Tag Archives: Craveri’sMurrelet

A Laysan Albatross in Orange County

The Sea and Sage Audubon chapter winter pelagic trip ran recently on a February day following strong winds and storms from the southwest. A fairly large swell kept people on their toes for most of the day (going airborne while on a boat is bad!!). It was by turns rainy, windy, drizzly and sunny. For those who braved the weather, however, the returns from this trip were spectacular! Every pelagic trip begins with a sense of hope: maybe you’ll see something rare, like an albatross. But realistically, you never really expect one to show up. As it turned out, they weren’t long in coming, and in this case it was an unprecedented one.

Laysan Albatross

Laysan Albatross in Orange County

A Laysan Albatross soars past the boat at close quarters.

The boat left Dana Point harbor and headed straight out into the California Channel. Four miles out, a call of “Albatross!” went up from the back of the boat. The usual stampede ensued! The bird in question, a spectacular adult Laysan Albatross, Phoebastria immutabilis, provided a first record for Orange County. This particular individual was a handsome adult bird. The distinctive dark wings and all-white body, nape and crown are distinctive. And the grayish shadow to the auricular and large pinkish bill with a pale bluish tip seal the deal. The bird made several passes by the boat, found nothing that interested it, and sailed off, leaving us all wishing for more. Alas, it was not to be as we never saw this bird again during the entire trip. But it sure woke everyone up! Continue reading

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Summer Pelagic Trip from Dana Point

Common Dolphin - OC Summer Pelagic Trip

Common Dolphins

The Summer Pelagic trip out of Dana Point sponsored by Sea & Sage Audubon was last Saturday, 12-JUL-14. On Saturday, a light wind raised a bit of chop that made it unpleasant for some trip participants, even on the 70-foot R/V Sea Explorer, and it certainly made photography a bit more challenging! Getting a good, steady view of these birds can be difficult at the best of times, and an additional source of motion doesn’t help.

Conditions in the Santa Barbara Channel seldom get anywhere near as rough as those out in the open ocean. In fact, our relatively calm waters are part of what makes these quarterly Sea & Sage Pelagic trips with the boat from the Dana Point Ocean Institute so appealing. Another advantage to these trips is the vast experience of the Ocean Institute personnel, particularly Captain Mike Bursk, whose vast knowledge of all the ocean wildlife adds greatly to the experience. Continue reading

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