Thursday, July 11, 2013

Vancouver to Los Angeles cruise: September 23, 2013

Just to let you know, there is a 3-day Princess cruise this fall that will spend most of the day 60 miles off Oregon and central California in daylight hours. The Golden Princess has a walk-around bow for unobstructed forward seabird viewing on the Promenade deck. Interior rooms from $249 per person double occupancy (plus $70 tax).

Good possibility for Cook's Petrel, perhaps Hawaiian Petrel, Scripps's Murrelet, other rarities and common seabirds and marine mammals.

I don't think I'll be attending, and I've got to renew my passport, too. Perhaps the perfect get-away for some deep water pelagic birds and a non-birding spouse? You are on your own if you decide to go, but I wouldn't be surprised if there are other West Coast birders on board.

More info on the Princess Cruise line page.

More info from this blog on birding on cruise liners off the West Coast.

p.s. The Golden Princess has better viewing on the bow than Coral Princess. Both ships make the same cruise that same week. Other ships make a 2-day run from Vancouver to San Francisco. Look for the covered walk-around promenade deck on the bow. Otherwise you'll be forced to watch birds only from one side of the ship, not the front.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

You've got to be kidding

How many pelagic birders does it take to...?

Sounds like a joke, doesn't it?

The answer is 1120--that's one-thousand one-hundred and twenty. Pelagic birders. On one boat!

That's about 5 years worth of birders on all our ocean birding trips combined!

This trip out of South Africa packed most of a cruise ship for this tour.

Trip report is here:

More about the event with photos that just flabbergast me:

I thought that Lands End at Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, Mexico was one of the most distinctive coastal harbors on the planet. But the photos of Cape Town, South Africa (above) rival it.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Scripps's Murrelet recovery on Anacapa Island

A new video by the Channel Islands National Park describes the recovery of lizards, deer mice, and seabirds, specifically Scripps's Murrelets, after the removal of rats from the islands 10 miles offshore from Ventura, California.

View the video, Achieving Balance: Anacapa Island Ten Years After the Removal of the Black Rat.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Deep water pelagic birding trips: April and August

Search for North America's rarest and remotest birds!

This week we came to agreement with a charter in Newport, Oregon, to schedule two deep water pelagic trips this year. These trips are designed to get offshore farther than traditional pelagic trips and search for specific rarities. These trips have a lot of traveling as we speed past the common nearshore seabirds without stopping, so they are recommended only for experienced seabirders seeking rarities. 

Saturday, April 13, 2013 (weather date May 4, 2013)
Murphy's Petrel and Parakeet Auklet search trip
These two rare species, especially Murphy's Petrels, have started to become "regular" on luxury cruises offshore Oregon 60 miles in April and May when the cruise liners travel between Long Beach, California, and Vancouver, British Columbia. Our deep water pelagic trip will look for these. We can also expect Laysan Albatrosses and perhaps Leach's Storm Petrels and Long-tailed Jaegers. Other rare birds possible include Horned Puffins and Mottled Petrels.

Friday, August 2, 2013 (weather date August 16, 2013)
Leach's Storm-Petrel and Scripps's Murrelet search trip
Interestingly, tens of thousands of Leach's Storm-Petrels nest on offshore rocks in southern Oregon but are nocturnal near their nests and spend their days feeding out beyond 60 miles, so are rarely seen near shore. The Scripps's Murrelets nest on islands off southern California and wander north with warm water, well offshore. Offshore we expect Red Phalaropes, Long-tailed Jaegers, and Arctic Terns. This first week or two of August was chosen as the peak time of reports of rare Hawaiian Petrels in northern California. It is also a good time for Cook's Petrels, whose occurrence far offshore is sporadic. Another species possible offshore are Wilson's Storm-Petrels. There are an additional ten other rarities possible (but less likely) including Red-billed Tropicbirds, Magnificent Frigatebirds, and Guadalupe Murrelets.

To find out more details about how the weather date works, and to register for either or both of these trips, please visit The Bird Guide, Inc.'s pelagic page.