Pelagic trip report:
Wednesday, May 4, 2005
8-hours from Ilwaco, Washington, offshore to 25 miles on the south slope of Astoria Canyon in Oregon waters.
Trip guides: Greg Gillson, Troy Guy, David Mandell.
The highlights from the Wednesday, May 4 pelagic trip from Ilwaco, Washington, into the Oregon waters of Astoria Canyon included about 35 BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSSES that, enticed with a bit of popcorn, followed us for 2 hours back to within about 8 miles of shore. Most of the albatrosses were younger immatures; apparently the adults are still on Laysan and Midway feeding their chicks.
The SOOTY SHEARWATERS are in very heavy wing molt, causing them to flap more than usual. Every once in a while we'd see an apparent juvenile bird withour wing molt, appearing much darker and gliding more, requiring a second look.
An OSPREY sitting on a buoy about a mile offshore was weird. A flock of about 150 GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE flew by about 25 miles offshore.
There was no visible sign of spring migration among the seabirds--no jaegers, phalaropes, terns, or Sabine's gulls.
The "best" bird for many was the old LONG-TAILED DUCK we drove right up to with the boat at the end of the south jetty. A WANDERING TATTLER was on the rocks along with about 120 STELLER'S SEA LIONS, including one monsterously huge bull.
Greater White-fronted Goose 150 Canada Goose 35 Gadwall 6 Mallard 15 Cinnamon Teal 1 Northern Pintail 8 Greater Scaup 6 Surf Scoter 80 Long-tailed Duck 2 Bufflehead 25 Red-breasted Merganser 10 Red-throated Loon 2 Pacific Loon 20 Common Loon 15 Black-footed Albatross 35 Northern Fulmar 3 Pink-footed Shearwater 8 Sooty Shearwater 200 Brown Pelican 12 Brandt' s Cormorant 60 Double-crested Cormorant 80 Pelagic Cormorant 25 Great Blue Heron 1 Turkey Vulture 2 Osprey 2 Bald Eagle 4 Northern Harrier 1 Wandering Tattler 1 Western Sandpiper 100 Dunlin 50 peep (sp.) 600 Mew Gull 3 California Gull 50 Western Gull 200 Glaucous-winged Gull 30 Black-legged Kittiwake 1 Caspian Tern 140 Common Tern 1 Common Murre 300 Pigeon Guillemot 60 Marbled Murrelet 2 Rhinoceros Auklet 50 Steller's Sea Lion 120 California Sea Lion 70 Harbor Porpoise 1