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Monday, 26 July 2010

COOK'S PETRELS galore and this autumn's pelagic trip itinerary from CALIFORNIA

Howdy, Seabirders,

Stop the presses! Astounding offshore reports from Peter Pyle and Abe Borker who have been surveying seabirds at the Davidson Seamount, about 60 miles from Monterey harbor, have included counts of over 3000 COOK'S PETRELS! On 23 July, they reported hourly totals: "50, 65, 85, 500, 450, 1000, 450, 250, 50, 15, 15, 25, 60. The weather was very calm. Flocks of 100-300 sitting birds observed. Photos of up to 90 individuals." Other species recorded on this date included: Arctic Tern (29), Xantus' Murrelet (12 scrippsii and 1 hypoleuca), Leach's Storm-Petrel (1,745), a variety of shorebirds and 2 Cuvier's Beaked Whales. On 24 July, Peter reported 1,395 COOK'S PETRELS with "hourly counts of 40, 250, 350, 175, 100, 200, 20, 5, 100, 100. Fewer flocks of sitting birds, but more flying birds in broad fronts, heading generally NNE. Some flying high, 10-20 m above the water and flapping like gulls." They tallied 666 Leach's Storm-Petrels, 6 South Polar Skuas and 2 Xantus' Murrelets (scrippsii), to name a few of the species.Cook's Petrels heading NNE— this means, if weather conditions are kind, we have a great shot at finding some of the thousands on the JULY 31 HALF MOON BAY trip! A few spaces are still open on this trip. If you would like to join us, please contact Debi Shearwater as soon as possible by email.

County seabirding: Looking at the results of last year's trips, some of our Monterey departures covered three counties: Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Mateo. Trips departing from Half Moon Bay (new this year), have a chance to cover San Mateo and San Francisco Counties. Trips from Bodega Bay typically cover both Sonoma and Marin Counties. Trips from Fort Bragg almost always stay in Mendocino County, but sometimes dip into Humboldt County.

Below, I list Shearwater Journeys' upcoming pelagic trips and the leaders. Trips denoted * have a good chance of finding COOK'S PETRELS. Trips denoted ** have an excellent chance of finding HAWAIIAN PETREL.

*Jul 31: Half Moon Bay Offshore with Peter Pyle, Wes Fritz, Gerry McChesney, Matt Brady, Debi Shearwater

Aug 6: Monterey Bay with Brian Sullivan, Steve Howell, Robin Welch, Clay Kempf, Debi ShearwaterAug 8: Farallon Island with Steve Howell, Alan Hopkins, Debi Shearwater- SOLD OUT

*Aug 11: Bodega Canyon & Cordell Bank with Peter Pyle, Wes Fritz, Steve Howell, Oscar Johnson, Matt Brady, Debi Shearwater

**Aug 13: Fort Bragg: Hawaiian Petrel Search with Abe Borker, Wes Fritz, Jennifer Green, Todd McGrath, Oscar Johnson, Matt Brady, Debi Shearwater

**Aug 15: Fort Bragg: Hawaiian Petrel Search with Todd McGrath, Peter Pyle, Wes Fritz, Scott Terrill, Linda Terrill, Tristan McKee, Matt Brady, Abe Borker, Debi Shearwater

Aug 27: Monterey Bay with Jennifer Green, Robin Welch, Wes Fritz, Ted Chandik, John Hiles

Sep 9: Monterey Seavalley with Wes Fritz, Ted Chandik, Marcel Holyoak, Debi Shearwater

Sep 10: Monterey Bay with Wes Fritz, Jennifer Green, Robin Welch, Adam Searcy, John Hiles, Debi Shearwater

*Sep 11: Albacore Grounds: Offshore Monterey with Wes Fritz, Scott Terrill, Linda Terrill, Tristan McKee, Rod Norden, Debi Shearwater

Sep 12: Monterey Bay with Wes Fritz, Jennifer Green, Clay Kempf, Adam Searcy, Vaughan Ashby (Guest Leader), Debi Shearwater (limited spaces available)

*Sep 13: Half Moon Bay Offshore with Wes Fritz, Tristan McKee, Alan Hopkins, Debi Shearwater

*Sep 15: Bodega Canyon & Cordell Bank with Peter Pyle, Steve Howell, Wes Fritz, Lisa Hug, Debi Shearwater

*Sep 17: Half Moon Bay Offshore with Wes Fritz, Marcel Holyoak, Jennifer Green, Debi Shearwater

*Sep 18: Half Moon Bay Offshore with Wes Fritz, Steve Rottenborn, Scott Terrill, Linda Terrill, Debi Shearwater

Sep 23: Monterey Bay with Wes Fritz, Terry Hunefeld, Jim Danzenbaker, Debi Shearwater

Sep 24: Monterey Storm-Petrel Study Tour with Wes Fritz, Jennifer Green, Terry Hunefeld, Jim Danzenbaker, Debi Shearwater

Sep 25: Monterey Seavalley with Wes Fritz, Abe Borker, Terry Hunefeld, Mark Rauzon (Guest Leader), Michael Parr (Guest Leader), Debi Shearwater

Sep 26: Monterey Bay with Wes Fritz, Terry Hunefeld, Jennifer Green, Debi Shearwater

Sep 27: Half Moon Bay Offshore with Wes Fritz, Terry Hunefeld, Debi Shearwater

Oct 2: Half Moon Bay Offshore with Todd McGrath, Wes Fritz, Lisa Hug, Peter Pyle, Debi Shearwater

Oct 3: Monterey Storm-Petrel Study Tour with Wes Fritz, Todd McGrath, Jennifer Green, Denise Wight, Clay Kempf, Debi Shearwater

Oct 9: Monterey Seavalley with Todd McGrath, Scott Terrill, Linda Terrill, Clay Kempf, Debi Shearwater

Oct 11: Half Moon Bay Offshore with Todd McGrath, Wes Fritz, Peter Pyle, Debi Shearwater

Oct 17: Monterey Bay with Jennifer Green, Wes Fritz, Todd McGrath, Denise Wight, Clay Kempf, Rod Norden

We have a full slate of exciting pelagic trips ahead! In fact, it is the most extensive schedule of pelagic trips on the west coast. Its not all about the rare birds— we should see a good variety of shearwaters (up to 10 species); storm-petrels (up to 6 species); alcids; all three species of jaegers, South Polar Skua; phalaropes; terns, and Sabine's Gulls, among others. Who knows which trips will turn up the rare seabirds?

Have a hankering to see Blue Whales, the largest animals on Earth? Jump on board our August 6th Monterey trip!

I hope that you can join us!

Shearwaters forever,

Debi Shearwater

Debra Shearwater
Shearwater Journeys,
Inc.PO Box 190
Hollister, CA 95024831.637.8527
debi@shearwaterjourneys.com
www.shearwaterjourneys.com
www.shearwaterjourneys.blogspot.com

South Georgia: Oct 18- Nov 4, 2010;
Antarctica, South Georgia & Falkland Islands: Nov 4-22, 2010