Pelagic trip report:
Saturday, August 25, 2007

11 hours
From Newport, Oregon, offshore 33 nautical miles, then south 10 nautical miles, to Perpetua Bank, 32 nautical miles off Yachats, Oregon.

Seas gentle, light winds. High 65 F.

Boat: Sea Venture I
Captain Steve De Mauro
Deck hand Buddy

The Bird Guide, Inc.
http://thebirdguide.com/

Guides: Greg Gillson, Tim Shelmerdine, David Mandell


Xantus's Murrelet. Photo by Greg Gillson.

Calm seas and warm water for two weeks leading up to the trip converged as hoped with two pairs of XANTUS'S MURRELETS. The first was about 25 miles west of Yaquina Head, the second about 30 miles west of Yaquina Bay. We last saw this species in 2002, so it was a joy to have such wonderfully extended and close looks, and hear these birds calling to each other. These were of the northern form, known as Scripps's Murrelet, with the dark crown feathers encircling the eye.

August is best for FORK-TAILED STORM-PETREL, RED PHALAROPE, LONG-TAILED JAEGER, SABINE'S GULL, and ARCTIC TERN. We saw one representative of the phalarope, jaeger, and tern, and only 10 of the gull, but we had many storm-petrels.

The first BULLER'S SHEARWATERS of fall showed. Other species were in low numbers, as expected for this time of year.

Species list

White-fronted Goose (distant flock)
Northern Pintail 150 (two distant flocks)
Surf Scoter 15 (bay)
Common Loon 1 (bay)
Red-throated Loon 1 (nearshore, seen by few)
Black-footed Albatross 40
Northern Fulmar 60
Pink-footed Shearwater 90
Buller's Shearwater 3
Sooty Shearwater 600
Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel 300
Brown Pelican 15
Brandt's Cormorant 50
Double-crested Cormorant 15 (bay)
Peregrine Falcon 1 (bay)
Black Turnstone 5 (jetty)
Wandering Tattler 3 (jetty, seen by few)
Whimbrel 15 (flock just offshore)
Red-necked Phalarope 200
Red Phalarope 1 (heard well, seen poorly)
South Polar Skua 2 (seen poorly by most)
Pomarine Jaeger 4
Parasitic Jaeger 2 (including black adult)
Long-tailed Jaeger 1 (well seen with extended views over chum stop)
Heermann's Gull 20 (nearshore)
California Gull 5
Western Gull 50
Glaucous-winged Gull 2 (bay)
Sabine's Gull 10
Arctic Tern 1 (close and well seen on floating log)
Caspian Tern 2 (bay)
Common Murre 100
Pigeon Guillemot 30
Cassin's Auklet 2+
Marbled Murrelet 4
XANTUS'S MURRELET 4 (2 pairs well seen, heard, and photographed)
Rhinoceros Auklet 25

Blue Shark 3
Soup Fin Shark 1 (possible, seen by few)
Long-nosed Skate 1 (photo surprise, not identified at sea)
Ocean Sunfish 8
Albacore Tuna 1
Harbor Seal 8 (bay)
Harbor Porpoise 8 (nearshore)
Sea Monster (sp.) 3 (medium-sized unidentified marine mammals (sea lions?)

Photos from our trip (in order as they were taken).


Sea Venture I in its berth, awaiting the day. Photo by Greg Gillson.


Seas were very smooth as we traveled offshore. Photo by Greg Gillson.


Xantus's Murrelet, one of first pair. Photo by Greg Gillson.


Xantus's Murrelet. Photo by Greg Gillson. White under wing lining.


Xantus's Murrelet. Photo by Greg Gillson.


Xantus's Murrelet. Photo by Greg Gillson.
Even swimming away one can see the short bill and
white chin when it looks back over its shoulder,
separating this species from Craveri's Murrelet.



Black-footed Albatross. Photo by Greg Gillson.


Northern Fulmar, gray. Photo by Greg Gillson.


Long-tailed Jaeger. Photo by Greg Gillson.


Long-tailed Jaeger. Photo by Greg Gillson.


Black-footed Albatross. Photo by Greg Gillson.


Blue Shark. Photo by Greg Gillson.


Sabine's Gull. Photo by Greg Gillson.


Xantus's Murrelet, second pair. Photo by Greg Gillson. This is apparently an adult/chick pair. Notice
that the right bird (presumed older chick) has a shorter bill, duskier face, and faint eye crescents.



Arctic Tern, juvenile. Photo by Greg Gillson.


Sabine's Gull. Photo by Greg Gillson.


Northern Fulmar, light phase. Photo by Greg Gillson.


Sooty Shearwater. Photo by Greg Gillson.


Northern Fulmar. Photo by Greg Gillson.


Black-footed Albatross. Photo by Greg Gillson.


Sooty Shearwater. Photo by Greg Gillson.


Common Murre, molting to non-breeding plumage. Photo by Greg Gillson.


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