Pelagic trip report:
Saturday, July 6, 2002
Seabirds & Marine Mammals Tour
Newport, Oregon, to Yaquina Head and offshore 5 miles
Trip report by Stephen Shunk:
Saturday's second-of-the-season "Seabirds and Marine Mammals" tour with The Bird Guide was a great success. Fifteen passengers enjoyed gorgeous weather, lots of birds and plenty of whales. The complete trip summary is below, compiled by my co-leader Troy Guy with a few editorial notes from yours truly.
Highlights of the trip included: thousands of COMMON MURRES at and around the Yaquina Head colony; 2 large rafts of SOOTY SHEARWATERS, more or less "grounded" by the calm weather; at least 10 pairs of MARBLED MURRELETS; good numbers of returning BROWN PELICANS and HEERMAN'S GULLS; more than a dozen RED-NECKED PHALAROPES; and GRAY WHALES throughout the day, often surfacing less than 100 feet from the boat.
Seabirds & Marine Mammals Tour Newport, Oregon Birds inside the bay: 5 Brandt's Cormorant 20 Pelagic Cormorant 1 Double-Crested Cormorant 1 Brown Pelican 1 Osprey 10 unidentified small sandpipers 20+ California Gull 20+ Western Gulls (incl. 2 downy nestlings at close range on a bldg. roof) 5 Heermann's Gull 7 Common Murre 35 Pigeon Guillemot 1 Belted Kingfisher Nearshore to Yaquina Head: 1 Common Loon 12 White-winged scoter 3 Surf Scoter 3 Brown Pelican 20 Red-necked Phalarope 15 unidentified small sandpipers 25+ California Gull 30+ Western Gull 1 Herring Gull 4 Heermann's Gull 5,000+ Common Murre (very conservative) 20+ Marbled Murrelet 1 Cassin's Auklet 15 Rhinoceros Auklet 1 (possible) Tufted Puffin Just offshore: 400+ Sooty Shearwater (including ~150 in 2 rafts) 500+ Common Murre 6 Rhinoceros Auklet Marine Mammals: 7 Gray Whale 2+ Harbor Porpoise 14 Harbor Seal 1 California Sea Lion