Monday, June 3, 2013


Image, copyright, Todd McGrath

Ahoy There, Seabirders,
The Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel (Oceanodroma furcata) is a small, pearl-gray storm-petrel which ranges in the Pacific Northwest. They breed in colonies on small Pacific islets with enough soil in which to dig a nest burrow. They forage on the open ocean over the continental shelf and further out to sea. Two thirds of the global population breeds at the Aleutian Islands, Alaska. On California pelagic trips, the best time to encounter this species is late July through mid-September on trips departing from Half Moon Bay and Bodega Bay. On some trips, we have found flocks of hundreds, and sometimes, thousands. One such flock of 3,000 Fork-tailed Storm-Petrels was found on our September 21, 2012 Bodega Canyon and Cordell Bank trip along with 1000 Ashy and 1000 Black Storm-Petrels!

Shearwater Journeys is proud to offer 38 pelagic trips for the 2013 fall season which also happens to be our 38th year of operation! There is something on offer for every birder, whether a beginner, seasoned salt or photographer. Our friendly and knowledgable leaders welcome all on board. Their worldwide seabirding experiences put them at the forefront of seabirding. The list of mega-rare seabirds found on Shearwater Journeys' pelagic trips is longer than any other in North America. In recent years, these have included: Short-tailed and Laysan Albatrosses; Great-winged, Hawaiian and Cook's Petrels; Great and Manx Shearwaters; Northern Gannet and Brown Booby, among others. Shearwater Journeys offers the most comprehensive selection of seabirding trips on the West Coast. More than 60,000 birders have participated in our trips over these many decades.

Please note that our rates are the same as the 2012 rates. No doubt things will change. Newspaper headlines in the early part of this year could not stop talking about the steadily increasing rates of fuel. Indeed, rates rose for over thirty days straight, only to turn around an go down, again. Headlines continued: "Cost of gas to shoot past $4," and "Soaring gas prices fuel new state high,"and the latest, "Upset about ever-higher price of gas? Get used to it." A new tax is set to take effect this summer, raising rates 3.5 cents/gallon. The largest expense of any pelagic trip is diesel fuel which is also the most expensive fuel. Small marinas, such as Monterey and Bodega Bay only have one fuel dock which operates as a monopoly. Any increases in fuel by the boat owners, or any other increases will be payable at the dockside, cash only. This is the fairest way to handle the situation.

In following blog posts, I will give the details of the various trips. Please note that SPACES ARE AVAILABLE, unless listed as "SOLD OUT' in big, bold letters on the schedule page. When a trip is nearly booked up, it will be listed as, "LIMITED SPACES AVAILABLE." In that case, please select a first and second choice of trips, or no other choice, as the case may be.

RESERVATIONS: Payment, in full, by check or money order is required at the time of booking. (Credit cards not accepted). The United States Coast Guard requires the name, address, phone, email of each person. Be sure to include your cell phone number. Send your reservation to: Debi Shearwater, PO Box 190, Hollister, CA 95024;

Please note: The office will be closed from 3 June until 11 July while Debi is working in Norway, leading the Svalbard High Arctic Expedition. No one else will be opening the mail. However, you may still send your reservation in during that period! Reservations will be taken by postmark dates.

For the true adventurer, please stay tuned for details about our Birding Down Under: New Zealand's Sub-Antarctic Islands Voyage, November 9 - 25, 2014!

Hope to see you out there!
Shearwaters forever,
Debi Shearwater

No comments: