Pelagic trip report:
Saturday, May 5, 2012
12 hours offshore 45 miles, 0700-1900
From Newport, Oregon, WNW to 45 miles off Depoe Bay, south 10 miles to 45 miles off Newport, return to Yaquina Head, along shore to Newport
Seas: mild; no wind offshore, light breeze near shore.
Captain Robert Waddell
Newport Tradewinds Charter
The Bird Guide, Inc.
Guides: Tom Snetsinger, David Mandell, Greg Gillson, Shawneen Finnegan, Russ Namitz
What a great day!
Seas were mild (5 foot swell well-spaced) and glassy until late afternoon when we returned to shore where a miled breeze had been blowing all day. We broke out into the sun about 11:00 AM offshore 35 miles and it remained sunny the rest of the day.
The goal of the trip was to get out to the "cruise ship lanes" and spend two hours looking for Murphy's Petrels, Parakeet Auklets, and Horned Puffins reported from a cruise ship two week earlier. So we went fast through nearshore waters.
There were hundreds of Sooty Shearwaters from a few miles offshore to 25 miles offshore.
We encountered 3 Humpback Whales offshore about 20 miles, playing around on the surface. The largest individual had a terrible wheeze that I've never heard from a whale.
Flocks of Red-necked Phalaropes near shore gave way to more Red Phalaropes about 25 miles offshore.
We scored a Horned Puffin 28 miles offshore from Newport that allowed us prolonged views!
We made it out 45 miles and motored slowly southward another 10 miles, but didn't encounter any birds of note. So we headed back towards shore at a rather liesurely pace. But birds were very sparse most of the way back, where they had been so abundant only a couple of hours earlier.
Back about 1 dozen miles from shore we picked up Sooty Shearwaters and Red-necked Phalarope flocks again. With some time gained by following swell, we headed over to Yaquina Head. A suspicious-looking loon deserved turning the boat around to make sure, and, yes! Yellow-billed Loon. Totally unexpected. Fantastic!
Trip photos: pelagic birds
Species list: Bay (outbound) Brant (Black) 7 Greater Scaup 8 Surf Scoter 10 Bufflehead 3 Common Loon 10 Horned Grebe 2 Brandt's Cormorant 10 Double-crested Cormorant 1 Pelagic Cormorant 25 Brown Pelican 16 Wandering Tattler 1 peep sp. 30 Western Gull 25 Glaucous-winged Gull 1 Pigeon Guillemot 20 0-5 miles offshore (outbound) Surf Scoter 1 Red-throated Loon 3 Pacific Loon 40 Common Loon 2 Western Grebe 1 Sooty Shearwater 30 Red-necked Phalarope 30 Common Murre 80 Marbled Murrelet 4 5-30 miles offshore (outbound) Black-footed Albatross 10 Pink-footed Shearwater 7 Sooty Shearwater 2500 Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel 25 Red-necked Phalarope 1000 Red Phalarope 300 Sabine's Gull 30 Western Gull 3 California Gull 3 Common Murre 25 Cassin's Auklet 50 Rhinoceros Auklet 80 Horned Puffin 1, 28 miles WNW of Newport. 44 40.449 N, 124. 42.779 W, 10:20 AM. Tufted Puffin 1 Offshore 30-45 miles, south 10 miles, 45-30 miles returning Black-footed Albatross 20 Sooty Shearwater 30 Short-tailed Shearwater 1 Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel 30 Red-necked Phalarope 15 Red Phalarope 30 Sabine's Gull 5 California Gull 10 Glaucous-winged Gull 1 Arctic Tern 2 Parasitic Jaeger 2 Cassin's Auklet 25 Rhinoceros Auklet 15 Tufted Puffin 6 30 miles back to 5 miles offshore (return) Greater White-fronted Goose 105 Single large flock headed north Common Loon 5 Black-footed Albatross 8 Northern Fulmar 1 Sooty Shearwater 600 Short-tailed Shearwater 1 Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel 10 Red-necked Phalarope 400 Red Phalarope 25 Sabine's Gull 7 Western Gull 5 Common Murre 75 Cassin's Auklet 35 Rhinoceros Auklet 20 5 miles offshore to Yaquina Head then back to Newport Surf Scoter 25 Pacific Loon 10 Yellow-billed Loon 1, 3.5 miles west of Newport. Sooty Shearwater 10 Brandt's Cormorant 15 Pelagic Cormorant 5 Brown Pelican 3 peep sp. 5 Red-necked Phalarope 20 Bonaparte's Gull 20 Western Gull 35 California Gull 5 Common Murre 2000 Pigeon Guillemot 10 Marbled Murrelet 4 Bay (return) Brant (Black) X Greater Scaup X Surf Scoter X Harlequin Duck 1 Common Loon X Red-necked Grebe 4 Western Grebe 1 Brandt's Cormorant X Double-crested Cormorant X Pelagic Cormorant X Wandering Tattler 2 Mew Gull 1 immature Western Gull X Western x Glaucous-winged Gull (hybrid) X Glaucous-winged Gull 2 Pigeon Guillemot X Harbor Seal 3 (bay) Steller's Sea Lion 1 Gray Whale 2 Humpback Whale 11 Soupfin Shark 1