Join our lively group of nature enthusiasts for programs presented by top birding and nature personalities in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas. Field trips to out-of-the-ordinary birding spots, many to private lands not usually accessible by the public, and a quarterly newsletter are other benefits of membership. Members and the general public are invited to meetings on the 2nd Thursday of the month, September to May, 6:00 P.M., in the Harlingen Public Library, 410 76 Drive, Harlingen, TX.

Friday, September 23, 2016

ACAS Pelagic Trip- September 17, 2016

Sunrise from the Osprey 
Last Saturday several members of ACAS attended the Texas Pelagics trip. Most arrived by 5 a.m. and our boat, the Osprey, departed at 5:30 a.m. We experienced southerly winds as we traveled east toward the edge of the continental shelf. This made for a rocky boat. A view of the full moon provided a distraction for the many first-time pelagic participants. Shortly after the sun rose we were quickly rewarded with a flyby of a Parasitic Jaeger!

Parasitic Jaeger

After seeing the jaeger, it was a couple of hours before we saw more birds, but the view of the open ocean provided great stimulation.

Flying Fish

I wasn't sure what this was when I first saw it from a distance, but Huck Hutchens kindly let me know what I was seeing- a Flying Fish!

Cory's Shearwater (Scopoli's spp.)
It was a pleasure to see a Cory's Shearwater (Scopoli's spp.) halfway through the trip. For many of us this was a lifer. They are much larger than the Audubon's Shearwater as you may note in the photo below.

Cory's Shearwater (Scopoli's spp.) (left) & Audubon's Shearwater (right)
We even saw a few landbirds flying over the Gulf of Mexico- Barn Swallow, Baltimore Oriole and Purple Martin.
At the end of our trip the list of birds seen included: Parasitic Jaeger, Cory's Shearwater, Audubon's Shearwater, Bridled Tern, Common Tern, Sooty Tern, Sandwich Tern, Laughing Gull, Royal Tern, Least Tern and Black Tern.

Sandwich Tern
After 12 hours on the water, land was a welcome sight. We had a successful trip with 5 true seabirds seen. Thank you to Gary Hodne for organizing this trip. If interested in Pelagic Trips be sure to visit

South Padre Island, TX

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