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  • Debi Shearwater
    ... Debra Love Shearwater Shearwater Journeys www.shearwaterjourneys.com debi@shearwaterjourneys.com PO Box 190 Hollister, CA 95024 USA 831/637-8527 Real
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 14, 2006
      Begin forwarded message:

      > From: Debi Shearwater <debiluv@...>
      > Date: August 14, 2006 11:26:34 AM PDT
      > To: Calbirds <CALBIRDS@yahoogroups.com>, pelagics@yahoogroups.com,
      > northbaybirds@yahoogroups.com
      > Greetings, Seabirders,
      > Shearwater Journeys' pelagic trip from Fort Bragg on August 13th was
      > just spectacular! Multiple highlights of the day included a
      > magnificent "DARK-RUMPED" PETREL which put on a spectacular show,
      > flying off the bow of our boat for a record 17 minutes! As the sounds
      > of many digital cameras clicked at lightning speed, our skipper, Jason
      > Rosetti, managed to follow this incredible mega-rare (in the USA)
      > pterodroma as it made repeated, swift arcing passes! This may be one
      > of the few instances that a pterodroma has ever been followed by a
      > vessel off California for such a long time! I'm estimating that well
      > over 1000 digital images were shot of this bird!
      > Other, lesser, highlights of this weather-perfect day included: a
      > LAYSAN ALBATROSS sitting on the water amongst a flock of BLACK-FOOTED
      > ALBATROSSES; great views of small flocks of BULLER'S SHEARWATERS
      > sitting on the water; a small flock of ASHY STORM-PETRELS; all three
      > species of jaegers, including 32 LONG-TAILED JAEGERS; a SOUTH POLAR
      > SKUA; two, calling XANTUS' MURRELETS; a fly-by MARBLED MURRELET in the
      > morning, as we were leaving the harbor; a TUFTED PUFFIN flying around
      > the boat when we stopped to put out an oil slick.
      > At the dockside, during the morning announcements, I reminded folks
      > that a boat departing from Fort Bragg is already 50 miles further west
      > as compared to departing from Monterey, since the California coastline
      > does not run straight north and south. (See Peter Pyle's article in
      > the lastest issue of North American Birds, published by the American
      > Birding Association) In addition, this trip was billed as a search for
      > the "Mega-rarities" among seabirds. Consequently, I stated that a
      > "mere" booby would not qualify for me! Naturally, we all realize that
      > the rare seabirds, are just that�rare�and, therefore not seen on every
      > trip. But, the Fort Bragg trips have produced so many truly rare
      > seabirds in only a few years, that this one particular port may well
      > be the best location to place your bets. The odds are good.
      > We departed Noyo Harbor at 7 am for the Noyo Canyon and Viscaino
      > Knoll, some 35 miles offshore. The winds were from the northwest at
      > 15-20 knots, just right for flying seabirds, and for seabirders. No,
      > or very little spray was coming over the boat, making it easy for
      > birders to see the vast numbers of birds. There was no fog, and the
      > skies were uniformly, high overcast. Perfect conditions for the best
      > seabird trip. The sea surface temperature was 51-52 F throughout the
      > day, alerting me to the fact that seabirding could be fantastic.
      > Furthermore, we began the day with hundreds of seabirds, and we ended
      > the day with many seabirds. There was no lull in the day, and birders
      > were on keyed up all day, checking out every single bird within view.
      > To top off the trip, the boat was laden with a high percentage of very
      > experienced seabirders�not just the leaders, but many, many of the
      > participants, as well. Special among the passengers, Herb and Olga
      > Clarke were on board, celebrating 54 years of marriage. The, "Jersey
      > Boys," George Wenzelburger, Bob Dodelson, Jim Zamos, and Ed Greaves,
      > as well as our Mendocino loyals, Jerry White, Chuck Vaughn, and Matt
      > Mattiessen joined us. Capping off our trip, we were joined by six of
      > the "young birders"�Matt Brady, Ryan Terrill, Austin Booth, Oscar
      > Johnson, Ayla Reith, and Brett. Their excitement and enthusiasm
      > throughout the day was inspiring to everyone. And, thus, the Perfect
      > Seabirding Day was born!
      > Approximately five miles offshore, we began to run into large numbers
      > of shearwaters, which is normal for this trip. This occupied our time,
      > but we pushed offshore for the canyon edges where we immediately found
      > the first albatrosses of the day. The majority of the jaegers were far
      > offshore, with Long-tails being the most numerous, as is the case at
      > this time of year. The photographic opportunities were abundant�from
      > Buller's Shearwaters and albatrosses sitting on the water, to the
      > vocalizing Xantus' Murrelets, to the flying Tufted Puffin circling the
      > boat, to the magnificent flight of the Dark-rumped Petrel. And, the
      > cameras abounded. There must have been at least thirteen people on
      > board with cameras, including video.
      > The "DARK-RUMPED" PETREL was spotted by leader, Lisa Hug who stuttered
      > and spitted the words out on the bow, while Ryan Terrill was shouting
      > the bird's name from the stern. It was 11:20 am, close to the hour
      > when we have seen so many other rare seabirds. People rushed from the
      > cabin to the rail, as the pterodroma flew by the boat. Soon, nearly
      > everyone was crowded on the bow, as I gave directions for the skipper
      > to follow the bird. We did this successfully for 17 minutes, with the
      > bird making passes at the bow as closely as 30 feet. The thrilling
      > excitement of this chase was unimaginable! Finally, the bird rapidly
      > peeled off, leaving a wake of deliriously thrilled seabirders.
      > The "Dark-rumped" Petrel was only 18 miles offshore, at N39
      > 36.619/W124 09.194 on the "sixth dog leg" of Noyo Canyon in 576
      > fathoms. The sea surface temperature was 52 F. One of the remarkable
      > things about Fort Bragg trips is that we have found so many rare
      > seabirds relatively close to shore, and this one was no exception. No
      > need for the drudgery of a 100 mile offshore trip. Out of
      > approximately 20 August Fort Bragg trips in the past 7 years, we have
      > found "Dark-rumped" Petrel three times. We have identified this bird
      > as "Dark-rumped" Petrel, even though the species has been split to
      > Hawaiian and Galapagos Petrel, because, according to the world's best
      > seabird experts, these two species are not separable in the field, or
      > even necessarily in the hand at this time. Identification of seabirds
      > is an evolving field, and new information may well become available in
      > the future that will enable us to separate these two species in the
      > field. If that should happen, the many photographs of this individual
      > may prove invaluable.
      > Finally, capping off this incredible day, we all rushed to Virgin
      > Beach to look for the BAR-TAILED GODWIT which was found by Matt
      > Matthiessen. After successfully refinding and photographing the
      > godwit, we also found Baird's Sandpiper, Snowy and Semipalmated
      > Sandpipers, Surfbirds, Harlequin Ducks, and many other migrants. Not
      > only is Fort Bragg a great seabirding spot, but also a great
      > landbirding place. We wasted no time in making the best of an already
      > better day!
      > While I could go on about this day, I will say that it was certainly
      > one for the history books of California seabirding�The Perfect
      > Seabirding Day! The leaders on this day were: Lisa Hug, Scott Terrill,
      > Linda Terrill and Debra Shearwater. Chummer Matt Brady was assisted by
      > the other young birders. I would like to express my thanks to the many
      > participants who traveled to Fort Bragg (especially those flying in
      > these trying times).
      > Shearwater Journey's upcoming pelagic trips include the following:
      > From Fort Bragg on August 25 & 26 (thirteen spaces available on each
      > trip) and September 17th. From Bodega Bay on August 15 & 28 and
      > September 8, 15, 24 and October 9, 13, 20. From Monterey September 3,
      > 9, 11, 22. 23, 29 and October 1, 6, 8, 22, 28. And, Albacore trips
      > from Monterey on September 10 (limited spaces available) and 30 and
      > October 7 and 15. RESERVATIONS: To make a reservation for the late
      > August trips or for September 3rd, please contact JENNIFER GREEN at
      > 831/479-3521 before 9 pm Pacific Time, or at greenotr@.... For
      > all reservations after September 3rd, please send a check or money
      > order to Debra Shearwater at PO Box 190, Hollister, CA 95024. Please
      > note, Debra will be out of the office until August 30th, either on
      > boats, or working at her booth at the British Bird Fair.
      > The complete species list for the AUGUST 13, 2006 FORT BRAGG TRIP
      > follows:
      > PACIFIC LOON-1 in the harbor
      > BROWN PELICAN-40
      > JAEGER sp.-4
      > HEERMANN'S GULL-25
      > WESTERN GULL-80+
      > SABINE'S GULL-18
      > COMMON TERN-7
      > COMMON MURRE-175
      > Large whale sp. (probable humpback)-1
      > Many thanks to all who helped create the Perfect Seabirding Day,
      > Debi
      > Debra Love Shearwater
      > Shearwater Journeys
      > www.shearwaterjourneys.com
      > debi@...
      > PO Box 190
      > Hollister, CA 95024 USA
      > 831/637-8527
      > "Real birds eat squid."�Tony Marr
      Debra Love Shearwater
      Shearwater Journeys
      PO Box 190
      Hollister, CA 95024 USA

      "Real birds eat squid."�Tony Marr

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