Pelagic trip report:
Saturday, August 25, 2007
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.
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).