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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...

It’s Time to Start Planning for 2016 Texas Pelagics!

Share Reservations for 2016 are now open! I am excited to announce that we are planning to run 7 trips again in 2016. In 2015 we had what undoubtedly ranks as one of the best years ever for Texas Pelagics. Not only did we successfully run 6 Trips in 2015, the most pelagic trips that have ever been run in Texas in one year! But we also had 2 spectacular trips where we observed 274 and 219 individual pelagic seabirds. These 2 trips tallied the highest number of pelagic seabirds ever seen on a Texas Pelagic from South Padre Island and the highest numbers of pelagic seabirds in almost 20 years.  The 2015 highlights included: Manx Shearwater – 1; Leach’s Storm-Petrels – a record number of ~ 110; Great Shearwater -1;  Sabine’s Gull – 1; Whale Shark -1; Sperm Whale – 1; Mesoplodon Beaked Whale -1; Pygmy/Dwarf Sperm Whale -1; And if that wasn’t enough we encountered very high numbers for the season of many of the regular pelagic seabirds:  Audubon’s Shearwater – 75; Cory’s Shearwaters – 16; Band-rumped Storm-Petrels – 47; Magnificent Frigatebirds – 23; Masked Boobies – 18; Sooty Terns – 127; Bridled Terns – 18; Pomarine Jaegers – 25. Schedule for 2016 Texas Pelagic Trips:  http://texaspelagics.com/2016-schedule-2/  We are planning 7 trips again for 2016. The scheduled dates for the all the pelagic trips are firm, except for the RGVBF trip. Click the above link to learn more about upcoming Texas Pelagic trips, i.e. fares, trip lengths, departure times, spaces remaining, etc. Sat June 4th (June 11th weather back-up date); 12 hour; S. Padre Island. Sat. July 23rd; 16 hour; Port Aransas; Sat. August 27th, 16 hour; S Padre Island Sat. Sept 17th; 12 hour; S. Padre Island Sat. Sept 24th; 12 hour; S. Padre Island. (exclusive for Arroyo Colorado Audubon Soc) Sat. Oct 8th; 12 hour; S. Padre Island Sat. Oct 31st; 12 hour; S. Padre Island (tentatively...