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Trip Report - April 27 deepwater pelagic

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  • David Pereksta
    Hi all The April 27 deepwater pelagic on Island Packer s Islander was successful in reaching the Rodriguez Seamount and the deep waters surrounding it.  The
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 30, 2013
      Hi all

      The April 27 deepwater pelagic on Island Packer's "Islander" was successful in reaching the Rodriguez Seamount and the deep waters surrounding it.  The forecast in the morning was more daunting than we hoped for, but we were able to get as far west as we wanted before the winds and seas came up in the afternoon.  Our course from the Ventura Harbor was straight west out the Santa Barbara Channel to a point several miles north of the west channel buoy.  Highlights along this stretch were 100s of Common Murres not far off Ventura, 1000+ Red-necked Phalaropes, 2,000 Bonaparte's Gulls, 10 Sabine's Gulls, 5 Black Terns on kelp patties, and the expected tubenoses (Northern Fulmars, Sooty Shearwaters, Pink-footed Shearwaters, Ashy Storm-Petrels) and alcids (Scripps's Murrelets, Cassin's Auklets, Rhinoceros Auklets).  A Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel flew by the bow and then down our wake in the west channel, but this bird was not seen by many.

      From there we traveled southwest through the waters near Point Conception to the northwest corner of the Rodriguez and crossed it diagonally to the southeast.  Highlights here included a Laysan Albatross that stayed behind the boat long enough for everyone to see it well, especially when it flew within a few feet of the back rail!  We also had several Black-footed Albatrosses that followed the boat for a while.  The one that got away was a dark Pterodroma petrel (likely a Murphy's Petrel) seen briefly far away on the horizon that we could not make any ground on despite the valiant efforts of Captain Anthony.

      From the Rodriguez, we followed the 1,000 fathom line east to the area south of San Miguel and Santa Rosa Islands where we saw our largest numbers of Red Phalaropes for the day.  On our return south of Santa Cruz Island and then through the Anacapa Passage, we made a special effort to get everybody their best looks at Scripps's Murrelets for the day and had several obliging pairs.

      Overall, we had a productive trip with lots of birds including a few uncommon and rare ones.  Island Packers did a spectacular job getting us out to where we wanted to go and taking care of the needs of the passengers.  Captain Anthony, Joel and Laurie were awesome!  We hope this is the first of many future trips with Island Packers.

      Preliminary totals are as follows:

      Ventura County

      Surf Scoter -1
      Red-throated Loon - 2
      Pacific Loon - 75
      Eared Grebe - 1
      Western Grebe - 10
      Sooty Shearwater - 50
      Brandt's Cormorant - 8
      Pelagic Cormorant - 2
      Brown Pelican - 55
      Red-necked Phalarope - 125
      Western Gull - 160
      Common Murre - 300
      Scripps's Murrelet - 6
      Cassin's Auklet - 4

      Santa Barbara County

      Red-throated Loon -1
      Pacific Loon - 5
      Black-footed Albatross - 3
      Northern Fulmar - 14
      Dark PTERODROMA sp. (MURPHY's PETREL?) - 1
      Pink-footed Shearwater - 11
      Sooty Shearwater - 320
      Ashy Storm-Petrel - 12
      Red-necked Phalarope - 1,325
      Red Phalarope - 31
      Sabine's Gull - 17
      Bonaparte's Gull - 2,000
      Western Gull - 75
      California Gull - 16
      Black Tern - 5
      Common Tern - 3
      Common/Arctic Tern - 2
      Pomarine Jaeger - 2
      Common Murre - 9
      Scripps's Murrelet - 16
      Cassin's Auklet - 93
      Rhinoceros Auklet - 27

      We are in the process of setting up trips for the summer and fall out of Ventura and Santa Barbara, and will announce them as soon as they are confirmed.  Keep an eye on socalbirding.com or like us on Facebook as "Southern California Pelagic Bird Trips."


      David Pereksta
      Ventura, CA

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