Ahoy there, Seabirders!
In celebration of Shearwater Journeys's 40th year of California Seabirding trips, we are offering thirty+ trips for 2015! This is the most complete and comprehensive pelagic birding schedule anywhere in the world. At Shearwater Journeys, we know seabirds and love to share them with you!
Our first trip departed from Monterey Bay in 1976, from Bodega Bay in 1980 and from Half Moon Bay in 1991. More than 70,000 birders and lovers of marine life have joined our trips over the past four decades. Thousands of seabirds and hundreds of whales have graced our days at sea. Numerous new California State bird records and many new records for North America have been discovered on Shearwater Journeys's trips and, even a new record for the Northern Hemisphere!
We've sponsored marine biology students who have studied seabirds, marine mammals, leatherback turtles, and more. Our Young Seabirder Program has been operating for at least three decades. Birders have hailed from the world over ticking Life Birds on our trips. Birders who have elected to do a North American Big Year have scored many a new seabird on our trips. Shearwater Journeys has sponsored groups of birders from all of the major birding companies in North America and the United Kingdom, as well as the Swedish Ornithological Society, The Nature Conservancy, National Audubon, Pacific Seabird Group, and the American Bird Conservancy, to name a few. Shearwater Journeys has been featured in many magazine articles, and in books from Living on the Wind by Scott Weidensaul, to The Big Year by Mark Obmascik.
Our community of leaders has been the backbone of our trips. They have included many luminaries such as Jon Dunn, Steve Howell, Peter Pyle, Todd McGrath, Scott Terrill, Linda Terrill, Brian Sullivan, Steve Rottenborn, Lisa Hug, Abe Borker, Gerry McChesney, Dave Pereksta, Steve Tucker, and Clay Kempf. Local leaders have included Sarah Allen, Russell Bradley, Matt Brady, Rick Fournier, John Garrett, Jennifer Green, Steve Hampton, Jim Holmes, Nick Levendosky, Tim Miller, Marissa Ortega-Welch, David Vander Pluym, Annie Schmidt, Dena Spatz, Ryan Terrill, Cassidy Grattan, Adam Searcy, and Will Brooks. Guest leaders have included Kenn Kaufmann and Mary Gustafson. A great many of our leaders have worldwide seabirding experience adding an unparalleled depth of knowledge.
We are most grateful to the thousands of birders who have traveled with us all these many years. From the late Roger Tory Peterson and Peter Harrison, to Nobel Prize Winners, to truck drivers, homemakers, professors, students and folks from every walk of life, we thank you so much. Without you, we could not have continued to exist! Hats off to the birders of the seas!
The 2014 season was one of the most memorable seasons since the mid-1980's. Shearwater Journeys offered 33 successful trips, all of which operated. And, nearly all enjoyed excellent sea conditions. The season was marked by a large "river" of warm water which lasted throughout the season. For the second year in a row, we found a HAWAIIAN PETREL on August 2 on our Half Moon Bay trip. (In 2013, Hawaiian Petrel was found on our August 2, Monterey Bay trip!). SALVIN'S ALBATROSS was a surprise on our July 26 Half Moon Bay departure, although we have also found both Chatham Albatross and White-capped Albatross on our Bodega Bay July/August trips. GUADALUPE and SCRIPPS'S MURRELETS turned up on many of our trips throughout the season, especially early on. The Pacific Ocean's only NORTHERN GANNET remained at the Farallon Islands and was seen on our annual August trip, along with many TUFTED PUFFINS. BROWN BOOBIES staged a major invasion along the coast and were found off and on on many of our trips, including four on the Half Moon Bay weather buoy! A single RED-BILLED TROPICBIRD was a treat and rare record on September 21 at Half Moon Bay. Monterey Bay was flooded early in the season with flocks of thousands of BLACK-VENTED SHEARWATERS, which also included a number of MANX SHEARWATERS. Lunge-feeding gangs of HUMPBACK WHALES were a regular sight in Monterey, while KILLER WHALES put on a show on many trips. BLUE WHALES were largely absent following the disappearance of krill about 10 July, but several were seen on our trips, including the ALBACORE trip. BAIRD'S BEAKED WHALES also made a good showing on our offshore Monterey Albacore trip. The rarest marine mammal of the season was the tropical DWARF/PYGMY SPERM WHALE on a Half Moon Bay trip. Finally, the "invertebrate soup" was the most amazing that I have seen in all of my years. These included BY-THE-WIND-SAILORS (last seen in 2005), both solitary and colonial SALPS, TERAPODS, and "sea elephants," a gastropod. This "soup" was often littered with OCEAN SUNFISH whom we saw feeding on these animals. Now rarely observed, a few BLUE SHARKS were also spotted, along with one or two SALMON SHARKS.
EXPEDITION VOYAGES: Join Debi Shearwater on two unique voyages to Russia's Far East in late May, early June, 2015. Russia's RING OF FIRE: KAMCHATKA, THE COMMANDER & KURIL ISLANDS voyage will travel in an area where volcanic and geothermal activity has built a unique and amazing landscape. Deep trenches and currents make this region ripe for seabirds and cetaceans. The area is rich in auks and up to fourteen species can be found. Our second voyage, the SEA OF OKHOTSK: SEALS, SEABIRDS & A LEGACY OF SORROW, visits a part of Russia seldom seen by westerners. Seabird numbers in the Sea of Okhotsk can only be described as spectacular. We are talking numbers rarely seen elsewhere in the world, such as an estimated 7 million on Matykil Island in the Yamskiye Archipelago. For more details on these amazing voyages, please contact Debi to secure your berth! Both voyages can be taken, back to back.
RESERVATIONS: Payment, in full by check or money order is required at the time of booking. Please include the name, address, phone/email of each person in your party as required by the USCG. Any rate increases are not included (none in 2014).
DISCOUNT: Sign up for any Monterey trip (except Feb. 22) before JULY 1, and take a $40 per person, per trip discount. Sign up for any Half Moon Bay, Bodega Bay or Farallon Islands trip before JULY 1, and take a $20 per person, per trip discount.
Discounts must be deducted from payment at the time of booking. All discounted trips are NON-REFUNDALBE for any reason. Note that all of our 2014 trips operated and none were canceled for lack of sign ups. None of our 2014 trips were weathered out.
Send your reservation to: Debi Shearwater, PO Box 190, Hollister, CA 95024 email: Debi Shearwater. Phone: 831-637-8527, after 1 February. Please see our blog for more information, trip reports and updates.
Looking forward to the 40th year of seabirding with you! ~ Debi Shearwater on the Southern Ocean, November 20, 2014.~
"Your knowledge (plus that of your fabulous leaders), combined with your enthusiasm, made for a fantastic trip. Thank you! I'm a dedicated Shearwater Journeys fan."
"We really enjoyed the boat trip and greatly appreciate your teaching, wisdom and enthusiasm.
Thanks again for your leadership in opening up a world of wonder for my son."
"Great memories of our pelagic trip, October 26 - got 13 life birds."
Jon & Shirley
"Thanks for the great look at the Hawaiian petrel and nice to meet you. All the storm-petrels were pretty nice too.
Hope to get out on one of your trips again soon."
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