SAN JUAN SEAMOUNT CONDOR EXPRESS - Santa Barbara Sponsored By: Los Angeles Audubon Society Saturday, April 25, 2009
Flying over the Pacific Ocean at 30 knots aboard the Condor Express on March 1, 2009 in flat calm conditions with blue skies and golden seas stretching for miles in all directions - pure heaven on earth. . . . AND we found Parakeet Auklets! Whoo-hooo! Video by: 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!
The spring Condor Express pelagic trip has a record for finding rarities. For example: a thousand Sabine's Gulls, a pod of Orca Killer Whales and seven PARAKEET AUKLETS were enjoyed by dozens of birders on 21 Apr 2007 thanks to the Condor Express. Amazingly, a TRISTRAM'S STORM-PETREL was captured and photographed on Southeast Farallon Island 22 April 2006. We saw one from The Condor Express on July 21, 2007. The only way to have seen this super-mega-rarity was to be on that boat that day.
Led by Todd McGrath, Kimball Garret, Dr Jonathan FeenstraTerry Hunefeld and Wes Fritz there is not a better way put to yourself in line with a rarity than to be on the Condor Express and go with us to the San Juan Seamount. Todd knows how to FIND SEABIRDS. He is a magician. From the LAAS Pelagics Trip Page: This trip departs from the Santa Barbara Harbor on the fast catamaran Condor Express at 7:00 a.m. and will return approximately by 8:00 p.m. We will cruise along the deep water shelf by the San Juan Seamount. ADVANCE RESERVATIONS: Advance reservations are $195 IMPORTANT DETAILS: Click for important logistic 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. From the LAAS Pelagics Trip Page: Birds previously seen: Black-footed Albatross; Northern Fulmar; Sooty and Pink-footed shearwaters: Ashy and Leach's storm-petrels; Pomarine, Parasitic and Long-tailed jaegers; Pigeon Guillemot; Xantus's Murrelet; Cassin's and Rhinoceros Auklets. Uncommon species seen on prior trips: Laysan Albatross; Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel; Red-billed Tropicbird and Tufted Puffin. Rarity: Murphy's Petrel.
Murphy's Petrel (c) Matt Sadowski
And now a word from our fearless leader. . . . .
The first trip is April 25th. We will search the 2000+ fathom water around the San Juan Seamount in hopes of finding such rarities as Murphy's, Cook's and Hawaiian Petrel, as well as Parakeet Auklet and Black-footed, and Laysan Albatrosses. Both Albatrosses are regular offshore in spring, wioth Black-footed being more common. This appears to be a banner year for Parakeet Auklets, with three birding trips recording them this year, including the March 1 trip on the Condor Express. Spring is one of my favorite times to head offshore, beacause in addition to the rarity potential, Spring migration will be in full swing. We can expect to see Ashy and Leach's Storm-Petrels, plus Xantus's Murrelets around the Channel islands. We will also see a variety of shearwaters.
The next trip is July 25th, and will head to the same deepwater. At this time of year potential rarities include Cook's and Hawaiian Petrel. Red-billed Tropicbirds are uncommon at this season, but seen regularly. Our July 2007 trip found a Tristam's Storm-petrel, highlighting the opportunity for rarities that exisit at this time of year. This is also an excellent time to study various subspecies of Leach's Storm-petrel, including the summer breeders from Guadalupe Island, which are a good candidate for a split. The southern race of Xantus's Murrelet as well as Craveri's murrelet are possible on this trip. We have run only one trip on the Condor Express in July, and due to the boat's poularity for whale watching charters, it is difficult to run trips. I don't believe we will be able to run this trip annually, so if you are interested, this is the year.
Over the last couple of years there has been a tendency for particpants to delay signing-up until a few weeks before the trip. Please try and sign-up as early as possible, as it is difficult for LA Audubon to risk the financial loss of failing to cover the costs of a trip. These trips are priced close to break-even, so we need a good showing early to be confident of filling the boat.
Please contact me if you have any questions about the trips or would like additional information. Each trip is $195, which is quite reasonable to cover the 250 mile round trip to the san Juan Seamount. I hope to see you on board!
NEW! FOUR WAYS TO MAKE A LOS ANGELES AUDUBON PELAGIC RESERVATION
Los Angeles Audubon Pelagic Reservation Instructions 2009 Option 1 MAIL A CHECK OR CREDIT CARD INFO: Mail your check or Credit Card information and a SASE (for trip confirmation and information flyer) for each trip requested to: Los Angeles Audubon - Pelagics P.O. Box 931057 Los Angeles, CA 90093-1057 Option 2 TELEPHONE WITH CREDIT CARD: Call Los Angeles Audubon at (323) 876-0202 (Mon. - Thur.) 9:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Option 3 EMAIL WITH CREDIT CARD: E-Mail reservation request to: email@example.com Option 4 FAX WITH CREDIT CARD: Fax reservation request to: (323) 876-7609
CREDIT CARD USE: You may now use Mastercard, Visa or Discover to charge your trip. A small credit card processing fee will be added. Please be sure to include the trip you wish to reserve and provide the cardholder?s billing name, card number, expiration date, and the last 3 numbers (security code) from the reverse of your card. Also, provide the name(s), mailing address, contact telephone number, and email address (if used) for each person requesting a reservation. If you have any questions, please telephone the Los Angeles Audubon at (323) 876-0202 (Mon. - Thur.) 9:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
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.
Before setting out on any Los Angeles Audubon pelagic trip, please call (323) 874-1318, #4 for a recorded announcement of last moment changes.
Todd McGrath knows how to find seabirds. Photo by Terry Hunefeld
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!
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