Ventura pelagic trip - 5 Oct 2019

David Pereksta

Tired after a full day on the ocean so here is a quick trip report for our pelagic trip today with Island Packers out of Ventura. Low winds, mild seas, and clear skies made for a great day on the water that was characterized by impressive seabird numbers and diversity. Our trip took us from the Ventura Harbor to Anacapa Island, the waters south of the northern Channel Islands west to the Santa Cruz Canyon, across the Santa Cruz Basin to the Pilgrim Bank, and then back to Ventura. Other than a few slow spots we had numbers of birds spread throughout the day with the following highlights:

Brown Booby on the Anacapa Arch - our only booby of the day
Craveri's Murrelets - 32 plus a number of "sps" that were likely Craveri's
Scripps's Murrelet - 1 very unseasonal bird that gave extended views near the boat
Cassin's Auklets - several including at least one cooperative bird near the boat
South Polar Skua - at least 7; most giving great views
Parasitic, Pomarine, and Long-tailed Jaegers
Buller's Shearwaters - two elusive individuals among the larger Pink-footed flocks
Pink-footed Shearwater - 500+ including several sizable flocks south of the islands
Sooty Shearwater - scattered individuals among the Pink-footed flocks
Black-vented Shearwater - 600+ in the Santa Barbara Channel
Black Storm-Petrel - 500+ including several large flocks
Ashy Storm-Petrel - scattered individuals
Leach's Storm-Petrel - one bird seen by only a few people
Northern Fulmar - only one all day
Sabine's Gull - only one all day
Red-necked Phalarope - modest numbers; surprisingly no Reds

One odd looking shearwater passed the boat that may have been a Wedge-tailed Shearwater, but it was gone quickly and not refound. Had to let that one go.

Thanks to Island Packers for another great trip...we hope to have more scheduled in 2020.

Dave Pereksta