Date: 6/11/19 8:17 pm
From: Garett Hodne <garyhodne...>
Subject: [texbirds] Only Texas Pelagic Trip in 2019 still need Participants
Hi Texbirders and Pelagic Fanatics,

The first two Texas Pelagics scheduled for 2019 on May 25th and July 27th had to be cancelled due to a lack of participants. This means there is only one chance to get offshore to see Pelagic seabirds this year on August 24th.

Click the above below to learn more about this single Texas Pelagic trips, i.e. fare, trip length, departure time, spaces remaining, etc.

<> 3. Sat. August 24th, 16 hour; aboard the Kingfisher from Port Aransas;

There have been two summer Texas Pelagics from Port Aransas and both were great trips with a large number of seabirds, near record numbers of seabird species and good showings of marine mammals. I personally have high hopes for continuing great trips out of Port Aransas because of the varied deep water seafloor bathymetry and the closer proximity to the Gulf's Loop Current.

WHY GO ON A TEXAS PELAGIC? Short answer – the seabirds, the marine mammals (whales and dolphins), the world's biggest fish and they are a lot of FUN!! If you talk to any of the Texas Pelagic leaders and regulars they'll probably tell you some of the most amazing seabird and wildlife encounters they've ever had in the state of Texas occurred on a Texas Pelagic.

Some of our trips over the last few years have encountered very high numbers of many of the regular pelagic seabirds:

Audubon’s & Cory’s Shearwaters, Leaches & Band-rumped Storm-Petrels, Magnificent Frigatebirds, Masked Booby, Brown Booby (now annually), Sooty & Bridled Terns and Pomarine Jaegers . In additional to those regular seabirds above we regularly (sometimes) encounter Red-billed Tropicbird, Great Shearwater, Sooty Shearwater, Long-tailed Jaeger and Parasitic Jaeger. We have also accumulated an impressive list of rarities: Manx Shearwater, Sabine’s Gull, Brown Noddy and South Polar Skua. We have now had two trips that were fortunate enough to have a mixed species flock that included both Brown Noddy and Brown Booby in the same binocular view!  And of course in Sept 2003 we had an incredible Yellow-nosed Albatross encounter! Prior to that there were 3 YNAB that had been found moribund or dead on Texas beaches. The first record of South Polar Skua for the Gulf of Mexico was seen in October 2004. And two other SPSK have been seen since from deep water Tuna fishing boats. Black-capped Petrel and Arctic Tern has been seen twice from Port O'Connor in May and July. BCPE has also been encountered at least once from deep water tuna fishing boats in Texas waters in the fall . It is exciting possibilities like this that keeps folks coming back for more. There are undoubtedly new discoveries still to be made offshore. White-tailed Tropicbird, Red-footed Booby and Wilson's Storm-Petrels will eventually be found on an organized pelagic birding trip as these birds have already been found by fisherman in Texas waters or in the case of the WTTR on a Texas beach. I've compiled a list of hypothetical future possibilities of pelagic seabirds that have either already been found in the Gulf of Mexico but not yet in Texas or occur off the East Coast of the US in the North Atlantic. Just FYI that list can be found here: <> . Seabird galleries, checklists and bar-graphs can be found here: <>

MARINE MAMMALS AND WHALE SHARKS: And of course, when there aren't great birds around, sometimes other marine life activity steals the show.  We routinely get Bottlenose Dolphins and Atlantic spotted dolphins on most trips. We have had frequent encounters with Whale Sharks, like the August 2011 trip where an absolutely monstrous Whale Shark bumped into the boat. Check out the photos of it about half-way through the slide-show from that trip at:


In 2014 on one trip we saw 18+ Sperm Whales, some right next to the boat, and 250+ Melon-headed Whales that also circled the boat. Sperm Whales are the most common whale we encounter and have been seen on 7 trips with over 50 individual whales seen in total. Mesoplodon Beaked Whales and a number of other large dolphins and smaller whales have also been seen on Texas Pelagic trips. These are some of the amazing wildlife encounters you may experience on a Texas Pelagic.

If you've never been on a Texas Pelagic this is the year you should try one or two. If it's been a long time since you've been on a Texas Pelagic come back this year and see how much fun they can be. If you're afraid of seasickness try using the Transderm Scop patch (prescription needed) and enjoy a day at sea with our great pelagic leaders and groups. These trips are also a great way to spend a hot summer weekend out birding where it is definitely cooler offshore than it is onshore. If you're still unconvinced check out the testimonials from our participants and leaders here: <>

SIGN-UP SOON BEFORE ITS TOO LATE: The deadline for the August 24th trip is Aug 1st, but please don't wait until the last minute to sign up. It helps me and the operator of our charter boat to know further in advance if we can commit to running the trip with adequate participation. So far there are 20 people signed up and we only need 16 more. I would hate to not have adequate participation for this last and only Texas Pelagic of 2019.

Unfortunately our Charter boat prices have increased significantly in the last few years over what they were a decade ago. Our leaders also pay close to full fare depending on the number of participants we can gather.

More information on these trips, logistical considerations and sign-up instructions can be found here: <>


Information on Texas Pelagics in general (including photos from previous trips and what species can be expected) can be found at this informative website:


Also there is a Facebook group for Texas Pelagics.


Please check these out for more information as well.

I hope you'll join us.

Gary Hodne

The Woodlands, TX


Garett ‘Gary’ Hodne



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