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:

Greetings all,
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