Completed Texas Pelagic Trips for 2013

From: Eric Carpenter

Date: June 4, 2013, 11:33:16 PM CDT

Subject: SPI Gulf of Mexico Pelagic Trips this summer/fall (27 July, 28 September)

Texbirders and pelagic junkies,

I am pleased to announce that there will be 2 pelagic birding trips  out of Port Isabel/South Padre Island this summer & fall.

The dates  for the trips are:

Saturday, July 27th  Successfully Completed! See Trip Report.

Saturday, September 28th Successfully Completed, See Trip Report

These are not-for-profit trips that I am organizing where the cost per participant is $150.

I would like to encourage anyone who is interested in these trips to contact me ( 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 (   The good folks at Osprey Cruises 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 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 gaudy numbers of birds but we seem to always make up for it with a high quality sighting or  discovery. In the last few years, some of the better birds have included Red-billed Tropicbird, Great Shearwater, and Sooty  Shearwater.  One trip was fortunate enough to have a mixed species flock that included both Brown Noddy and Brown Booby in the same  binocular view/camera viewfinder!  And of course, this year will mark  the 10th anniversary of our incredible Yellow-nosed Albatross encounter!  Possibilities like this is what keeps folks 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.  The August trip from two years ago 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 at:

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.

Eric Carpenter



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