LOOKING FOR STORM-PETRELS?
CORDELL BANK & BODEGA CANYON SEABIRDING 2014 PELAGIC TRIPS:
SEPTEMBER 1 & 19, 2014
Massive rafts of storm-petrels have been observed on Shearwater Journeys's offshore trips from Bodega Bay in recent years. Flocks number in the thousands have included: ASHY, BLACK, FORK-TAILED, LEAST AND WILSON'S STORM-PETRELS. On our September 20, 2013 trip, we recorded a record-breaking 17,325 storm-petrels! While on our September 21, 2012 trip a fly-by HAWAIIAN PETREL was spotted while we were watching the storm-petrels!
Since 1980 Shearwater Journeys has offered pelagic trips departing from Bodega Bay, north of Point Reyes and San Francisco. This is the longest running birding operation from this port.
MURPHY'S, COOK'S, HAWAIIAN, WHITE-CHINNED, PARKINSON'S and GREAT-WINGED PETRELS; GREAT, MANX, STREAKED, CORY'S, WEDGE-TAILED and FLESH-FOOTED SHEARWATERS; LEAST STORM-PETREL (rare this far north, but might happen in 2014 due to warmer water); LONG-BILLED MURRELET and CRESTED AUKLET. These are some of the rarest of the rare seabirds in all of North America, and in some instances, the northern Pacific Ocean. (Great-winged Petrel represented the first record for the Northern Hemisphere, as well as North America!)
ASHY & FORK-TAILED STORM-PETRELS, above.
HUMPBACK WHALE, above. This is a rich feeding area for marine mammals.
LONG-TAILED JAEGER, above and SOUTH POLAR SKUA, below.
This area can be fabulous for viewing all three species of jaegers. Skua is rarely missed on this trip.
BLUE WHALE, below, showing its back and dorsal fin.
The sheer numbers of marine mammals near Bodega Canyon can be astounding, during fall.
LONG-TAILED JAEGER, above and SABINE'S GULL, below.
BROWN BOOBY, below. Seen on our October 25, 2013 trip.
The NEW SEA ANGLER, our comfortable birding vessel, below.
NOTE: The September 19 Bodega Bay trip can be combined with the September 21 Half Moon Bay trip for a weekend of seabirding and land birding on September 20. The September 1 trip could be hooked up with the early Monterey Bay trips on September 5 and 6, with land birding in between.
DETAILS FOR BODEGA BAY TRIPS: SEPTEMBER 1 & 19:
DEPARTURE: 7 a.m. SHARP. The boat will not wait for latecomers. Check in with Debi at the dock. RATE: $218
RETURN: About 3:30 to 6:30 p.m., varies. Allow for delays of several hours.
PARKING: is free in the large, dirt lot. Try to check out the location the day prior, as it can be confusing in the morning darkness. On Highway 1, heading north from Bodega Bay, proceed north of the Tide's Whart, past the Boat House restaurant on your left. Turn left, heading downhill at the large, brown sign for EAST SHORE ROAD. At the stop sign a the bottom of the hill, proceed straight to Port O' Bodega. It will seem as if you are heading out to the water. Park here.
PRICE ADJUSTMENT: all pricing is based on current rates and may be adjusted at the dockside. If so, this fee will be collected at the dock, between $10-20/person, cash only.
FOOD & DRINKS: Bring all of your food and drinks, including water. Nothing is available on the boat. No restaurants are open in the morning hours prior to departure. Dress VERY WARMLY.
MOTELS: in this area can be fully booked and can be quite expensive. Bodega Coast Inn and Suites is only 5 minutes from the dock. You might try asking the manage for the "Shearwater Discount" which they sometimes honor. Bodega Harbor Inn is conveniently located. Be sure to ask about their refund policy. You might find the rate shocking, compared to what you get. The Inn at the Tides is very nice, especially if you have family members traveling with you who will not be doing the boat trip. Their rate includes breakfast, but it is not served early enough for you to partake of it. Cheaper motels can be found along the Highway 101 corridor. However, be SURE to allow a minimum of one hour to get to the dock from any motel along Highway 101. The roads leading to the dock are winding, two lane and can be foggy in the morning. It is possible to get stuck behind a truck pulling a trailer with a boat on it, going only 30 mph. Birders have missed the boat by not allowing enough time to make this trip! Refunds are not available for "no shows" at the dock! NO eating facilities are open early enough in the morning in Bodega Bay for breakfast. Please plan accordingly.
GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE: Be sure to check toll details regarding crossing the bridge, even if you rent a car, if you are returning to San Francisco after the trip. The toll is only collected on the southbound trip.
Whew! That's a lotta reading!