Pelagic Trip Report:
Saturday, August 25, 2001
Newport, Oregon, to Perpetua Bank, 32 miles offshore of Yachats

A gorgeous day on the ocean was accentuated by phenomenal numbers of seabirds around a fish processing ship off Perpetua Bank. Following this single ship was a new high number record for Long-tailed Jaegers on a chartered pelagic trip; Oregon's second largest number of Black-footed Albatrosses; and possibly an Oregon high number record of Sabine's Gulls, too. No rarities, nor any unusual birds, just high numbers of the common species.

Calm seas nearshore gave us early and extended close looks at Marbled Murrelets, a single Tufted Puffin, and Rhinoceros Auklets. Gulls, murres, Sooty Shearwaters, and Brandt's Cormorants were common out to 8 miles before tapering off. Numerous Harbor Porpoises splashed near shore. Cold (52 F) green-brown water near shore gave way to rich blue waters about 25 miles offshore. This tuna water was 63 F--very warm for Oregon, and filled with birds. Several Ocean Sunfish (Mola Mola) and small Blue Sharks were spotted, and a few Dall's Porpoises rode our bow wake on the return trip.

The event of the trip, however, was encountering the processor ship, "American Dynasty," of the American Seafood Company, out of Seattle. The jaegers here--at point blank range--gave us over an hour of intense instruction in plumages and body shape. We noted a rare pale phase juvenile Long-tailed Jaeger, a similar pale Parasitic Jaeger, and a dark-phase adult Pomarine Jaeger, among more regular adult and immature plumages.

Photo by Phil Pickering.

Processing ship at Perpetua Bank (32 miles off Yachats):
400 Black-footed Albatross
1000 Northern Fulmar
3000 Sooty Shearwater
600 Pink-footed Shearwater
35 Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel
125 Long-tailed Jaeger
7 Parasitic Jaeger
4 Pomarine Jaeger
2 Glaucous-winged Gull
50 Western Gull
150 California Gull
200 Sabine's Gull
45 Arctic Tern
3 Blue Shark

Nearshore on outward-bound trip (to 8 miles offshore of Newport):
125 Sooty Shearwater
6 Pink-footed Shearwater
3 Buller's Shearwater
3 Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel
70 Brandt's Cormorant
35 Pelagic Cormorant
12 Surf Scoter
7 Red Phalarope
45 Red-necked Phalarope
7 Pomarine Jaeger
50 Heermann's Gull
250 California Gull
2 Herring Gull
10 Western Gull
200 Common Murres
35 Pigeon Guillemot
3 Marbled Murrelet
5 Rhinoceros Auklet
1 Tufted Puffin
25 Harbor Porpoise
1 Harbor Seal
3 Mola Mola

Return trip (incomplete list):
20 Buller's Shearwater
4 Red Phalarope
80 Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel
2 Pomarine Jaeger
1 Long-tailed Jaeger
2 Mola Mola
9 Dall's Porpoise
5 Harbor Porpoise

Yaquina Bay (incomplete list):
1 Great Blue Heron
15 Double-crested Cormorant
10 Brandt's Cormorant
15 Pelagic Cormorant
150 Heermann's Gull
50 California Gull
7 Pigeon Guillemot
70 California Sea Lion
35 Harbor Seal

Pink-footed Shearwater. Photo by John Williams.

Buller's Shearwater. Photo by Bruce Craig.

Parasitic Jaeger. Photo by Bruce Craig.

Long-tailed Jaeger. Photo by Bruce Craig.

Sabine's Gull. Photo by Bruce Craig.

Common Murre. Photo by Bruce Craig.