Registrants may meet up with Todd in the lobby of the Brawley Inn at 6 p.m. Saturday evening, Sept 1 and go to dinner with Todd, or join the group at the same location at 6 am Sunday morning (sun rise is 6:16 a.m.). If you're not planning on renting a car, Celia (Searcher Natural History Tours) may be able to put you in touch with a SEARCHER participant who will have a car.
Todd is highly knowledgeable of the Salton Sea and will have researched where any rare species have been seen over the past several weeks. More importantly (for out of town birders) is that Todd will lead the trip to areas where we?re likely to see Salton Sea specialties (that are uncommon in much of the United States) such as Yellow-footed Gull (found nowhere else in the U.S.), Stilt Sandpiper, Burrowing Owl, Black Tern, Common Tern, Abert's Towhee, Gambel?s Quail, Wilson's and Red-necked Phalarope, Greater Roadrunner, Costa's Hummingbird and Ladderback Woodpecker.
The fall migration timing of this field trip also means we may encounter western migrant shorebirds and land birds and other rarities such as Wood Stork, or perhaps a Blue-footed Booby.
NOTE: Temperatures in excess of 100 degrees are possible. It is important that all participants bring a hat, sunscreen and plenty of water . We will plan on birding until early afternoon, driving back to San Diego during the heat of the afternoon. Bring plenty of water and a snack. The leaders will have an ice chest with cold soda. We may stop at a convenience store for refreshments and snack, but there is not much in the way of restaurants once we depart Brawley.
Registration: This trip is limited to registered passengers of the Searcher Labor Day Week Pelagic and one guest. Register with Celia at Searcher Natural History Tours and immediately mail a check as provided in the paragraph below.
Payment: Within 2 days after you register with Celia, mail a check for $75 payable to Buena Vista Audubon Society for each participant. Mail to Terry Hunefeld, 105 N Vulcan Ave, Encinitas, CA 92024. Terry is the pelagic trip coordinator for the Audubon Society. Other Costs: Participants are responsible for food, lodging and transportation. Car Pool: From the Brawley Inn, participants will be asked to car pool, a minimum of 3 persons to vehicle. Non-drivers will be asked to reimburse the driver for fuel. If you're not planning on renting a car while in San Diego, Celia (Searcher Natural History Tours) may be able to put you in touch with a SEARCHER participant who will have a car. Trip Communication: Todd McGrath will be your host. A walkie-talkie radio for each vehicle will be provided so that vehicle is in communication with Todd's lead car at all times.
Evening Pelagic Program
Special Program: At 7 p.m. following Sunday's Salton Sea field trip, all Searcher participants are welcome to join Todd in the breakfast room of the Ramada San Diego Airport Inn on Rosecrans near Fisherman's Landing in San Diego for a one-hour presentation and orientation to the Pelagic Birds of Southern California. This presentation is free of charge, sponsored by Searcher Natural History Tours and is open to ALL Searcher passengers.
While those titles might sound a bit intimidating to the novice pelagic birder, Todd has a knack for speaking in everyday language and making people feel comfortable identifying potential new life species while on their first pelagic trip.
With the help of some amazing photographs and the friendly tips of one of California's most renowned pelagic birders, this presentation will introduce you to and prepare you for the world of pelagic birding.
In addition to seabirds, Todd is extremely knowledgeable about identification, status and distribution of marine mammals ? and we expect to see plenty aboard SEARCHER.
Todd is the Senior Leader for all Audubon pelagic trips from Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara, and is a Senior Leader on many Buena Vista Audubon pelagic trips. He also leads trips into the Gulf Stream for Brian Patteson from Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, and Debi Shearwater out of Monterey, Half Moon Bay and Bodega Bay.
REGISTRATION:All SEARCHER passengers are invited to attend, free of charge. The presentation is sponsored by Searcher Natural History Tours. Register with Celia Condit. The presentation will take place at 7:00 p.m. at at the Ramada Inn near Fisherman's Landing in San Diego.
Todd aboard Searcher
Jon Feenstra (L) and Todd McGrath
WOW! Todd McGrath photographs an army of short-beaked "Saddleback" dolphins on Sunday's March, 8, 2009 San Diego Bird Festival Pelagic Trip. Seen in this movie: Todd McGrath, Steve N.G. Howell, Thomas Blackman. Best viewed full screen by clicking the icon near the lower right hand corner of the video beneath the "you" in YOU TUBE. Enjoy!
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