July 16, 2011; S Padre Island; TRIP REPORT
Aboard the Osprey II
Subject: Recap of Saturday’s South Padre Island Pelagic Trip July 16, 2011
On behalf of Tamie, the South Padre Island Birding & Nature Center, and my fellow leaders (Mary, Petra, Randy, and Brad), I wanted to thank all of you for coming out on Saturday for the first Texas pelagic trip of 2011. Though I was disappointed in the number of pelagic species & individuals we encountered, these trips are always about quality, not quantity.
The Red-billed Tropicbird that we encountered as it flew over the boat a few times is a great find and a new bird (in Texas or the ABA area) for many on board. Texas has only 12 documented records of this species and the last time we had this species on one of our trips was almost 5 years ago (Sept 2006).
There is no verdict yet on the storm-petrel that we had briefly mid-morning as it flew in front of us and into the sun. The flight pattern and perhaps to some degree the amount of molt the bird was showing suggest Leach’s Storm-Petrel. I am hoping that a few of you got some pictures that you will be able to share with us to see if we have enough to get an ID on this guy.
The Pomarine Jaeger that we encountered was also a bit surprising. They are regular and more expected later in the fall and through the winter season, very few are encountered mid-summer. We suspect that this was likely a one-year old bird that may be summering in the Gulf.
Though we see Magnificent Frigatebirds on most trips, I don’t think we have ever had 4 in one place before.
The Spotted Dolphins were also a nice sighting. We don’t often see such a large group of them, and this one had a couple of yougins to boot!
Gary Hodne maintains a website that serves as a good history of our trips and he would be interested in any pictures you are willing to share. He even has some instructions on how to submit photos:
Gary’s e-mail address is <firstname.lastname@example.org> and I encourage you to submit any of your more interesting sightings (of the birds, people, sunrise, etc) so that we can get a nice photo gallery to represent this trip.
I will also put on my TBRC hat and ask everyone who is interested in contributing to help document the Red-billed Tropicbird. There is a sample submission form at:
I can also point you to a nice link if you need a starting point for writing up any notes about your observation:
Pictures are worth a 1000 words and any photos of the tropicbird, particularly those that show the upperwing and the top of the head would be helpful.
I would also encourage you to send me any photos that you might have on the storm-petrel to see if we can piece together an ID.
Thanks again for supporting Texas pelagics and we hope you’ll join us again.
Thanks to Brad McKinney, Randy Pinkston, Trip Davenport and Darlene Moore for contributing many great photos!
FINAL TRIP LIST :
TOTAL PELAGIC SPECIES – 3
TOTAL PELAGIC SEABIRDS – 6
Storm-Petrel sp 1
Pomarine Jager -1
Magnificent Frigatebird – 4
Here is a map of the trip track as recorded by my GPS.
TRIP PHOTO ALBUMS
Album 1 all photos © GarettHodne.com
Album 2 Photos © Randy Pnikston; Brad McKinney; Trip Davenport; Dennis Shepler; Darlene Moore.
OCEANOGRAPHIC AND WEATHER CONDITIONS:
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