Pelagic trip report:
Saturday, March 6, 2010

11 hours
From Newport, Oregon, to 30 miles west of Newport, then south 10 miles to the seaward slope of Perpetua Bank.

Seas: gentle swell, winds 10-15 knots.

Boat: Misty
Captain Robert Waddell
Newport Tradewinds Charter

The Bird Guide, Inc.

Guides: Greg Gillson, Tim Shelmerdine, Tom Snetsinger, David Mandell

One of two Laysan Albatrosses--our target bird! Photo by Greg Gillson.

Beautiful sunny weather and moderate seas were enjoyed by all. Target species included two different LAYSAN ALBATROSSES at close range and several small flocks of ANCIENT MURRELETS. We saw a few SHORT-TAILED SHEARWATERS fly by at a distance, but views of this winter specialty were disappointing.

Good numbers of birds were near shore, including unprecedented BROWN PELICANS that have been here all winter. We swung back along shore for about 4 miles on our return trip and picked up 26 MARBLED MURRELETS to add to the half dozen we saw in the morning. Birds in the zone from 5 miles out to 20 miles were scattered in the morning and nearly absent on the return trip, a rather unusual situation for this locale.

BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES were in good numbers, as expected for March. However, RHINOCEROS AUKLETS were in low numbers for this time of year.

In all, a good trip finding all the expected species, including the target "winter" specialties.

More trip photos...

Species list:

Species total (chum stop #1, chum stop #2)
Greater Scaup 20 (bay)
Surf Scoter 205
White-winged Scoter 3 (bay)
Black Scoter 5
Bufflehead 25 (bay)
Common Goldeneye 1 (bay)
Red-breasted Merganser 2 (bay)
Red-throated Loon 9
Pacific Loon 5
Common Loon 10 (mostly bay)
Horned Grebe 1 (bay)
Red-necked Grebe 1 (seen by few, bay)
Western Grebe 9 (bay)
Clark's Grebe 1 (bay)
Laysan Albatross 2 (chum: 0, 1)
Black-footed Albatross 21 (chum: 4, 8)
Northern Fulmar 36 (chum: 3, 8)
Sooty Shearwater 4
Short-tailed Shearwater 2
Sooty/Short-tailed Shearwater 1
Brown Pelican 47 (mostly bay)
Double-crested Cormorant 30 (bay)
Brandt's Cormorant 165
Pelagic Cormorant 55
Black Oystercatcher 1 (bay)
Black Turnstone 2 (bay)
Black-legged Kittiwake 118 (chum: 25, 15)
Mew Gull 35
Western Gull 190 (chum: 25, 15)
California Gull 30 (chum: 20, 10)
Herring Gull 20 (chum: 12, 6)
Thayer's Gull 8 (chum: 4, 2)
Glaucous-winged Gull 13 (chum: 3, 10)
Common Murre 610 (chum: 0, 10)
Pigeon Guillemot 10
Marbled Murrelet 32
Ancient Murrelet 33
Cassin's Auklet 27
Rhinoceros Auklet 13 (chum: 1, 0)
Tufted Puffin 1 (seen by few)
Belted Kingfisher 2 (bay)

Gray Whale 1
Harbor Seal 6 (bay)
California Sea Lion 20 (bay)
Steller's Sea Lion 5
Salmon Shark 1 (robust, brown, 7 feet)

Pelagic Birding Trips