Following is the trip report for the 9/29 deepwater trip
from Sta. Barbara on the Condor. First I'd like to remind
everyone, the last overnight 24 hr. deepwater trip on the
Condor will leave Nov. 2 at 11 p.m., and spend 11/3 asea.
The Condor is heading south, to San Diego. The Jan. trip
is being rescheduled for Feb., probably, and will be on the
new boat (a high speed cat). Please join us for the 11/3 trip!
As for the 9/29 trip, the sea gods were angry apparently...
with 10'+ swells, and 20-30 knot winds !!! We could not
explore the Arguello Cyn. area as hoped for, and had to
head south west. Further there had been offshore winds
for a few days prior, seemingly blowing seabirds way asea.
The Brown Pelicans in singles and twos, 30-50 miles out
attested to this. I'd only seen one out there prior....
We did Rodriguez Smt., with a slick, to little avail, and then
went southwest to the area where we had the Wedge-rump St-Pt
a few years ago, about 35 miles SW of S. Miguel Isl. at the edge
of the shelf. We were in 1500+ fathom waters for some time,
seeing many pelicans out there !! Another slick was made at the
311 bank, SSW of Sta. Rosa Isl, at the edge of the S.Rosa Flats.
A couple/few Storm-Petrels responded to this one.... I presume
the whale and lady sp. butterfly there were coincidence.
The rarest bird seen was a dark morph Long-tailed Jaeger.
The most interesting animals were the Curvier's Beaked-Whale
which at the last second dove under the bow, and the surfing
Fin Whale. We saw a fair number of Fin Whales, very close.
One most closely resembled something Disney would have done
in Fantasia. From Fin to Fluke, the rear section of the
was out of the water, as it surfed on a 10'+ swell parallel to us!!!
Albacore burgers for lunch were a treat, but no Albatross were seen!
Overall I was struck by the dearth of birds. It was the
pelagic trip I've been on in years. How do you deal with the guilt?
Several possible good birds remained mystery birds, not ID'd....
We did have a "Skua slam" though....
Here's the tally I came up with...
NO Albatross !?!?!?!
Pink-footed Shearwater - 72
Buller's Shearwater - 5
Sooty Shearwater - 19
Storm-Petrel sp. - 2
Ashy Storm-Petrel - 3
prob. Black St-Pt - 1
Least Storm-Petrel - 1 two obs- brief view
Brown Pelican - 17
Red Phalarope - 15
South Polar Skua - 3 - one came to slick
Pomarine Jaeger - 5
Parasitic Jaeger - 6
Long-tailed Jaeger - 4 one dark morph at 1:30
Western Gull - 25
California Gull - 5
Arctic Tern - 26 - high number for so late
Murrelet sp. - 1 - only alcid !
someone called Sabine's Gull???
passerine sp. - 1
mystery birds - 5 of 3 sps.
15 positively ID's species (!)
217 individuals (double Yikes!)
Common Dolphin, CA Sea Lion,
Fin Whale - 5 Blow sp. 5-10
Curvier's Beaked Whale - 1 (+?)
Mola 6+ - Albacore 2
Lady sp. Butterfly - 1
Thanks to co-leaders Don DesJardin,
Peter Cantle and Bernardo Alps
and Captains Mat Curto and Ron Hart, who
did a great job under adverse conditions.
Join us 11/3 for the last overnight deepwater
trip on the Condor !!! It will be better.....
A 10/26 trip several years ago had thousands
of Buller's, 7 Flesh-foots, and 6 Cookilarias,
and last Nov. we saw 50 Black-footed Albatross,
2 Laysans, Flesh-foot, and a couple probable Cook's.
The Red-tailed Tropicbird was in Nov. as well.
pelagic fanatic, beak geek, bird nerd
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