Monday, October 28, 2013

California Again Ventura Pelagic Trip, October 12

When I was in Gambell, Alaska on St. Lawrence Island, I made reservations for this pelagic trip which was part of an effort by SoCal Birding to make-up for an earlier cancelled trip.   There was a really good turnout of about 50 people for this trip run by Island Packers and SoCal Birding.  At the dock, it was announced that there was a military activity in a 25 mile radius which would keep us out of some areas that would otherwise have been visited.  Apparently, the radius was reduced to 20 miles.  We skirted this area and tried to make up for it.

On the way out of the harbor, we stopped for the Brown Booby on the channel marker at the end of the jetty, this time more cooperative for photos.  See photo below.
cooperative Brown Booby
We stopped for the large flocks of Black-vented Shearwaters and other birds and mammals in the channel.  However, I discussed these in my previous post for October 11 for the trip to Santa Cruz Island.  Then we headed for Anacapa Island and the east end near the arch (See photo) to look for the Blue-footed Boobies that have roosted near there on the cliffs to the right/west of the arch.

Arch, east end of Anacapa Island
I saw at least five different Blue-footed Boobies flying and sitting on the cliffs, but there were at least eight announced as being present.  The light was not perfect, because was hard to get the sun at our back on the boat near the cliffs for perfect photography.  Nonetheless, it was a good show!  
Blue-footed Booby
Blue-footed Boobies
Blue-footed Booby, showing blue feet
The Blue-footed Boobies, and a two booby day, were the highlights of this pelagic trip.  This was the second two booby day this year for me.  The first two booby day was on the Yankee Freedom to Fort Jefferson on the Dry Tortugas where the two boobies were Brown Booby and masked Booby.  None of these birds on the Ventura Pelagic Trip were no new birds for the year for me, as previously reported in a brief summary, because I had previously seen Blue-footed Booby, first for the year, in Arizona in August at Patagonia Lake.  It has been a good booby year for me! 

We went around Santa Cruz Island and then headed out to sea, and headed past Santa Nicolas Island toward Santa Barbara Island and then back to Ventura.  We saw a good variety in our species list for the day:  Parasitic, Pomarine and Long-tailed Jaegers, South Polar Skua, Black-vented, Pink-footed, Sooty and Buller's Shearwaters, Heerman's and Western Gulls, Red-necked Phalaropes, Cassin's Auklets and an Arctic Tern.  There may have been a few Black Storm-Petrels near the end of the trip as we were returning to Ventura.

We arrived back at the dock in Ventura at sunset.  See photo.

Sunset, Ventura Harbor
After getting out of my seafaring clothing, I headed for San Diego and Point Loma for tomorrow's (October 13) pelagic trip.   There are very few rest stops in certain parts of California, but I finally found one approximately thirty miles north of San Diego. I had not been successful in following Paul Lehman's advice on how to manage two back-to-back pelagic trips, one in Ventura and one out of Point Loma, which was to drive about one hour, get some sleep and then drive the rest of the way to Point Loma for the boat trip.  I tried to find a motel room on-line, but must have waited too late, because all of the ones I checked were booked, perhaps because they were too close to San Diego.  I decided to stay the night in the rest area in my rental car.  Dinner was a vending machine ham and cheese sandwich and a few lefts overs that I took on the Ventura pelagic trip.   I awoke at about 3:30 am, brushed my teeth, shaved and left for San Diego.  I stopped at a Shell gas station/quick mart and bought food for breakfast and food and drink for the Point Loma pelagic trip.  I arrived in San Diego on time for the pelagic trip and lucked out by finding a parking space in the parking lot at Point Loma Sportfishing.  Otherwise, I would have needed to find a parking space on the street during the day while on the pelagic trip.

No new birds for the year on this Ventura pelagic trip.  The total remains the same as on October 11.   

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