Pelagic trip report:
Saturday, August 25, 2012
5 hours offshore 17 miles, 0700-1200
From Charleston, Oregon, W to 17 miles off Coos Bay
Seas: mixed swell, light NW breeze.
Boat: Betty K
Betty Kay Charters
The Bird Guide, Inc.
Guides: Tom Snetsinger, Russ Namitz, Greg Gillson
This was a pelagic trip in conjunction with the Oregon Shorebird Festival, one we've led for several years. On board were 30 passengers, the three guides above, Captain Kathi and deck hand Bam-Bam.
Extremely windy conditions the previous few days died the evening before the trip and seas had calmed greatly by morning. There was a bit of low mixed swell from two directions keeping seas a bit bumpy, but no wind waves or white caps to deal with. The sun went away with the wind and it was foggy to start, but lifted soon.
There were many Sooty and Pink-footed Shearwaters throughout the day from a mile offshore to our furthest point about 17 miles due west of Coos Bay. The mixed seas tended to hide the alcids, but we finally got very good looks at several small flocks of Rhinoceros Auklets near shore.
As typical, the Red-necked Phalaropes were both in the bay and within about 10 miles of shore and most of the Red Phalaropes were beyond 10 miles of shore. Also, once beyond 12 miles of shore we picked up a few Black-footed Albatrosses and Northern Fulmars, who joined us at the chum stop at our farthese point offshore. We had a couple of Fork-tailed Storm-Petrels join us there, too.
Species list: Coos Bay: 7:00-7:30 AM and 11:30 AM – 12:00 PM Surf Scoter 20 Black Scoter 1 Brandt’s Cormorant 15 Double-crested Cormorant 30 Pelagic Cormorant 4 Brown Pelican 10 Western Sandpiper 25 Red-necked Phalarope 12 Heermann’s Gull 30 Western Gull 20 California Gull 30 Glaucous-winged Gull 2 Common Murre 20 Pigeon Guillemot 10 Marbled Murrelet 2 Rhinoceros Auklet 3 Rock Pigeon 4 Peregrine Falcon 1 American Crow 4 Song Sparrow 1 California Sea Lion 3 Harbor Seal 2 At sea, mouth of Coos Bay to 17 miles west and return: 7:30 AM – 11:30 AM. Surf Scoter 5 Black-footed Albatross 10 Northern Fulmar 8 Pink-footed Shearwater 75 Sooty Shearwater 100 Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel 7 Brandt’s Cormorant 10 Double-crested Cormorant 10 Brown Pelican 4 Red-necked Phalarope 60 Red Phalarope 18 Sabine’s Gull 1 Heermann’s Gull 2 Western Gull 15 California Gull 35 Common Tern 1 Pomarine Jaeger 1 Parasitic Jaeger 1 Common Murre 40 Pigeon Guillemot 5 Cassin’s Auklet 35 Rhinoceros Auklet 80 California Sea Lion 1 Steller’s Sea Lion 1 Harbor Porpoise 2