RESERVATIONS: Contact Eric Carpenter at email@example.com
COSTS: These are not-for-profit trips where the cost per participant is $150.
Eric Carpenter's Commentary:
Texbirders and pelagic junkies,
I am pleased to announce that we will be running 3 pelagic birding trips out of Port Isabel/South Padre Island this summer & fall.
I would like to encourage anyone who is interested in these trips to contact me firstname.lastname@example.org
for more details and reservation
info as soon as is convenient. We need to have enough participants two and half weeks in advance of each trip to ensure we can cover
the cost of the charter.
These trips leave from the southern tip of South Padre Island, aboard the Osprey (http://ospreyfishingtrips.com/). The good folks at the
Osprey have been involved with Texas pelagics for over a dozen years and their captains are familiar with where we need to go and also are
quite good at spotting birds with us. These are all-day trips, leaving the docks at around 6am, and returning 12 hours later at 6pm.
We motor out to deepwater (takes a couple hours to get there), spend the next several hours working the area just off the shelf, and then
return back to dry land by around 6pm. Leaders for these three trips will include Mary Gustafson, Brad McKinney, Petra Hockey, Randy Pinkston, Dwight Peake and myself.
I've been out on the Gulf with each of these folks multiple times and their passion for birds and pelagics is on par with my own.
These Gulf of Mexico trips don't yield huge numbers of birds but we seem to always make up for it with a high quality sighting or find.
Last year, we had great looks at a Red-billed Tropicbird on the July trip. Two years ago on the July trip we had crippling looks at a
Great Shearwater near the boat. The year before, the headline was a Sooty Shearwater sitting in the water right next to the boat,
a first for me in Texas waters. Four summers ago, we had great looks at a Great Shearwater on one trip, and a cooperative
Long-tailed Jaeger on the other trip. The year before that, it was the mixed species flock that included a Brown Noddy and a Brown Booby.
And...I'm sure many of you have heard me mention the Yellow-nosed Albatross we had in 2003...it is possibilities like that that keep me
coming back for more.
And of course, when there aren't great birds around, sometimes other marine life activity steals the show. We routinely get
bottlenose dolphins plus have had encounters with whale sharks, atlantic spotted dolphins, risso's dolphins, short-fined pilot whales
and even sperm whales. Last year's August trip yielded many of us our lifer Rough-toothed Dolphins not to mention an experience with an
absolutely monstrous Whale Shark that still gives me goose-bumps - check out the photos of it about half-way through the slide-show from
that trip here
More information on these trips and on Texas pelagics (including photos from previous trips and what species can be expected) can be
found at Gary Hodne's wonderful website:
I hope you'll join us.
BIRDS: Uncommon to
regular species include: Cory's and Audubon's Shearwaters, Band-rumped
Storm-Petrels, Magnificent Frigatebird, Masked Booby, Bridled
and Sooty Terns, Pomarine Jaeger; Rare and Accidental Species:
Yellow-nosed Albatross, Greater, Sooty and Manx Shearwaters,
Leach's Storm-Petrel, Red-billed Tropicbird, Brown Booby,
Long-tailed Jaeger, Parasitic Jaeger, and Brown Noddy.
Osprey and Osprey II are both comfortable boats with walk-around
bow, ample seating on the outside and an air conditioned cabin.
Friendly and experienced leaders.
Directions to the Osprey II on SPI;
View Osprey Dock South Padre Is in a larger map