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.
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