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11283March 1, 2014 - 8-hour pelagic from Ventura

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  • David Pereksta
    Feb 9, 2014
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      Hi all

      If you want a rare chance to get offshore around the northern Channel Islands in March on a dedicated bird trip to see what seabirds and marine mammals are in the area, Island Packers in the Ventura Harbor is offering an 8-hour pelagic on March 1, 2014. This trip allows us to get out to the waters around the islands where we will have a chance to see a number of pelagic birds and marine mammals. Our intent is to go southwest from Ventura to the northern Channel Islands and surrounding waters where we will search for wintering and early breeding seabirds, especially alcids. This is an outstanding time to look for local breeders such as Scripps's Murrelets, Cassin's Auklets, Pigeon Guillemots, and species that are more abundant during the winter including Common Murres and Rhinoceros Auklets.  This is also the time of year that past trips have found Ancient Murrelets and Parakeet Auklets so anything is possible.  There have been lots of shearwaters around the islands this winter, including numbers of Black-vented, a few wintering Sooty and Pink-footed, and a Manx that has been seen several times off Ventura.  Short-tailed Shearwaters were reported in November and December in the Santa Barbara Channel, I saw one this week near Santa Barbara Island, and they are still a possibility in early March.  In addition, there have still been several Blue-footed Boobies and a Brown Booby on Anacapa Island so we plan to look for them as well as American Oystercatchers along the shoreline of the island.  We should see numbers of Northern Fulmars and other possibilities include Parasitic and Pomarine Jaegers, Black-legged Kittiwake, and Red Phalarope.  If we get as far west as San Miguel Island, we increase our chances for rarer species including Laysan and Black-footed Albatrosses.

      Our vessel will be one of Island Packer’s ultra-fast catamarans. These vessels feature a spacious and comfortable cabin that seats 65 people (although we are selling the trip out at less than that number for comfort), 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. We will also be adequately supplied with various types of chum to try and bring the birds in close.  Photographers will not be disappointed!
      The cost for the trip is $170. We depart the Ventura Harbor promptly at 8:00 AM, so please arrive by 7:30 AM to facilitate check-in and loading. Call Island Packers at 805-642-1393 or go online at www.islandpackers.com to reserve your spot. I look forward to seeing you on-board in March.
      David Pereksta