June 2018 Texas Pelagic Update

Hi Seabirders, It’s been a good couple of weeks for sign-ups for the two upcoming 2018 Texas Pelagic trips. 1. The August 31st trip from Port Aransas is now FULL and I am beginning to accumulate a waiting list that so far has 5 people on it with a few more “checks in the mail” on the way. 2. The September 22nd trip from South Padre Island still has a 16 spaces available with a few more checks in the mail. It’s impossible for me to predict how long the spaces will last but if I were you and you’re thinking about signing up I wouldn’t procrastinate too much longer. I filled the last 25 spaces on the August 31st trip in just the last 10 days, TRUE FACT! I am going to be out of the country beginning July 4th so I won’t get all my accumulated registration mail until I return at the end of July. So If you’ve mailed in your forms please hang on for your confirmation until I return. Folks will be registered in the order of the postmarked dates on their envelopes. It is gratifying to me to see that my trips this year have attracted a large number of first time Pelagic birders. There is no better place to try out a pelagic trip than in your home state to see how much it appeals to you. Many or maybe most of the birders who do their first pelagic in Texas go on to seek out pelagic birding trips across the nation or even the world. Once you get the bug for Pelagic birding it can become an obsession, like it has for me, and many other Texas birders. Here is a link to the 2018 schedule  The sign up link and info is on that...

2018 Texas Pelagics Status Update

Hi Seabirders, I’ve had a lot of people sign up in the last couple weeks for our two trips later this summer which is great! But I’m still only about half-way to the minimum needed for the Aug 31st Texas Pelagic out of Port Aransas. Port Aransas hasn’t had very many Texas Pelagics run from here because it is so popular with fisherman many of the charter boats are reluctant to or refuse to charter to pelagic birders for fear of losing fishing customers. The fewer than 5 Pelagic trips run from Port Aransas have all been outstanding. Well except for a late November 2016 trip to chase Black-capped Petrels, but that was a long-shot trip and outside of the traditionally good times for seabirds in offshore Texas. In the past many birders have tried tagging along on fishing trips from Port A to see what pelagic seabirds they might find with mixed results. Fishing trips either don’t get to deep pelagic waters, or spend a lot of time in one place fishing so they are far from optimal for pelagic birding. However a friend of mine who is a birder and a charter fishing boat captain from Port Aransas regularly spots amazing seabirds offshore on tuna fishing trips. This year he’s already reported numerous Brown Boobies and a Brown Noddy, in addition to the regularly expected seabirds From a quick look at the deep sea topography nearest to Port Aransas I can understand why it’s so good for fishing. There are numerous seamounts cored by salt domes on the continental slope here and these huge structures can create deep water upwelling’s that bring food to the surface for fish and of course seabirds. During the 1990’s when Texas Pelagics were being run from Port O’Connor many of these trips covered an area that overlaps with the waters reached...