Pelagic trip report:
Sunday, August 20, 2006

10 hours
From Newport, Oregon offshore to Perpetua Bank, 32 nautical miles off Cape Perpetua, Oregon.

Boat: Misty
Captain Robert Waddell

The Bird Guide, Inc.

Guides: Greg Gillson, Tim Shelmerdine, Troy Guy

Black-footed Albatross. Photo by Robert Tizard

Beautiful, calm seas, with a pleasant light breeze greeted participants, in contrast to Saturday's rougher trip. Skies were overcast near shore all day, but we enjoyed sunny skies during the entire day once out beyond 5 miles from shore.

Misty with excited passengers ready to get under way. Photo by Greg Gillson

Marbled Murrelet leaping into the air. Photo by Robert Tizard

As a result of the calmer seas, we saw more individuals than the previous day and got better and more prolonged looks at most species. Additional species not seen Saturday included WANDERING TATTLERS and a PEREGRINE FALCON eating a Red-necked Phalarope, both on the north jetty, where we pulled up the boat within 30 feet of both birds for 10 minutes on our return to port. A SOUTH POLAR SKUA was chased for a few minutes, but we never got very close, though we could see it was an evenly dark juvenile.

Birding behind a small dragger. Photo by Greg Gillson

Black-footed Albatross feeding frenzy. Photo by Greg Gillson

Black-footed Albatross feeding frenzy. Photo by Greg Gillson

Black-footed Albatross threatening Northern Fulmar. Photo by Barbara Mitchell

Black-footed Albatross. The yellow band on the leg is from Peter Pyle's work on Midway Atoll.
Photo by Barbara Mitchell

JAEGERS, mostly immatures, put on a good show with all three species close over the boat for extended periods during our chum stop. We had time at both the beginning and end of our trip to observe alcids at close range, including RHINOCEROS AUKLETS, CASSIN'S AUKLETS, PIGEON GUILLEMOTS, MARBLED MURRELETS, and many adult/chick pairs of COMMON MURRES, which seem to have had pretty good breeding success locally, from what we saw.

Adult Pomarine Jaeger. Photo by Robert Tizard

Pomarine Jaeger in heavy molt. Photo by Robert Tizard

Adult Long-tailed Jaeger chasing molting Northern Fulmar. Photo by Robert Tizard

Pale subadult Long-tailed Jaeger chasing juvenile California Gull. Photo by Robert Tizard

Dark juvenile Long-tailed Jaeger. Photo by Robert Tizard

Marine mammals were also a highlight. We got great views of numerous HARBOR PORPOISES. Usually they flee from the boat and hide under the water. However they seemed very intent on feeding on fish and approached the boat closely several times. Guide Troy Guy, who works on the ocean out of Astoria said he had his best views ever. That also had to be said of the single HUMPBACK WHALE within 75 feet of the boat near Perpetua Bank. Nose warts, a divided nostril, short rounded dorsal fin, very bad breath! We had one single bow riding PACIFIC WHITE-SIDED DOLPHIN. There was a GRAY WHALE in the shallows near the jetty on our return. OCEAN SUNFISH and BLUE SHARKS were spotted in the calm waters.

Humpback Whale. Photo by Barbara Mitchell

Ocean Sunfish, or Mola mola, alongside the boat. Photo by Robert Tizard

Rhinoceros Auklet. Photo by Robert Tizard


Juvenile Peregrine Falcon on the jetty. Photo by Robert Tizard

Species list:

Surf Scoter 15
Common Loon 1
Red-throated Loon 1
Black-footed Albatross 65
Northern Fulmar 300
Pink-footed Shearwater 200
Sooty Shearwater 75
Buller's Shearwater 35
Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel 6
Double-crested Cormorant 5
Brandt's Cormorant 85
Pelagic Cormorant 30
Brown Pelican 25
Osprey 1 (bay)
Peregrine Falcon 1 (Peale's race, bay)
Wandering Tattler 2 (jetty)
Red-necked Phalarope 250
Red Phalarope 35
South Polar Skua 1 (immature)
Pomarine Jaeger 4
Parasitic Jaeger 10
Long-tailed Jaeger 4
jaeger (sp.) 5
Heermann's Gull 25
California Gull 400
Western Gull 45
Glaucous-winged Gull 2 (bay)
Sabine's Gull 10
Caspian Tern 1 (bay)
Common Murre 360 (including 120 chick/father pairs)
Pigeon Guillemot 50
Marbled Murrelet 15
Cassin's Auklet 25
Rhinoceros Auklet 12

Ocean Sunfish 10
Blue Shark 4
Harbor Seal 45
California Sea Lion 30 (additional animals in the bay)
Harbor Porpoise 40
Pacific White-sided Dolphin 1 (bow-riding)
Humpback Whale 1 (very close)
Gray Whale 1

Birders on the bow. Photo by Greg Gillson