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Pelagic Birding Trip 
Sunday, May 24, 2009

Join the Brevard Nature Alliance for the second public exploration ever
offered off the east coast of Florida that will explore the entire width
of the Gulf Stream and the 3000’ deep canyons 100 miles offshore.

The trip will leave from the New Smyrna side of Ponce Inlet and travel
out over 100 miles, crossing the entire Gulf Stream, past the east wall
of the Gulf Stream into the area known as the “Tuna Grounds.”  This
trip holds the probability of encountering numerous pelagic species. We
will be in the Gulf Stream at the perfect time to have multiple
sightings of Black-capped Petrel. Previous explorations of this area at
this time of year have gotten Black-caps every trip. This trip is during
the middle of spring migration, when there are good chances of migrants
such as Sooty and Manx Shearwaters, all three Storm-Petrels  (Leach’s,
Wilson’s and Band-rumped), both Tropicbirds, Long-tailed Jaeger and
Arctic Tern.

We will search for schools of tuna by finding flocks of birds on radar,
which often include hundreds of terns and shearwaters feeding over the
fish.  There is a remote chance that we may even find the first state
record of an extreme rarity such as Fea’s or Herald Petrel that have
turned up in similar waters offshore of North Carolina at this time of
year.

Potential Species include (* indicates good probability):
Black-capped Petrel *  8 Last year
Cory’s Shearwater *
Greater Shearwater *
Sooty Shearwater 
Audubon’s Shearwater *
Manx Shearwater *
Wilson’s Storm Petrel *
Leach’s Storm-Petrel *
Band-rumped Storm-Petrel *
Northern Gannet 
Brown Booby
Masked Booby
Red-footed Booby
White-tailed Tropicbird
Red-billed Tropicbird
Red Phalarope 
Red-necked Phalarope*
Pomarine Jaeger *
Parasitic Jaeger 
Long-tailed Jaeger
Arctic Tern
Common Tern*
Black Tern*
Sooty Tern *
Bridled Tern *
Brown Noddy

We will have excellent leaders for the trip including Bob Wallace, Andy
Kratter, Bruce Anderson, Michael Brothers, David Simpson, John
Hintermister, Roberto Torres, John Kellam and Murray Gardler. The trip
will be aboard “The Pastime Princess” a 100-foot, all-aluminum boat
with excellent observation areas on the upper deck and bow and even a
nice stern seating area. The cabin can also accommodate 30-40 in
air-conditioned comfort. 

The trip will meet at 4:00 a.m. (yes, 4 a.m. - we have a long way to
go) from the Sea Harvest Restaurant and Marina on Riverside Drive near
Canal Street in downtown New Smyrna Beach (phone 386-427- 5393) and
return at about 9:00 pm.  You must be on the boat 15 minutes prior to
the 4:30 a.m. departure; the boat will not wait for anyone who is late.

Participants should bring their own food and beverages, as well as
seasickness medicine, sunscreen and personal items.  Food service will
also be available for breakfast, lunch and dinner at moderate prices.

We need a minimum of 40 people for the trip to go, but space is
limited. Call or email right away to reserve your space. Additional
information, maps and available accommodations will be forwarded to
participants. DON’T MISS this exceedingly rare opportunity to bird in
almost unexplored state waters, with the chance at seeing some of the
rarest birds in Florida!

For more information or to sign up please contact:
Michael Brothers
Marine Science Center
386-304-5543
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