Pelagic trip report:
Sunday, August 20, 2006
From Newport, Oregon offshore to Perpetua Bank, 32 nautical miles off Cape Perpetua, Oregon.
Captain Robert Waddell
The Bird Guide, Inc.
Guides: Greg Gillson, Tim Shelmerdine, Troy Guy
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.
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.
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.
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.
August specialties included a few each of FORK-TAILED STORM-PETRELS, RED PHALAROPES, LONG-TAILED JAEGERS, and SABINE'S GULLS.
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