shearwater Journeys, Inc.
    PO Box 190
    Hollister, CA 95024
    831.637.8527
    debi@...
    www.shearwaterjourneys.com
    www.shearwaterjourneys.blogspot.com
    
    Celebrating 42 Years of Seabirding with Shearwater Journeys
  24. -back to top-
  25. SEP 9: MONTEREY MURRELETS LINK
    DATE: Sep 9, 2017 @ 9:37pm, 1 year(s) ago
    Howdy, Birders,
    
    Shearwater Journeys had a very successful offshore pelagic trip today out of Monterey Bay. One of the highlights included: all three murrelets around the boat at the same time: GUADALUPE MURRELETS at our 12 o’clock, SCRIPPS’S MURRELETS at our 2 o’clock, and CRAVERI’S MURRELETS at our 8 o’clock. It was extremely confusing because some leaders were saying, “I see Scripps’s Murrelets” while other leaders were saying, “No, I see Guadalupe Murrelets.” It took us a while to figure out that we were not all looking at the same murrelets. And, we practically missed the Craveri’s Murrelets. It was crazy.
    
    As far as I know, all three species of murrelets have never been seen at the same moment on a pelagic trip. A MURRELET GRAND SLAM!
    
    We also saw more murrelets throughout the day. We had a GRAND SLAM on jaegers: POMARINE, PARASITIC, and LONG-TAILED and SOUTH POLAR SKUA. I don’t have total numbers yet, but I believe Long-tailed Jaegers were the most abundant.
    
    Flocks of BULLER’S SHEARWATERS made beautiful ballet flights. We saw most of the regular fall seabirds. BLACK-VENTED SHEARWATERS were streaming in off Point Pinos from the south.
    
    A NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH and an AMERICAN REDSTART flew around the vessel, somewhere about 20 miles offshore.
    
    BLUE, FIN, and HUMPBACK WHALES were observed and a few NORTHERN FUR SEALS. One GUADALUPE FUR SEAL was sighted.
    
    It was a bit of a complicated day because we covered not only Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, but also dipped into San Mateo County.
    
    It was an altogether very successful Albacore Grounds trip, as our main target species during these trips are all three species of murrelets and jaegers, and blue whales. The weather was excellent.
    
    We are heading out of Monterey again, tomorrow.
    
    Living the Salt Life and SeaBirding for Science,
    Debi Shearwater
    
    DEBRA SHEARWATER
    Shearwater Journeys, Inc.
    PO Box 190
    Hollister, CA 95024
    831.637.8527
    debi@...
    www.shearwaterjourneys.com
    www.shearwaterjourneys.blogspot.com
    
    Celebrating 42 Years of Seabirding with Shearwater Journeys
  26. -back to top-
  27. Offshore: SEP 3 HALF MOON BAY LINK
    DATE: Sep 5, 2017 @ 6:50pm, 1 year(s) ago
    Howdy, Birders,
    
    Shearwater Journeys just had three pelagic trips this past weekend: September 1 from Monterey and September 2 and 3 from Half Moon Bay. There has been a strong southerly flow happening offshore. We first detected this flow on our September 2 Half Moon Bay trip when BLACK STORM-PETRELS showed up. The current was coming up from the south. A somewhat lazy southerly wind blew up. On September 3, the breeze was still going in the morning, but died down while we were out by noon. Even though we were offshore, it was still a warm day. Sea surface temperatures exceeded 64 F!
    
    Oh, what a difference a day makes! The inshore rafts of SOOTY SHEARWATERS had moved up to Pacifica. So, we headed offshore straight away. The inshore waters have been army-green colored with lots of plankton. Offshore, the water color turned to deep aqua-blue— albacore water! Indeed, the fishermen who were already out some 35 miles, caught a fair amount of albacore. One fisherman even caught an opah, a beautiful fish also known as the “moonfish.” (There’s a sunfish and a moonfish!)
    
    One of the highlights of our day was a very splendid GUADALUPE MURRELET spotted by leader, Peter Pyle. Many photographs were made of this little gem. Of all the murrelets, this one is the most difficult to see in central and northern California. Later, we spotted two SCRIPPS’S MURRELETS. Again, all on board had excellent views. Many photographs were made. One person shot 2,700 images! All of the murrelets were in San Mateo County.
    
    Near the weather buoy we saw and smelled a fish oil slick. Slicks such as this are naturally made by sea lions when they kill fish. So, coming upon such a slick is all part of the natural offshore world and not at all mysterious. BLACK, ASHY (both San Mateo and San Francisco Counties) and WILSON’S STORM-PETRELS were feeding over this slick. Other offshore slicks I have observed involved killer whales killing a sea lion. That made a big, stinky oil slick!
    
    We recorded most of the seabirds typical of this season including: BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSS; NORTHERN FULMAR; PINK-FOOTED, BULLER’S, SOOTY SHEARWATERS; POMARINE, PARASITIC and LONG-TAILED JAEGERS; RED and RED-NECKED PHALAROPES; SABINE’S GULL; ARCTIC and COMMON TERNS; CASSIN’S and RHINOCEROS AUKLETS. We recorded birds in both San Mateo and San Francisco Counties.
    
    It seemed that many of the whales had moved northward with the flow as well. Nevertheless, we managed to see BLUE, FIN, and many HUMPBACK WHALES and PACIFIC WHITE-SIDED DOLPHINS very nicely.
    
    I forgot to report a very exciting observation of a drone at sea which we saw on September 2. This was Saildrone #1006 which was deployed from the San Francisco area on September 1. It is on a NOAA mission, heading to the Equator to monitor for El Nino!
    
    We have a lot of upcoming trips with spaces available! I hope you can join us! For a reservation, email me: debi@... .
    
    HALF MOON BAY TRIPS:
    SEP 15 with Christian Schwarz, Debi Shearwater
    SEP 16 with Steve Hampton, Tim Miller, Abe Borker, Debi Shearwater
    
    MONTEREY TRIPS:
    SEP 7 with Alex Rinkert, Jim Holmes, Mary Gustafson, Rick Fournier, Debi Shearwater
    SEP 8 with Jim Holmes, Mary Gustafson, Brad Keitt, Christian Schwarz, Debi Shearwater
    SEP 9 with Alex Rinkert, Scott & Linda Terrill, Mary Gustafson, Todd McGrath, Nick Levendosky, Debi Shearwater (SEP 9 is sold out. Waiting list only)
    SEP 10 with Scott & Linda Terrill, Todd McGrath, Mary Gustafson, Ryan Terrill, Debi Shearwater
    SEP 14 with David & Patty Wimpfheimer, Debi Shearwater
    SEP 22 with Christian Schwarz, Hannah Nevins, Clay Kempf, Debi Shearwater
    SEP 24 with Jim Holmes, Nick Levendosky, Scott & Linda Terrill, Debi Shearwater
    SEP 30 with Alex Rinkert, Nick Levendosky, Scott & Linda Terrill, Clay Kempf
    OCT 8 with Alex Rinkert, Nick Levendosky, Scott & Linda Terrill, Clay Kempf
    
    Living the Salt Life and SeaBirding for Science,
    Debi Shearwater
    
    DEBRA SHEARWATER
    Shearwater Journeys, Inc.
    PO Box 190
    Hollister, CA 95024
    831.637.8527
    debi@...
    www.shearwaterjourneys.com
    www.shearwaterjourneys.blogspot.com
    
    Celebrating 42 Years of Seabirding with Shearwater Journeys
  28. -back to top-
  29. Pelagic trip out of Ventura with Island Packers on July 16 LINK
    DATE: Jun 30, 2017, 1 year(s) ago
    Hi All
    
    This is a reminder that Island Packers is offering a 12-hour deepwater pelagic trip from the Ventura Harbor at 7 am on Sunday July 16. This trip will allow us to get to offshore waters beyond the reach of most day trips where we will
    have a chance to see a number of outstanding pelagic birds and marine
    mammals. Our intention is to go south from Ventura towards San Nicolas
    Island and the banks, knolls, canyons and other productive features in
    the area. This will give us a chance to look for sought after species
    like Red-billed Tropicbird, Least Storm-Petrel, Leach's Storm-Petrel,
    Townsend's Storm-Petrel, Guadalupe Murrelet and Craveri's Murrelet. Research trips that have traversed the area south of the Channel Islands
    this spring have recorded a few rare species including a Nazca Booby
    and Cook's Petrels. We
    will decide what our offshore destination will be after reviewing
    oceanographic conditions at the time of the trip, which will help
    determine where the birds and other marine life may be present or
    concentrated.
    
    Summer
    trips in July and August
    coincide with the earlier parts of the southbound fall migration of
    arctic nesting species, the northward dispersal of southern nesting
    species, and the nesting and fledging periods of breeding species on the
    Channel Islands. Past trips have found Manx Shearwater (rare),
    Black-footed Albatross, Laysan Albatross (rare), Buller's Shearwater,
    Leach's Storm-Petrel,
    Blue-footed Booby, Brown Booby, Long-tailed
    Jaeger, South Polar Skua, Scripps's Murrelet, Craveri's Murrelet (several were seen out of San Diego last week so they are around), Arctic Tern, and a variety of other shearwaters,
    storm-petrels, pelagic gulls and terns, phalaropes, and alcids.
    Patrolling the shoreline of Anacapa Island has yielded American
    Oystercatchers over the last few years. Summer is also an excellent
    time for Ashy and Black Storm-Petrels, and Cassin's Auklets. There is
    often a flock of 1000's of Black Storm-Petrels south of the islands
    that we will attempt to find. A few Rhinoceros Auklets and Common Murres should still be
    around, along with Pigeon Guillemots near the islands. Red-billed
    Tropicbird is always possible on summer trips, although not found every
    year.
    
    The trip will be on an ultra-fast catamaran that features a
    spacious and comfortable cabin, galley, and excellent viewing from
    both the upper and lower decks. A full contingent of outstanding seabird
    leaders will be present to make sure we see all that is out there. The
    Captain and crew know how to run birding trips and are enthusiastic
    and helpful.In addition, we work hard to creep up on birds and get
    them in the right light...photographers will not be disappointed!
    
    Trips can be booked over the phone by calling (805) 642-1393 or online at www.IslandPackers.comby clicking the Reserve Trip tab, select the Special Trips tab, and select your desired departure. The cost of the trip is $195 per adult.
    
    Hope to see you at sea!
    
    Dave Pereksta
    Ventura, CA
  30. -back to top-


-revision history-
v1.30 - 01/05/16 - Revamped cloud logic, optimized database queries, linked to eBird rarities.
v1.23 - 12/08/11 - Added direct link to CBRC records.
v1.22 - 12/03/11 - Corrected GMT offsets on dates. Added last 5 posts at top.
v1.21 - 11/24/11 - Added direct link to range map for NA birds.
v1.2  - 11/23/11 - Greatly improved graphing technology - separates month vs. year by posts. Added species auto-complete functionality.
v1.14 - 11/22/11 - Added cloud bubble for common thread topics.
v1.13 - 11/22/11 - Added integrated photos where available.
v1.12 - 11/22/11 - Added multiple input boxes for additional refinement, negative search criteria (eg. -keyword).
v1.11 - 11/22/11 - Added banding code, species look-up. Also direct link to recent eBird observations.
 v1.1 - 11/22/11 - Added 'date' functionality. Shows top 'month/year' combinations for a query. Restrict results to that 'month/year'.
 v1.0 - 11/21/11 - Initial version coded. Currently archiving 'lacobirds' and 'calbirds'.