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Recent Southern California Pelagic Trip

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  • Walter Wehtje
    I just returned this morning from co-leading a four day pelagic trip out of San Diego aboard the Searcher . We travelled from San Diego to San Miguel Island,
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 9, 2005
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      I just returned this morning from co-leading a four day pelagic trip out
      of San Diego aboard the "Searcher". We travelled from San Diego to San
      Miguel Island, Cojo Anchorage at Point Conception, Patton Escarpment,
      San Juan Seamount, about 50 miles of 2,000+ fathom deep water, the
      Mushroom, and Sixty-mile Bank, before returning to San Diego.
      Highlights included 13-15 Cook's Petrels, 1 Murphy's Petrel, 2 Buller's
      Shearwaters, 2-3 Least Storm-petrels, 200+ Leach's Storm-petrels, dozens
      of Black Storm-petrels, 2 Ashy Storm-petrels, 12 Red-billed Tropicbirds,
      7 South Polar Skuas, all three jaegers, and 2 Craveri's Murrelets. Also
      of interest was an all-dark procelliform seen over our chum slick just
      before sunrise yesterday morning. With a pale bill and all-dark
      underwings, identification of this bird hinged on leg color. Several
      people insisted the legs were dark, while the two leaders with the best
      views felt it was probably a Flesh-footed Shearwater. Had it shown up
      15 minutes later, we'd have made a better identification, but I'm
      letting it go until next time. The Cook's Petrels were seen in Santa
      Barbara, Ventura and Los Angeles Counties, while the Murphy's Petrel was
      seen in Santa Barbara County.

      Conditions were windy for three of the four days, limiting our ability
      to find murrelets and cetaceans, but otherwise it was a great trip with
      good looks of all species except the Murphy's Petrel, and the all-dark
      bird. We'll post the trip list and a trip map on the Searcher website
      within the next few days. In 2006 we plan to run one April trip for
      Murphy's Petrels, and one September trip for Cook's Petrel and
      Red-billed Tropicbird. To see the trip map and trip list, as well as
      get more information about the 2006 schedule visit the Searcher website
      at http://www.bajawhale.com/birdingtrips.html

      Walter Wehtje
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