May Pelagic Trips To Hunt Rarities in San Diego & Los Angeles Waters
Looking for adventure? Want to add a few more SoCal species? How about some close encounters with Blue and Fin Whales? You're in luck two pelagic trips departing from San Diego in May promise some hard-to-find birds as migration brings them in San Diego and L.A. waters. Added bonus: A plethora of big marine mammals: Blue, Fin, Sei and Humpback Whales.
The first trip is SAT MAY 14 - a full day trip aboard Grande to the Nine and Thirty Mile Banks to find seldom-seen-in-San-Diego birds.
The next trip is Sat Mon, MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND, May 28 30. Two nights and three days aboard the most luxurious pelagic seabirding vessel in the United States SEARCHER.
The Buena Vista Audubon Society MAY 14 SPRING MIGRATION SPECIAL will travel to the westernmost boundary of San Diego waters at the Thirty Mile Bank. This is an excellent trip to see an abundance of "SoCal" seabirds AND possibly add species to your San Diego or California lists. We'll be trying for San Diego Arctic Tern, South Polar Skua, albatrosses (*) and Red-billed Tropicbird in San Diego County waters. See the trip description for more details and the "long shots" we'll be hunting like tropicbirds, puffins plus the birds we expect to see like Ashy Storm-petrels, shearwaters and lots of Xantus's murrelets. Only a handful of Laysan Albies have been seen in San Diego County, and many of us would like a Laysan on our San Diego list. Black-footed Albatross is likely (though certainly not guaranteed) - we saw 3 at the Nine Mile Bank on 16 May 2009 from Grande.
More details: http://www.socalbirding.com/upcomingtrips/sandiegomay142011.html
The MEMORIAL DAY trip is part of Searcher's annual "WILDLIFE WEEKEND" series brings us into deeper waters for three days dramatically multiplying the number of species we'll see. These trips focus on seabirds and marine mammals between San Diego, San Clemente Island and the Los Coronados Island. Last year on this trip we saw 6 tropicbirds, 6 skuas, 4 Laysan and 19 Black-footed Albies and an astounding 6,390 Pink-footed Shearwaters. Plus, this trip offers an outstanding opportunity to see some BIG marine animals. The video we shot last year tells the whole story. Spring is an amazing time of year to be "out there" on Searcher.
More details: http://www.socalbirding.com/upcomingtrips/sandiegomay28302011.html
ASHY STORM-PETRELS: May is the best month to find these elusive storm-petrels, and our best opportunity to see them is beyond the Nine Mile Bank. We'll also see Black Storm-Petrels and possibly Leach's.
SKUA: These trips affords a good opportunity to find South Polar Skua on their way North from their Antarctic breeding grounds. On May 9, 2009, we saw a Skua at the Nine Mile Bank from Grande.
TROPICBIRD: A long shot on May 14, likely on Memorial Day weekend. On May 9, 2009, we found a Red-billed Tropicbird just west of the Thirty Mile Bank. On 13 Feb 2010 we saw one at the Nine Mile Bank. We saw SIX last Memorial Day weekend from Searcher.
MURRELETS: May is a great time of year to see lots of Xantus's Murrelets.
PUFFINS: A long shot, but spring is the best time of year to pray for either puffin in SoCal. All five SoCal Tufted Puffin records since 2002 range from 27 April to 2 June. 23 of the 24 SoCal Horned Puffin records from 2007-2009 are in May and June.
Come on out with us to see what's out there.
W. Terry Hunefeld, Encinitas
Life is short. Seabird often.
In memory of Luke Cole and Mike San Miguel
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