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.