Pelagic trip report:
Saturday, April 18, 2009

11 hours
From Newport, Oregon, 35 miles W, then 10 miles S off Perpetua Bank.

Seas calm, winds to 10-15 knots.

Boat: Misty
Captain Rob Waddell
Newport Tradewinds Charter

The Bird Guide, Inc.

Guides: Greg Gillson, Tim Shelmerdine, Tom Snetsinger, David Mandell, Russ Namitz, Amy Kocourek

Laysan Albatross was the target species on this trip. Photo by Greg Gillson.

The seas were calm and the weather was sunny and in the low 50's with a slight breeze--perfect for seabirding.

As usual for spring there were lots of atypical birds offshore, including geese, puddle ducks, shorebirds, and migrants such as Rufous Hummingbird and Yellow-rumped Warbler.

Early in the trip a MANX SHEARWATER was flushed from in front of the boat with a flock of COMMON MURRES and was briefly glimpsed flying away by a very few persons on the bow. This was 1/2 mile off South Beach.

Two LAYSAN ALBATROSSES joined us, one at each of the chum stops, the first off Newport 35 miles, the next 10 miles to the south an hour later. The first bird showed newer but worn outer primaries and older worn inner and mid primaries. It was oiled on one side of the belly. The second bird was a first-year bird with all-new primaries and clean, fresh plumage.

Several flocks of 2-8 ANCIENT MURRELETS were rather a surprise, so late in the season. They were seen from near shore to out 20 miles. Everyone got great looks.

We encountered about 7 small groundfish draggers offshore, accompanied by albatrosses. Surprisingly, except for the one Manx Shearwater, only SOOTY SHEARWATERS were seen. Few NORTHERN FULMARS were around, as expected for spring.

A single TUFTED PUFFIN was spotted on the water and circled by the boat for good views. Two others were glimpsed briefly by a few individuals on the return trip.

We spent a few minutes with a couple of GRAY WHALES near shore on the return trip. Otherwise, marine mammals were not seen closely, except for a STELLER'S SEA LION on the channel buoy.

Trip photos:

Brant 135
Cackling Goose 150
Mallard 1
Northern Pintail 75
Northern Shoveler 20
Green-winged Teal 3
Greater Scaup 3
Harlequin Duck 2
Surf Scoter 350
Black Scoter 1 (bay)
Bufflehead 6 (bay)
Red-breasted Merganser 2 (bay)

Black-footed Albatross 200
Northern Fulmar 15
Sooty Shearwater 250
MANX SHEARWATER 1 (Seen by few, Greg Gillson)

Red-throated Loon 5
Pacific Loon 35
Common Loon 20
Horned Grebe 2 (bay)
Red-necked Grebe 3 (bay)
Western Grebe 5 (bay)

Brown Pelican 1
Brandt's Cormorant 140
Double-crested Cormorant 10 (bay)
Pelagic Cormorant 35

Black-bellied Plover 4
Black Turnstone 25 (jetty)
Surfbird 40 (jetty)
Greater Yellowlegs 7 (bay)
Dunlin 45

Bonaparte's Gull 7
Mew Gull 8 (bay)
California Gull 40
Thayer's Gull 1 (bay)
Herring Gull 15
Western Gull 100
Glaucous-winged Gull 40
Gl-w x West gull 30
GLAUCOUS GULL 1 (bay, present since January)
Black-legged Kittiwake 30
Caspian Tern 1 (bay)

Common Murre 1200
Pigeon Guillemot 45
Marbled Murrelet 14
Cassin's Auklet 25
Rhinoceros Auklet 45
Tufted Puffin 3

Rufous Hummingbird 1 (at sea)
Belted Kingfisher 1 (bay)
Yellow-rumped Warbler 1 (at sea)
Savannah Sparrow 1 (jetty)

Northern Fur Seal 1
California Sea Lion 10 (bay)
Steller's Sea Lion 5
Harbor Seal 5 (bay)
Gray Whale 5
Harbor Porpoise 5
Dall's Porpoise 5

We were surprised by several late flocks of Ancient Murrelets. Photo by Greg Gillson.