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8324May 1 LAAS Deepwater Pelagic from Santa Barbara

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  • toddamcgrath
    Jan 27, 2010

      I am pleased to announce that The Los Angeles Audubon Society will again be sponsoring a series of pelagic trips off Southern California in 2010. Three of these trips will be out of Santa Barbara on the fast and comfortable "Condor Express." This is a great boat, with a huge cabin, outstanding galley, and one of the best Captains and crew in the business. There will also be our usual core of excellent leaders.

      The speed of the Condor Express allows us to reach areas like the San Juan Seamount, and the 2,000 fathom waters where pterodroma petrels and other goodies can be found.
      On our way out and back to the deepwater we cross several productive canyons and basins, giving us ample opportunities study more nearshore species.

      We have two13 hour deepwater trips planned, the first of which is May 1st. Rarities found on past spring trips include Murphy's and Hawaiian Petrels, Parakeet Auklets, and both Horned and Tufted Puffins. Cost is $195 and the boat departs at 7:00AM (meet at 6:30AM). Sign-up information is at the bottom of the message.

      Spring Migration will be in full swing, and we often see Black-footed (regular) and Laysan (uncommon) Albatrosses, all 3 jaegers (Long-tailed rare but regular in spring) Pink-footed, Sooty, Back-vented, and Flesh-footed (rare) shearwaters.

      Xantus's Murrelets are breeding on the Channel Islands at this time of year, and are usually present in numbers near the islands. Black, Leach's and Ashy storm-petrels are often present, and we are likely to see numbers of Phalaropes (both Red and Red-necked) as well as Sabine's Gulls. We are likely to see good numbers of Cassin's Auklets and some Rhinoceros Auklets as well.

      We did 5 trips with the Condor Express in 2009 (2 LA Audubon trips, as well as a charter, and two pelagics run directly by Condor Cruises). Our Spring deepwater trip was weathered out.

      If you managed to be on all five trips last year, you ended up with a pretty good seabird list, including Cook's Petrel (134 in July, spectacular views) Red-billed Tropicbird (1 in July) Parakeet Auklet (2 in March) Horned Puffin (1 in May) Brown Booby (one in Santa Barbara in Sept), Blue-footed Booby (Ventura's first record) and Least Storm-petrel (Sept). Plus all the regularly expected species. Socalbirding.com has full trip reports for these trips, plus all the great trips sponsored by Buena Vista Audubon out of San Diego.
      The full schedule of 2010 trips is also available there.

      Will 2010 be able to top 2009? I have no idea, but I know we are going to have a lot of fun trying.

      Note that there is different booking process for the Los Angeles Audubon trips on the Condor Express. In order to make the booking process easier, the Sea Landing in Santa Barbara will handle all bookings for these trips.
      Here's how to contact Sea Landing:

      PHONE: (805) 882-0088 / FAX: (805) 965-0942
      TOLL-FREE IN THE U.S.: (888) 77-WHALE

      May 1st Deepwater pelagic
      Cost $195
      Departure: 7:00 AM (meet at 6:30AM)
      Duration 13+ hours

      I hope to see you onboard.

      Todd McGrath
      Calabasas, CA