The Channel Islands and Deep Water Pelagic Week aboard North America's most luxurious birding live-aboard, SEARCHER, find rarities and mega-rarities on nearly every trip. The diverse array of birds seen from SEARCHER is a result of a diverse itinerary - from near-shore to inter-islands to the edge of the Continental Shelf.
September SEARCHER trips from 2003-2010 have amassed an amazing list of species: Black-footed Albatross, Northern Fulmar, Murphy's Petrel, Cook's Petrel, Hawaiian Petrel, Flesh-footed Shearwater, Buller's Shearwater, Pink-Footed Shearwater, Sooty Shearwater, Black-vented Shearwater, Least Storm-Petrel, Leach's Storm-Petrel, Ashy Storm-Petrel, Black Storm-Petrel, Red-billed Tropicbird, Red-necked Phalarope, Red Phalarope, South Polar Skua, Pomarine Jaeger, Parasitic Jaeger, Long-tailed Jaeger, Sabine's Gull, Arctic Tern, Pigeon Guillemot, Common Murre, Xantus's Murrelet, Craveri's Murrelet, Cassin's Auklet, Rhinoceros Auklet.
Both the bird life and marine mammal sightings are exceptional on this annual pelagic. 5 species of whales and 5 species of dolphin would not be considered unusual during this Labor Day week excursion. Add to that flying fish, mola mola, an assortment of shark and a little deep sea fishing, and the trip is fun for everyone, especially a birding enthusiast and a spouse.
The SEARCHER pelagic consists of 4 solid days at sea, departing on Labor Day morning, returning the following Friday morning at dawn. There is nothing quite like being on such a luxurious craft with like-minded people, all sharing an interest in the wonders of life over the ocean.
Many birders come from Europe or the east coast of the U.S. to participate in these trips, and many of them do additional birding in SoCal while they're out here. This year SEARCHER has teamed up with the Buena Vista Audubon Society to sponsor a field trip to the Salton Sea led by Todd McGrath on Saturday September 4. This trip is limited exclusively to Searcher registrants.
SEARCHER departs San Diego on Labor Day morning. We spend the day birding our way up San Diego's famous Nine Mile bank and other underwater banks, ridges and canyons. The morning of our second day at sea finds us in the northern Channel Islands. From there we travel north and west to the deeper waters, west past Point Conception to Arguello Canyon and perhaps the Rodriguez Dome.
The third day finds us in two-mile deep waters where we explore the known pterodroma corridors beyond the San Juan Seamount and other seamounts at and beyond the edge of the Continental Shelf.
Please join us for a week of fun and adventure while being pampered by the crew of SEARCHER.
Details of the SEARCHER Labor Day Week Live-aboard Pelagic:
The SEARCHER trip logs contain more detailed information of past trip sightings:
The Status & Distribution of SoCal Pelagic Birds can be viewed at:
Details of the Salton Sea Day Trip:
Peace on earth.
W. Terry Hunefeld, Encinitas
Life is short. Seabird often.
In memory of Luke Cole and Mike San Miguel
"Come on out with us to see what's out there."
Southern California Seabirding Trips
by: Buena Vista Audubon Society
Los Coronados Islands & Nine Mile Bank
all the way to the edge of the Continental Shelf
Our SoCal Pelagic "e-Newsletters"
A Few Of Our Seabird & Marine Mammal Adventures: