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This blog is predominately about camera trapping in California. We camera trap to save our souls and to teach primary school students about biology and conservation. We will also touch on other camera trapping news and musings, sets from afar, mediocre herpetology, sucky birding, and other natural history discussions.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

This Birding Life: Pelagic Trip

It might have been mentioned here before, but we suck at birding.

Yet, we keep coming back to it and diving in deeper than before.

The latest excursion: a pelagic trip out of Monterey with Alvaro of Alvaro's Adventures.

guys, these guys look serious

 The expectations were mixed. Obviously with the first time out on the ocean, some sweet life birds were going to be seen.


The stereotype of birders loomed over: socially-awkward weirdos lacking the fun gene carrying around a zoom lens akin to a shoulder cannon. Now, a couple of those terms have been lobbed in my direction at times, so maybe a weirdo should respect a different weirdo?


Additionally,  the intimidation factor of being in the presence of the number seven birder in the nation !


Really, I was worried about losing it over the side. I haven't truly been out on the ocean since a disastrous deep sea fishing trip as a young brat on vacation in Hawai'i, where the vomit was flying.

But all was good this time and I maintained focus like a ninja, for there was a great prize to observe.
No, not the Great Skua, immortalized in song by the mighty British Sea Power,


on the Pacific we are treated to the SOUTH POLAR SKUA

 Yeah, I didn't get great photos, but still amazing to see at this distance -- we actually had about 7 total observations! Another pelagic trip on the bay spotted not a one Skua.

 The trip ended with some clowns lounging about.


small wound on this sea lion

Overall a pretty great trip -- everyone aboard was helpful, friendly and there were no mentions of jizz (though the hilarity of a jizz drop might have been pretty incredible?).

And despite some slow moments, a great selection of birds were on display and now one of my students thinks I am a god because I have seen an albatross.

Jake's thoughts next!
Good Birding !


  1. Your student is correct Christian. Welcome to Olympus.

    Good meeting you, and glad you both made it out! Hopefully we can do it again next fall.

  2. That wide-angle shot turned out great. Will have to bring that lens along the next time we do this.