Below is the Salvin’s Albatross, first accepted for California, which we found last year in July.
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Trips to the Farallon Islands are on a different page. Most of our 2013and 14 trips sold out, so book early, reserve with an e-mail, or secure current price by booking today. Thank you all for your continued interest and support of our trips – we really appreciate it!!
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2015 TRIP DATES
Book early, most of our trips have sold out – spaces remain for Sept 27 (below).
Sept 5, 2015 – Private Half Moon Bay pelagic. Out of Half Moon Bay. $130
Sept 18, 2015 – Classic Half Moon Bay Pelagic. We go where the action has been, chase the temperature breaks, and food rich areas. Coming from a distance, combine with Sept 19 and or Monterey trip on the 20th and maximize your chance for unusual sightings! Out of Half Moon Bay. $130
Sept 19, 2015 – Pioneer Canyon Pelagic. We go to the deeper water Pioneer Canyon today, searching for temperature breaks, and food rich areas. Coming from a distance? Combine with Sept 18 trip and or Monterey trip on the 20th and maximize your chance for unusual sightings! Out of Half Moon Bay. $130
Sept 20, 2015. Monterey Bay. Deep water closer to shore, whales and more. Combine with Sept 18 or 19th trips out of Half Moon Bay for two or three in a row to maximize chance of unusual species. Out of Monterey. $130
Sept 26, 2015 – Classic Half Moon Bay Pelagic. We go where the action has been, chase the temperature breaks, and food rich areas. Combine with Sept 27 trip for two in a row. Out of Half Moon Bay. $130
Sept 27, 2015 – Classic Half Moon Bay Pelagic. We go where the action has been, chase the temperature breaks, and food rich areas. Combine with Sept 26 trip for two in a row. Out of Half Moon Bay. $130
TRIPS RUN IN 2015
July 19, 2015 – Summer pelagic. This was a sell out trip. Dispersed birds, our first Ashy Storm-Petrels, migrant Sabine’s Gulls, Red-necked Phalaropes. Over 100 Black-footed Albatross, as well as many Pink-footed and Sooty Shearwaters with a sprinkling of Northern Fulmars. Few alcids other than Common Murre, but we did find Pigeon Guillemot, Rhinoceros Auklet and Cassin’s Auklet. The biggerst rarity was BASKING SHARK! Our first ever. Many Humpback Whales and Pacific White-sided Dolphin, one Northern Fur Seal.
July 26, 2015 – Summer pelagic. This was a sell out trip. Many birds and much activity with lots of Sooty Shearwaters, Common Murre and Pink-footed Shearwaters. A Leatherback Sea Turtle was only the second on our trips, so an immense highlight! Birdwise Laysan Albatross was a star in with the many Black-footed Albatross, while a fly by Tufted Puffin was superb. Many and good views of Ashy Storm-Petrel today, along with migrant Sabine’s Gulls, an a couple of Pomarine Jaegers. Low numbers of Cassin’s and Rhinoceros auklets, but they were out there. Our first Red Phalaropes of the season in with larger numbers of Red-necked. No whales! That was unusual, but a pod of Pacific White-sided Dolphins was great, as were Bottlenose Dolphin and Harbor Porpoise close to shore.
Aug 1, 2015 – Farallon Islands with the Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society. Another sellout trip, and an amazing visit to the Farallon Islands. We started by finding a dead Humpback Whale, and were able to test use of the new Whale Alert app, to help minimize boat-whale collisions. Sadly, a collision appears to have been the cause of this whale’s death. On the island, we saw the Northern Gannet, a Blue-footed Booby and two Brown Boobies! Tufted Puffins were common, and we had absolutely stunning views. The common seabirds were seen, Humpback Whales, and people left the boat with smiles as the weather was also glorious!
Aug 23, 2015 – Offshore Seabirds of San Francisco. An amazing trip with fantastic weather. Highlights were Guadalupe Murrelet, Scrips’s Murrelets, two Laysan Albatrosses. As well, over 1000 Ashy Storm-Petrel, and a smattering of Wilson’s, Black and Fork-tailed storm-petrels. Buller’s, Pink-footed and Sooty Shearwaters, plus all three jaegers and South Polar Skua! The marine mammals included California and Steller’s sea lions, N Fur Seal, Harbor Seal and N Elephant Seal; Humpback Whales, Dall’s and Harbor porpoise. The numbers of Blue Sharks were also impressive. Lots of happy people on this trip!
Aug 29, 2015 – Farallon Islands. Visit the Farallon Page for details. A wonderful weather day to go to the Farallons, and the birds and wildlife really performed. We began with views of Humpback Whale right in Half Moon Bay, as well as a good show of Common Murre and lots of Sooty Shearwaters. We moved north close to shore, in what was at first cold and drizzly weather, but which soon turned into spectacular sun and low wind conditions as we reached the “Devil’s Teeth.” We were treated to views of many, perhaps the most I have ever seen here, Tufted Puffins. At least 120 of them was my estimate. Sugarloaf treated us to 11, yes that is right, not a typo Brown Boobies from the south, and one Blue-footed Booby. It looked more like Mexico than California. We visited with the biologists who were surveying on their zodiac, enjoyed a few young Pigeon Guillemots and saw our share of Northern Fur Seals before heading offshore. It did not take long to find a couple of Black-footed Albatross before studying the fur seals with intent. It turns out that most were the rare southern Guadalupe Fur Seal, which was quite a discovery and something we are passing on to the local marine biology community. Finally, we were treated to a mystery whale on the way back, perhaps a Sei Whale. We will be studying the photos to see if we can identify this creature with certainty. What a day.
Aug 30, 2015 – San Mateo county pelagic. We could not have asked for a better whale show right as we started our trip, with a pair of lunge feeding Humpback Whales right in Half Moon Bay. Then we encountered the mother of all Sooty Shearwater flocks, tens of thousands of them, inconceivable to estimate really. The flock on the way back into port was even larger! We motored out and saw large numbers of shearwaters all the way out to the shelf break, and then density slowed somewhat as we began a search for storm petrels. We eventually found some pockets, with Ashy, Black and 1-2 Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel. A highlight was a Laysan Albatross which zoomed past our boat a couple of times. Also a goodie, we found a Brown Booby on the weather buoy. We have checked the buoy many a time recently and it has been empty, finally the other spotters realized I had not been wasting my time by driving by here on various previous occasions. Several nice groups of Long-beaked Common Dolphins came by, for a well rounded trip of true abundance!