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