NINE MILE BANK & THIRTY MILE BANK GRANDE - San Diego Sponsored By: Buena Vista Audubon Society Oct 3, 2009 7:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Black Storm-Petrels (c) Jimmy McMorran
A Rare Opportunity
This 9-hour trip departs Point Loma Sportfishing at 7:00 a.m. to explore the bird-rich Nine-mile Bank from the comfortable 85-foot live-aboard Grande. On our way out of San Diego harbor we'll motor slowly by the live bait tank barges for super-close-ups of lounging sea lions (with the big bulls baying to beat the band), several hundred Brandt's cormorants, several species of gulls, and dozens of shorebirds, egrets and herons. On our way out of the harbor we'll check for oystercatchers amongst the cobbles of Ballast Point.
On this trip we expect to see two to four species of dolphins (Bottlenose, Common, Pacific White-sided and Risso's) and numerous seabirds including storm-petrels, phalarope, fulmars, shearwaters, auklets, murres, murrelets, and jaegers. This is also a good time of year to see early migrating loons and three species of cormorants.
So far the Southern California 2009 pelagic season has been incredible. Tom Blackmanís recent report of over 700 Least storm-petrels at the 30 mile bank west of San Diego, plus near-shore sightings of Leachís Storm-Petrels from Searcher on Labor Day weekend has pelagic experts rethinking the itinerary for the Oct 3 day trip aboard Grande.
Pelagic birding is like any other kind of birding, regardless of what you have planned for the day, it's always best to go where the birds are. This sort of aggregation of Least storm-petrels is rare anywhere north of the border, and well worth the effort to see. Large groups of storm-petrels like this could hold a Wilson's or something rarer. There is a distinct possibility of seeing Least, Leachís Ashy, Black and possibly something rarer in San Diego waters on Oct 3.
While there is never a guarantee that the birds will remain, these groups of storm-petrels can stay in an area for a month or so if the conditions are right. Based on the sightings by Dave Povey, Tom, Matt and Lea on September 23, it seems that we have a once in a 20-year opportunity (or once-in-a-lifetime) opportunity for a truly incredible experience at sea. Dave and Matt will be aboard the October 3 trip as leaders to help us relocate the storm-petrels.
As a result, the October 3 trip will likely stay in San Diego waters for the entire 9-hours, heading out to the 30 mile bank or wherever head leaders Todd McGrath, Paul Lehman and Guy McCaskie feel we have the best chance to see Storm-Petrel flocks in numbers. While we will most likely not see the Coronados Islands Booby colony, seabird diversity is likely to be higher by staying in San Diego waters especially with the addition of some deeper, more distant waters.
Fortunately, Grande is a big boat, so there are still spots available for you to join us (see below).
The trip policies page says that trip itineraries may be altered depending on weather, seas and bird species being see. The itinerary-change language non-withstanding, because this is such a radical change from our original plan, the Buena Vista Audubon Society will refund your reservation deposit if you cancel prior to 10:00 p.m. Tuesday evening, thereby allowing sufficient time for others who want to search for and witness this once-in-a-lifetime aggregation of Storm-Petrels in San Diego waters to register and take your place. See cancellation instructions below.
If you wish to cancel your October 3 reservation on Grande, you must email me, Terry Hunefeld prior to 10:00 p.m. Tuesday evening, September 29 at email@example.com State your name and phone number and I will forward your email to Point Loma Sportfishing who will refund your entire trip deposit. I will be boarding a plane at LAX at 11:00 p.m. Tuesday evening to Mexico so there will be no refunds issued for any reason after Tuesday at 11:00 p.m.
ADVANCE RESERVATIONS: Advance reservations are $70.
RESERVATIONS BY PHONE (Credit Card): Telephone Point Loma Sportfishing (the landing) seven days a week at (619) 223-1627. Tell them to wish to make a reservation for a birding trip on Grande and give them the date of departure.
ON-LINE RESERVATIONS:Register On-Line. Past trip participants may enter your user name. New participants will be prompted to create a user name and password, then make your reservation for one or more "anglers" (the landing's website refers to customers - you - as anglers). If you have any questions, please telephone the landing at (619) 223-1627.
PAY IN FULL: Some fishing trips allow "anglers" to pay 50% at signup and the balance the day of the trip. Regardless of what the boiler-plate language on the site says, all birding trips requirepayment in full (even if the website or telephone rep gives you an option to pay 50%).
IMPORTANT DETAILS: Click for IMPORTANT INFORMATION about the boat, the landing, driving directions, maps, lodging, weather, refund and cancellation policies, on-board facilities, meals and snacks,
HOW TO PREPARE: Click for tips on how to prepare, what to wear, what to bring and when to arrive.
EXPECTED SPECIES: What we see depends on the season, the itinerary and how far from shore we venture. Learn more about what species we will probably see and what species might be seen.
CANCELLATION POLICY: Trips on this website are sponsored by different organizations using different boats departing from different landings and harbors. As such, policies vary from trip to trip. Prior to registering, please familiarize yourself the Grande and Point Loma Sportfishing's policies regarding reservations, cancellations, refunds and substitutions as well as reviewing driving directions, check-in times, procedures and equipment allowed on the boats.
"We have FUN!"
(c) Todd McGrath and Jon Feenstra
This site is owned and operated by the Buena Vista Audubon Society 2202 South Coast Highway, Oceanside, CA 92054 (c) 2007-2009 Buena Vista Audubon Society, Oceanside, California. All rights reserved. All photos copyrighted.