S Padre Island TEXAS PELAGIC August 25, 2012 Trip Report

SPI pelagic results 25 August 2012

 From: Brad McKinney

 Date: Sun, 26 Aug 2012 19:54:14 GMT

Good afternoon,

 The season’s final lower coast pelagic off South Padre Island was a success, as trip organizer Eric Carpenter pulled off another squeeze play with Mother Nature. With projected seas in the 4-6 range all week, the wind dropped enough on Friday evening to produce manageable swells in the 2-4 foot range for most of the day on Saturday. By 8:15 am, we swung by the first of several several shrimp boats on the way out to deepwater and were rewarded with excellent looks at both male Magnificent Frigatebird and juvenile Masked Booby (see link below). In addition to the frigatebird, the near shore shrimp boats attracted Laughing Gulls, Royal and Sandwich Terns and at least 35 bottlenose dolphins, including several youngsters. Common, Least and Black Terns were seen sporadically in the blue water along the shelf. As we approached the final shrimp boat at 45 miles offshore, we had two jaeger sp., another Magnificent Frigatebird, and a flyby Northern Roughwing Swallow, surprisingly one of the only migrant passerines seen during the day. We reached the 100-fathom curve around noon, somewhat delayed by the rough seas. Just after 1:00pm we had our first shearwater of the day, a Cory’s.  By 1:30 pm we had good looks two more Cory’s Shearwaters, a dozen Sooty Terns over a tuna school, including two all-black juveniles, and two Audubon’s Shearwaters.

Flying fish were seen throughout. Other interesting finds included a green sea turtle , a young wahoo fish and a five-foot cobia fish.  The species list in this summary is not presumed to be all inclusive or official, as some observers may have observed things that I did not. Please let me know of any omissions or revisions.

Seabird summary:

Cory’s Shearwater (3)

Audubon’s Shearwater (2)

Masked Booby (3)

Magnificent Frigatebird (2)

Sooty Tern (12)

Below is a link to some photos.


Many thanks go out to Eric Carpenter for his efforts in organizing these trips, and to co-leaders Eric Carpenter, Mary Gustafson, Petra Hockey, and Randy Pinkston for their excellent guiding skills. Best of luck to all pelagic birders heading offshore this fall.  On behalf of the leaders, I want to thank all participants for supporting Texas pelagic birding trips again this year. We look forward to seeing you again next year!

Brad McKinney

Rancho Viejo


View 2010 to 2013 Texas Pelagic Trip Tracks from S Padre Island in a larger map

Click on the box in the upper left of the map to view the map legend.

Click on each Pelagic Course and the data label will appear with the date of the trip.




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