Island Wildlife Cruises with a Bird Guide
I am pleased to announce that Island Packers is coordinating with local pelagic bird guides to increase the usefulness of our Island Wildlife Tours to visiting and local birders. The concept is simple, if you would like to go birding with a very knowledgeable guide for a reasonable price ($34 seniors, $38 adult), see marine mammals, and Anacapa Island then we have you in mind.
Short-beaked Common Dolphin
A few hours of standing side by side with a knowledgeable pelagic birder can be worth weeks of studying images in a book. The night before a boat ride many people will familiarize themselves with the birds they hope to see. This is a good strategy but can often fail once on deck and you see the realities of birding from a boat. Traits you may think are important from looking at a photo or illustration may not be that useful in the field (or ocean). This can be an expensive lesson to learn on your first "big" ocean pelagic. So rather than face frustration alone, you can get immediate help on a trip like the one described within this article. Use these trips as introductions to seabirds, or hone your skills so you can Identify birds on your own, and really get a feel for when something different (aka rare) flaps by.
Island Packers runs a traditional Wildlife Cruise throughout the year and can see a wide variety of marine mammals, fish, birds, and Anacapa Island. With the added bonus of having a dedicated pelagic bird guide on a select set of these trips the value has just skyrocketed! (but not the price, it is the same price)
So far Island Packers has pelagic bird guides to join the following trips:
These can be booked by following this link or clicking on the above date you would like. https://reserve.islandpackers.com/
Click the Island Wildlife Cruises tab (third one from the left) then select the month and date/time you would like. All trips are the same price but only the listed dates in this article have a guide arranged.
If you prefer to speak with a real life person to book the trip give Island Packers a call and let them know you are specifically signing up for the trip as a birder. The phone number is (805) 642-1393
This time of year one might see Rhinoceros Auklet, Cassin's Auklet, Scripps's Murrelet, Common Murre, Black-vented Shearwater, Northern Fulmar, and others. Common Dolphin and migrating Gray Whales are also frequently encountered. Another significant draw for the trip is a stunning up close view of Anacapa Island and the Anacapa Arch.
We hope to add more dates as they become available. See you out there!