PTERODROMA & RARE SEABIRD DEEP WATER WEEKEND In Search Of: Cooks, Mottled & Stejneger's Petrel, Flesh-footed Shearwater, Wedge-rumped Storm-Petrel, Craveri's Murrelets, Brown Boobies, Red-Billed Tropicbirds, Black, Leach's, Least & Ashy Storm-Petrels GRANDE - San Diego - 56 hours Sponsored By: Buena Vista Audubon Society Saturday, Sunday, Monday Oct 15-17, 2011 Returning to the dock at 3:00 p.m. Monday afternoon
San Diego Flesh-footed Shearwater (c) Dave Pereksta 4 Oct 2010
Wedge-rumped Storm-Petrel (c) Matt Sadowski 2 Oct 2010
This weekend double-overnight trip has only one purpose: to spend an entire day, from sunrise to sunset, along the Patton Escarpment, zig-zagging from 2,000+ fathom waters to 500 fathoms betwen the San Juan Seamount to the north and the Bell Bank to the south. We'll spend the entire day in the heart of this rich zone marking the drop off of the Continental Shelf.
We'll depart on Grande Saturday morning at 7:00 a.m. from Point Loma Sportsfishing marina. We'll head west to explore the bird-rich Nine Mile Bank then head west, spending the day keeping our eyes out for Craveri's Murrelets among the life zones of 'The 182," the Thirty Mile Bank and the Sixty Mile Bank. In October of 2010 the Thirty Mile Bank produced Wedge-rumped Storm-Petrel, Flesh-footed Shearwater, 2 San Diego Brown Boobies and a Black-footed Albastross and a raft of 10,000 Least and Black Storm-Petrels.
We'll proceed west into the Red-Billed Tropicbird (5 seen on our 2009 October trip) zone past San Clemente Island and after sunset sail past the Cortez and Tanner banks, all to the edge of the Continental Shelf just south of the San Juan Seamount in 10,000 fathom water (2 miles deep) where we will awaken on Sunday morning to spend the entire day hunting pterodroma and other tubenoses.
The day will be ours to explore beyond the shelf edge in the deep waters off the San Juan Seamount and Patton Escarpment. Exactly where we will go depends on the weather, the seas, temperature breaks, bird reports and bird sightings. The additional 8-hours tacked on to this trip (56 hours instead of 48 hours) allows us to remain in the deep waters beyond the shelf edge around the San Juan Seamount for the entire day. This is the zone for the mega-rarities. Hawaiian, Mottled and Stejneger's Petrels are the birds we'll be praying for - we have perhaps a one in 15 chance of getting one of them.
Monday we'll re-cross many of the same features we crossed on our outbound leg Saturday, giving us another great opportunity to expore the Thirty Mile and Nine Mile Banks for Craveri's Murrelets on our way in.
STORM-PETREL SWARMS: The autumn Southern California 2009 pelagic season was a spectacular one for storm-petrels. A week later, on October 10, 2009 we recorded 8,000 Black and 1750 Least Storm-Petrels from Grande and enjoyed a close interaction with a Humpback Whale on the Nine Mile Bank -- just after a Brown Booby shot over Grande 5 miles off shore. In Sept and Oct 2010 we recorded 10,000 Least and Black Storm-Petrels (7000 Least and 3000 Blacks) at the Thirty Mile Bank as well as Leach's, Ashy, Black, and Wedge-rumped. Plus, a Wilson's at the Nine Mile Bank.
CRAVERI'S MURRELETS: This is the best time of year and waters in which to see Craveri's Murrelet . August - October are the best times to find this eluvise alcid in U.S. waters. In fact, SoCal is the only place in ABA waters it can be found these days. We find one or two in most years, however none were recorded in 2010. Four were well seen and photographed from Grande on Oct 4, 2008. The September 2009 Searcher trip recorded a Craveri's Murrelet on the north end of the Nine Mile Bank. Quick looks at a pair were had by a few onboard Grande Oct 3, 2009.
Weather this time of year is usually pleasant with light seas. The target birds for this region are Craveri's Murrelet and unusual or rare pterodromas: Cooks, Stejneger's and Mottled Petrel. More trip information.
San Diego Black-footed Albie - Tom Blackman 4 Oct 2010
ADVANCE RESERVATIONS: Advance reservations are $325. THIS TRIP HAS MET THE MINIMUM RESERVATIONS REQUIRED AND IS A "CONFIRMED GO."
$30 EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT: Reserve on or before September 15 for $295 and save $30.
RESERVATIONS: 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 & POSSIBLE SPECIES: The target birds for this region are pterodroma: Cooks, Stejneger's and Mottled Petrel. It's a bit like a treasure hunt - we never know what we'll find! 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 with your trip's policies regarding reservations, cancellations, refunds and substitutions as well as reviewing driving directions, check-in times, procedures and equipment allowed on the boats.
Leach's Storm-Petrel (c) Steve Howell 31 JUL 2010
Leach's Storm-Petrel (c) Steve Howell 31 JUL 2010
NORTH AMERICAN BIRDS: Occurrence and identification of the Leachís 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 $6 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 then seek permanent parking. Free parking is available on the residential streets around the harbor (for day trips) but can be very limited on weekends. If the Fisherman's 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 exact change of $6 per day in folding money for the lockbox).
PHOTO I.D. and BOARDING PASS REQUIRED: All passengers departing Fisherman's Landing and Point Loma Sportfishing must complete the manifest and present photo identification and obtain a boarding pass prior to passing through the Coast Guard security gates. This is mandatory procedure per U.S. Homeland Security.
GEAR UNLOADING: You may pull into the Fisherman's Landing parking lot, unload your gear directly in front of Point Loma Sportfishing and then park in the lot, the overflow lot or seek on-street parking. You're not charged if you depart the lot in less than 30 minutes.
START YOUR DAY STRESS-FREE: We recommend that you arrive at the landing at least 30 minutes prior to boarding time to allow plenty of time to find the landing, unload or transport gear, obtain a boarding pass at the Point Loma Sportfishing ticket window, sign the manifest, use Point Loma Sportfishing's restroom, visit with friends and board Grande with the group. Gates are closed and locked once the group boards. All trips depart on-time without waiting for late-comers. More tips and hints on our trip preparation page.
Craveri's Murrelet from Grande (c) Steve N.G. Howell
Red-billed Tropicbird (c) Todd McGrath
Giant Least and Black Storm-Petrel Rafts
(c) Todd McGrath and Jon Feenstra
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