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Upcoming SoCal Pelagics

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  • toddamcgrath
    Birders, There are still a number of SoCal pelagic trip trips left on the schedule for this fall. So far 2009 has been a most memorable year for pelagics off
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 18 9:53 PM

      There are still a number of SoCal pelagic trip trips left on the schedule for this fall. So far 2009 has been a most memorable year for pelagics off SoCal with trips in 2009 reporting such sought after species as Laysan Albatross, Cook's Petrel (3 in May and 136 in July), Manx Shearwater, Flesh-footed Shearwater, Wilson's Storm-petrel, Red-billed Tropicbird, Blue-footed Booby, South Polar Skua, Long-tailed Jaeger, Xantus's Murrelet (both subspecies), Parakeet Auklet (3 trips) and Horned Puffin. And it's only August, with the bulk of the fall seabird migration yet to come!

      Experts can debate what is causing this influx of species into our area, but whatever the reason, this is the year to get offshore. I have cleared as many weekends on my schedule as possible, and when I am not leading trips in SoCal, I will be on as many Shearwater Journeys trips as I can manage (some as a guest leader, others as a participant). Shearwater Journeys trips have already recorded hundreds of Cook's Petrels and a handful of Hawaiian Petrels from both Monterey and Bodega Bay. I would advise Bodega Bay (preferred) or Albacore grounds trips from Monterey for petrels, but any fall Shearwater Journeys trip can find a rarity, and a day on Monterey Bay with Debi will always be memorable. After over 100 days on the bay, I still get excited every trip. Check the full schedule at shearwaterjourneys.com. Debi has added a Bodega trip for Sept 5 to look for rarities, and I'm pleased to be helping Debi out as a guest leader on this trip. As always there will be a collection of top notch leaders and birders onboard.

      Of course there are also a variety of upcoming trips here in SoCal. The next trip on the schedule with space available is the 8 hour trip on the Condor Express Sept 26th. This LA Audubon trip will head out past the Channel Islands at the peak of fall seabird migration. This trip will likely not get deep enough for Cook's Petrels, but will be in the "zone" for rare shearwaters, storm-petrels and all the usual fall migrants. Cost is $115. Our 2 other 8 hour trips on the Condor Express this year produced Parakeet Auklets and Horned Puffin, proving that you don't have to go to the edge of the shelf to find goodies. The only accepted SoCal record for Streaked Shearwater was Sept in this area, and there was a bulweria type petrel (likely a Bulwer's) photographed off Santa Cruz Island a couple of years ago. Capt Matt and the Condor crew always do a great job, and they have been on a hot streak this year. I will put the LA Audubon contact information at the bottom of this report.

      The Capt of the Condor Express has agreed to run a 12-13 hour trip to the shelf edge November 7th. This trip will cost $195 and will head either due west to Arguello Canyon, or to the San Juan Seamount, depending on weather and sea surface temps. Either place could produce Stejneger's Petrel (with a cluster of records Oct-Nov) just to the north. Call the SeaLanding at 888-77WHALE to make a reservation. A more detailed description of this trip will be up on SoCal birding in a day or two. NOTE: YOU MUST RESERVE THROUGH LA AUDUBON FOR THE SEPT 26 TRIP, and with SeaLanding for NOV 7.

      Terry "Tuna" Hunefeld and Buena Vista Audubon also have a great series of overnight and day trips aboard the Grande this fall. Red-billed Tropicbird has been seen on every overnight Grande trip, and the day trips to the Coronados combine some great San Diego pelagic birding with a taste of Mexico.

      All the Southern CA trips are described in detail at Socalbirding.com I hope you can join us for some trips this year. So far this has been the best year of SoCal pelagic birding in my 10 years doing trips, and there is still a lot of time at sea left this year.

      Todd McGrath
      Calabasas CA and wherever the boat is

      Los Angeles Audubon Pelagic Reservation Instructions 2009

      Option 1 –Mail
      Mail your check or Credit Card information and a SASE (for trip confirmation and information flyer) for each trip requested to:

      Los Angeles Audubon - Pelagics
      P.O. Box 931057
      Los Angeles, CA 90093-1057.

      Option 2 –Call, pay with Credit Card
      Call Los Angeles Audubon at (323) 876-0202 (Mon. - Thur.) 9:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

      Option 3 –Email or Fax, pay with Credit Card
      E-Mail reservation request to: peltrip@...
      Fax reservation request to: (323) 876-7609

      You may now use Mastercard | Visa | Discover cards to charge your trip. Provide the cardholder's billing name, card number, expiration date, and the last 3 numbers (security code) from the reverse of your card.
      Provide the name(s), mailing address, contact telephone number, and email address (if used) for each person requesting a reservation.
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