S. Padre Is. TEXAS PELAGIC July 11, 2015 Trip Report:

Share TEXAS PELAGICS First 16 hour Trip to the Camel’s Head finds 7 Pelagic Seabird Species Saturday’s (July 11th) Texas Pelagic from South Padre Island was a GREAT success! It was the first Texas Pelagic trip of 2015 and our first ever 16 hour trip. We were lucky this time with the weather, as It had been fairly rough with 7-8 foot seas early in the week although the forecast was that it would calm down by Friday and indeed it did, thank you Mr. Weatherman. We departed the dock shortly after 4:00 AM and were cruising the first 2 hours in the dark under the Milky Way with a slight breeze and 2-3 foot seas. The commercial shrimping season hasn’t started yet so the Gulf was conspicuously absent of shrimpers with their bright floodlights and the usual streams of Royal and Sandwich Terns and Laughing Gulls that follow them. But just 30 minutes after sunrise our first pelagic bird of the day a Masked Booby flew up our wake towards the stern and circled the boat several times. Not long afterwards a sport fishing boat 1200 yards off the port side had 2 Masked Boobies following it and eventually they flew towards us to investigate our boat. Soon as we approached the shelf edge Kelly Smith spotted our only Cory’s Shearwater of the day which stayed off our bow for a few minutes allowing everyone to get a good view, even though it didn’t come in too close. We cleared the shelf slope break into true pelagic waters by 8:15AM which was the earliest we have ever made it to deep water from South Padre. Within a few minutes we had our first group of 7 Audubon’s Shearwaters and a few Band-rumped Storm-Petrels. From the self edge at about 45 miles offshore to the Camel’s Head another 30...