CRAVERI'S EXPRESS All San Diego County aboard Grande In Search of Craveri's Murrelet and Ashy, Least, Black and Leach's Storm-Petrels Skua, Pom, Parasitic & Long-tailed Jaegers at the Nine Mile and Thirty Mile Banks Saturday Oct 9, 2010 6:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Craveri's Murrelet Oct 2008 (c) Steve N.G. Howell
STORM PETRELS: The autumn Southern California 2009 pelagic season was a spectacular one for storm-petrels. Our October 3, 2009 trip found nearly 2000 Black and Least Storm-Petrels at the Nine Mile and Thirty Mile Banks. We also saw nearly 700 Common Terns and a dozen Sabine's Gulls. A South Polar Skua was spotted at the Nine Mile Bank on its way back to the South Pole. That incredible trip also logged 2 or 3 Blue Whales, Risso's and White-sided Dolphin and Elephant Seals.
CRAVERI'S (and Xantus's) MURRELETS: This is an time of year and the perfect waters in which to see Craveri's Murrelet (see photo below). September and October are prime times to find this eluvise alcid, and the only place in ABA waters it can be found is off SoCal, notably San Diego. The September 2009 Searcher trip recorded a Craveri's Murrelet on the north end of the Nine Mile Bank. Four were well seen and photographed from Grande on Oct 4, 2008 (see photos by Steve Howell below). Glimpses of two elusive birds were had by a few from Grande on Oct 3, 2009.
This 12-hour day trip trip is longer in length to allow us plenty of time to hunt the deeper water birds (Buller's? Flesh-footed?) and more expected storm-petrels and murrelets in San Diego county waters We'll depart Point Loma Sportfishing at 6:00 a.m. first exploring the bird-rich Nine-mile Bank from the comfortable 85-foot live-aboard Grande. Then we'll head out to the furthest limits of San Diego county - to the Thirty Mile Bank - to see if we can get lucky and find a Flesh-footed or Buller's Shearwater or a Red-billed Tropicbird. This is the best possible trip to find a tropicbird in San Diego waters.
We fully intend to find and study Least, Black, Leach's & Ashy Storm-Petrels - all in San Diego waters. We will have plenty of time to "frog around" wherever there are birds and marine mammals congregating, plenty of time to chase birds, plenty of time to sit and chum at the Thirty Mile Bank to see what rarities we may be able to attract.
Last year's trip provided excellent comparisons of Pom Jaegers (7) and Parasitic (22!) with a Sku thrown in for good measure. There may still be a late migrating Long-tailed Jaeger seen, as well as Sabine's Gulls (21 last year).
Pelagic birding is like any other kind of birding, regardless of what you have planned for the day, it's always best to go where the birds are. An aggregation of Black and Least Storm-Petrels like we saw in 2009 is rare anywhere north of the border. If we hadn't been doing these trips, who would have known? There is a possibility of seeing Least, Leach’s Ashy and Black Storm-Petrels and possibly rarer in San Diego waters on this trip.
On our way out of San Diego harbor we'll motor slowly by the live bait tank barges and the lounging sea lions, several hundred Brandt's cormorants, several species of gulls, and dozens of shorebirds, egrets and herons. On our way out of the harbor we'll check for oystercatchers amongst the cobbles of Ballast Point or on the Zuniga Jetty. At sea we expect to see three or four species of dolphins (Bottlenose, Common, Pacific White-sided, Risso's), whales (Blue? Fin? Sei? Minke? Humpback?) and numerous seabirds including storm-petrels, fulmars, shearwaters, auklets, murrelets and jaegers.
LEADERS will include 8 or 9 pelagic birding & mammal experts to ensure you see what you want to see. Check-in Time: 5:00 a.m. Boarding Time: 5:30 a.m. Departure Time: 6:00 a.m. sharp Return: 6:00 p.m.
RESERVATIONS are $90 for this 12-hour pelagic trip.
RESERVATIONS BY PHONE (Credit Card): Telephone Point Loma Sportfishing (the landing) seven days a week at (619) 223-1627. Tell them to wish to make a reservation for a birding trip on Grande and give them the date of departure.
IMPORTANT DETAILS: Click for IMPORTANT INFORMATION about the boat, the landing, driving directions, maps, lodging, weather, refund and cancellation policies, on-board facilities, meals and snacks,
HOW TO PREPARE: Click for tips on how to prepare, what to wear, what to bring and when to arrive.
EXPECTED SPECIES: What we see depends on the season, the itinerary and how far from shore we venture. Learn more about what species we will probably see and what species might be seen.
CANCELLATION POLICY: Trips on this website are sponsored by different organizations using different boats departing from different landings and harbors. As such, policies vary from trip to trip. Prior to registering, please familiarize yourself the Grande and Point Loma Sportfishing's policies regarding reservations, cancellations, refunds and substitutions as well as reviewing driving directions, check-in times, procedures and equipment allowed on the boats.
NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS: Occurrence and identification of the Leach’s Storm-Petrel (Oceanodroma leucorhoa) complex off southern California (click the PDF icon at the right)
PARKING: There is a large parking at Point Loma Sportfishing for $5 a day. Enter the lot using the Emerson & Scott entrance and you'll be right at the landing 100 feet inside the parking gate so you can drop off your gear the seek permanent parking. Free parking is available on the residential streets around the harbor (for day trips) but street parking is very limited in summer months. If the landing parking lot is full, you'll be directed to a lighted off-site self-serve pre-pay parking lot about a block away that has always had space (bring $5 per day in folding money for the lockbox).
GEAR UNLOADING: You may pull into the landing parking lot, unload your gear directly in front of Point Loma Sportfishing and then park in the lot or seek on-street parking. You're not charged if you're in the parking lot for under 30 minutes.
START YOUR DAY STRESS-FREE: We recmmend that you arrive at the landing an hour prior to scheduled departure to allow plenty of time to find the landing, unload or transport gear, obtain a boarding pass at the Point Loma Sportfishing Landing ticket window, sign the manifest, use the landing's restroom, get a cup of coffee, visi with friends and board Grande 30 minutes before scheduled departure. All trips depart on-time without waiting for late-comers. Boarding begins 30 minutes prior to scheduled departure. More tips and hints on our trip preparation page.
WOW! An army of short-beaked "Saddleback" dolphins comes over to investivate Grande on Sunday's March, 8, 2009 San Diego Bird Festival Pelagic Trip. Seen in this movie: Todd McGrath, Steve N.G. Howell, Thomas Blackman. Photographer: W. Terry "Tuna" Hunefeld. Best viewed full screen by clicking the icon near the lower right hand corner of the video beneath the "you" in YOU TUBE. Enjoy!
Pomarine Jaeger (c) W. Terry Hunefeld
Captain James McDaniels is the skipper of Grande
(c) Todd McGrath and Jon Feenstra
Risso's Dolphin (c) Todd McGrath
Blue Whale (c) Tom Blackman
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