Pelagic trip report:
Friday, August 2, 2013

12 hours offshore 65 miles, 0700-1900
From Newport, Oregon

Seas: glassy smooth, winds light to none.

Boat: Gracie K
Captain Shannon
Yaquina Bay Charters

The Bird Guide, Inc.

Guides: Greg Gillson, Shawneen Finnegan, Tim Shelmerdine, Russ Namitz

Weathered-out the previous two years, our third attempt was a charm! And what a great trip it was! The photo above was behind a fish processing ship on the return portion of our trip.

It has been our desire for several years to again get out beyond the continental shelf--60 miles or more--to search for Leach's Storm-Petrels and Scripps's Murrelets. These are summer deep water birds we rarely see on our typical trips 25-35 miles offshore. Well, we ended with a total of 61 Leach's Storm-Petrels and 5 Scripps's Murrelets! All were seen and photographed at close range.

There were many Red Phalaropes (533+), Arctic Terns (74), and Long-tailed Jaegers (82)--also found more often in deeper waters farther from shore. Not only that, we found a fish processing ship and added hundreds of Black-footed Albatrosses and a rare Laysan Albatross. Then we spotted fins and blows from 25 whales of at least 3 different species. Did I mention that this was an outstanding pelagic trip?

Blog posting at Birding is Fun with more details of this trip: Oregon deep water pelagic trip

25 photos from this trip

Scripps's Murrelet

Species list:

264 Black-footed Albatross
81 Northern Fulmar
431 Pink-footed Shearwater
173 Sooty Shearwater
189 Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel
46 Brandt's Cormorant
35 Double-crested Cormorant
58 Pelagic Cormorant
1 Brown Pelican
1 Great Blue Heron
1 Great Egret
1 Turkey Vulture
1 Osprey
98 Red-necked Phalarope
533 Red Phalarope
20 Red-necked/Red Phalarope
199 Sabine's Gull
121 Western Gull
580 California Gull
74 Arctic Tern
1 Common/Arctic Tern
9 Pomarine Jaeger
12 Parasitic Jaeger
82 Long-tailed Jaeger
8 jaeger sp.
377 Common Murre
57 Pigeon Guillemot
50 Cassin's Auklet
9 Rhinoceros Auklet
4 Tufted Puffin
1 American Crow
2 Barn Swallow

Ocean Sunfish
Blue Shark
2 Humpback Whale
8 Pacific White-sided Dolphin
Harbor Seal
1 Steller's Sea Lion
3 Northern Fur Seal

Leach's Storm-Petrel