Pelagic Birding Cruise Off The Coast Of Southern California

Pelagic Birding Cruise Off The Coast Of Southern California

South Polar Skua

So, recently I went on a pelagic birding trip off the coast of Southern California. Luckily the waters were extremely calm for our 11 hour trip. I have motion sickness, so to say I was a bit nervous about the trip would be an understatement! But with a little help from my wrist pressure bands and staying outside with the air blowing on my face for most of the ride, I had a wonderful time…

The above photo is of one of my new lifers that I saw on the trip. The South Polar Skua actually nests in Antarctica then migrates far north, passing off the coasts of both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans on their way. It feeds on fish, which it sometimes plunges into the water from flight to catch, but often it just steals food from other seabirds. We saw several of them harassing groups of shearwaters and trying to take their catch…

Cravers’s Murrelet

This cute little bird was giving us the slip most of the day! Each time we tried to slowly cruise up to a pair of Cravers’s Murrelets they would fly off, but finally after hours of seeing and chasing and being disappointed, we got up close to get a great look! I think that we probably tired them out! 

They nest on islands off the west coast of Mexico. In the late summer/early fall they venture further away, up off the coast of California.



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