Its time to escape the heat, and head out to sea for the fall migration.
Shearwater Journeys covers the central California coast with a full line up
of pelagic trips from Sausalito, Monterey, Bodega Bay, and Fort Bragg. Our
leaders are highly experienced and friendly, and most have worldwide
seabirding experience that spans many decades. Trips are open to both
beginners and advanced seabirders. We hope that there is a trip, or
combination of trips that appeals to your sense of adventure. Most folks who
come from out-of-state do more than one trip, thereby maximizing their
efforts to see the migrating species. Our line-up of trips follows:
The season commences on August 7th with a trip from Sausalito to the
Farallon Islands. This trip sells out quickly every year, and this year was
no exception, despite the addition of a second boat. Both boats are full at
this time, and there is a waiting list. So, try to get on early next year.
There have been recent reports of MURPHY'S PETRELS 11-20 from the islands.
So, keep your fingers crossed!
Our Monterey program includes trips on August 12, 21, and 28; September 4,
10, 12, 23, 24, and 30; October 2, 7, 8, 11, 16, and 21. Monterey
destinations include the seavalley and the bay, where most of the seabirds
are usually concentrated. There is no better perfect trip for the first-time
seabirder than Monterey Bay. Seabirds are usually concentrated in the bay,
due to the magnificent submarine canyon, and the sea conditions are usually
very calm. This is our 30th year of offering trips from Monterey!
Black-footed Albatross can usually be found until mid-August. Arctic Terns,
all three jaegers, a variety of shearwaters and alcids can usually be found.
By September, migration is enhanced by the addition of more species. Often
we find storm-petrel flocks by mid-September. Flesh-footed Shearwaters show
up best in October. The August 12th and September 10th trips have only a
very limited number of spaces open. Our Albacore trips which depart from
Monterey and run from 5:30 am to 5:30 pm are scheduled for September 11, and
October 1 and 9. Albacore trips are best for finding Xantus' and Craveri's
Murrelets, an abundance of jaegers, South Polar Skua, and rarely,
Trips from Bodega Bay, north of San Francisco, are scheduled for August 16
and 29; September 9, 16, and 25; October 10 and 14. There is only a limited
number of spaces open on the September 25th trip. All trips are aboard the
New Sea Angler and meet at 6:30 am at Port O' Bodega, returning about 8-10
hours later. Bodega Bay is legendary for the number of rare seabirds that
have been recorded on Shearwater Journey's trips. Such specialties as
Short-tailed, Shy, and Light-mantled Sooty Albatrosses, Dark-rumped,
Murphy's, and Great-winged Petrels, Streaked Shearwater, Crested Auklet, and
Long-billed Murrelet have been observed on these trips. One never knows what
might show up on these trips!
Fort Bragg is about 3 hours' drive north of Bodega Bay, and has produced
many interesting seabird records, especially with regard to the number of
pelagic trips that have been run from this neat place. Our dates for Fort
Bragg trips: August 14, 26, and 27; September 18; and October 12. Rarities
are the focus of these trips, and have included: Shy Albatross, Murphy's
Petrel, Dark-rumped Petrel, and Streaked Shearwater, and possibly Markham's
Storm-Petrel and "Brown" Skua (see the latest issue of Western Birds). These
trips attact many of the Shearwater Journey's leaders, who fully anticipate
the next megararity. Fort Bragg trips and Bodega Bay trips are run in
tandemit is possible to include several trips in just a few days. We allow
a day in between the two locations, allowing birders the pleasure of birding
Highway 1 on the coast during fall migration. This is a great birding
opportunity. So, for instance, August 14, 15, & 16 (with the 15th as a
landbirding day), August 26, 27, 28, 29 (28th as a landbirding day),
September 16, 17, 18, (17th landbirding), October 12, 13, 14 (13th
landbirding) are examples of the above. We hope that you will join us on
these exciting trips!
Some of our leader line-ups include: August 12: Jennifer Green, Bert McKee,
Nikolas Haass, & Debi Shearwater; August 14: Luke Cole, Alan Hopkins, Bert
McKee, Nikolas Haass, Steve Howell, John Sterling, & Debi Shearwater; August
16: Luke Cole, Bert McKee, Steve Howell, & Debi Shearwater; August 21:
Jennifer Green, Mike Danzenbaker, Ted Chandik, & Bert McKee; August 26:
Jennifer Green, Luke Cole, Jim Danzenbaker, Steve Howell, Bert McKee & Debi
Shearwater; August 27; Luke Cole, Jim Danzenbaker, Steve Howell, Bert McKee
& Debi Shearwater; August 29: Luke Cole, Jim Danzenbaker, Steve Howell,
Peter Pyle, Al Jaramillo, & Debi Shearwater.
This looks like a very interesting year. Reports of very warm water,
breeding failure at the Farallon Islands, and False Killer Whales in
Monterey Bay earlier this summer are filtering in. Researchers off the
Oregon coast have reported Kittlitz's Murrlets and a sighting of a
Short-tailed Albatross. It is always hard to predict what will show up. We
hope for the "regulars" and cross our fingers for the megararities!
If you have any questions about these trips, or would like to make a
reservation, please contact me as soon as possible. I will be attending the
British Bird Fair in England from August 19-21. If you are there, please
stop by my booth in Marquee 4, Stand #92. Wishing you the best, and hope to
see you on the ocean this fall,
Debi Shearwater <debiluv@...
P.O. Box 190
Hollister, CA 95024