The Memorial Day weekend double-overnight Whales and Seabirds trip from San Diego aboard the live-aboard SEARCHER delivered all we hoped for and more: Sunny skies, warm temperatures, gently rolling seas and pleasant breezes. Highlights included 6 tropicbirds, 6 skua, 4 Laysan Albatrosses and 11 species of cetaceans including Blue Whales, a cooperative Minke Whale, a very late northbound adult Grey Whale and 20 very-rare-this-far-south Northern Right Whale Dolphins.
We did not venture as far north or west as we had two weeks earlier aboard Grande into the Cook's Petrel zone, instead making the decision to stay south of San Clemente island to maximize both our marine mammal and bird lists. We decided to leave it to the Condor Express to head back into 2000 fathom waters on June 12 to hunt more pterodroma and Laysan Albatrosses.
The trip report is now posted to SoCalBirding.com and included photos by 5 photographers plus video footage of South Polar Skua, Laysan & Black-footed Albies, Blue, Minke, Fin and Humpback Whales, Risso's and Pacific White-sided Dolphin:
Trip report: http://www.socalbirding.com/tripreports/searchermay29312010.html
The SEARCHER 5-Day Channel Islands and Deep Water trip is scheduled to depart San Diego on Labor Day. Hawaiian Petrel was seen on this trip a few years ago, and this is the prime time of year and location for Buller's Shearwater, Craveri's Murrelet and Red-billed Tropicbirds.
Expected September species: http://www.socalbirding.com/trips/searchersep6102010.html
Peace on earth.
W. Terry Hunefeld, Encinitas
Life is short. Seabird often.
In memory of Luke Cole
"Come on out with us to see what's out there."
Southern California Seabirding Trips
by: Buena Vista Audubon Society
Los Coronados Islands & Nine Mile Bank
all the way to the edge of the Continental Shelf