I just wanted to share a couple brief highlights of the annual
September LAAS "Channel Island" trip yesterday, 9/8. And plug an
upcoming Condor deepwater overnight Pterodroma hunt if you don't mind...
I'll get a trip report together shortly, but it's a lot of scribbling to
decipher, and numbers to add up! Yes I try to write down every bird, every
trip, but it is nearly impossible, expecially when it is slam-banging
birds! And of course no one sees everything either...
September is amongst the best times to seabird socal, especially for a few
particular species whose presence here peaks at that time. It was an
astounding trip, with most of the Septmember specialties coming through and
showing well for us.
Highlights were probably over 100 Sabine's Gulls with 65 at once sitting in
the water dipping like Mallards feeding on Krill at the surface nearly under our
bow. A flock of 35 Sterna Terns over them - 25+ Arctics the rest Commons,
and dipping Krill. About 10 South Polar Skuas were seen, most
very close to the boat- golden hackles and all. Then there were the nearly
10 Long-tailed Jaegers in all age classes, some sitting on the water in with the
Sabine's/Arctic flocks. Earlier a single flock of 4-5 sitting, then flushed and
circled the boat for some time. And the Buller's Shearwaters, probably
about 3 dozen of them, often sitting too, and providing excellent views of
this prettiest of Shears... Toss in a dozen+ Blue Whales lunge feeding
amongst the Krill melee (the krill was jumping out of the
water!) and dis-satisfied customers were rarer than CBRC accepted
sight records of accidental pelagics :) ! Wish you were there!
Of course superior spotting skills of co-leaders Mike San Miguel
Jr., Kevin Larson, and
participants like Dave Pereksta ovecame the handicap of my
The next socal Pterodroma hunt which offers chances at most of what we saw
above and more leaves Sta.Barbara Fri. nite 9/28 at 11p.m. returning 24
hours later, and will go far offshore to the Arguello Canyon area. These
are the premium socal pelagics. This is the best it gets for seabirding
here. Another will depart 11/2. Contact me or www.condorcruises.com to sign up.
They are $150, and you buy your meals from the full galley, and sleep your way
A full trip report with tallied numbers, and such will be forthcoming
thanking you for your indulgence.....
Mitch Heindel Torrance,CA
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