September 2, 2000

14-hour Perpetua Bank & Deep Water trip out 70 miles from Newport, Oregon

Birding was challenging, but twenty-one participants endured 14 hours of bumpy seas, wind-blown spray, and intermittent showers and hail Saturday, and ended the trip with about 10,000 seabirds swarming around a fish processing ship.

Highlights included a state high record of 3450 PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATERS, more than tripling our previous record in September 1998. Likewise, we doubled our previous high count of LONG-TAILED JAEGERS with 38 individuals. Our count of ARCTIC TERNS was high, too, with 75 birds.

BULLER'S SHEARWATERS remain in extremely low numbers, with only 5 birds spotted. Deep water was empty and no Leach's Storm-Petrels were encountered, even though we spent about 4 hours in deep water, traveling 70 miles offshore from Yachats to 65 miles offshore from Sea Rock (one observer reported 2 separate birds). At least we had some sunshine during this portion of the trip and traveled with the wind, so seas were calmer.

An unusual deep water concentration of about 300 mixed SOOTY and PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATERS was sitting in the water along the leading edge of a shower in 1500 fathoms, about 55 nautical miles off Seal Rock. Included in this flock were about 4 SHORT-TAILED SHEARWATERS.

About 30 miles offshore from Newport we encountered a whiting processing ship trailing a mile-long cloud of birds which was difficult to even estimate. Half the birds were SOOTY SHEARWATERS, 1/3 were PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATERS, so about 5000 and 3000, respectively, there were 150 BLACK-FOOTED ALBATROSSES, and 200 NORTHERN FULMARS, and lesser numbers of other birds, including a SOUTH POLAR SKUA. Too bad we could only spend 20 minutes with these birds.

Greg Gillson

Ocean list  
Black-footed Albatross 180
Northern Fulmar 350
Sooty Shearwater 5600
Pink-footed Shearwater 3450
Short-tailed Shearwater 6
Buller's Shearwater 5
Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel 135
Leach's Storm-Petrel 2 (one observer)
Red-necked Phalarope 25
Red Phalarope 1 (few observers)
Pomarine Jaeger 8
Parasitic Jaeger 14
Long-tailed Jaeger 38
unidentified jaegers 5
South Polar Skua 1
California Gull 20
Sabine's Gull 22
Arctic Tern 75
Cassin's Auklet 11
Rhinoceros Auklet 4
Other marine species  
Dall's Porpoise 3
Ocean Sunfish 1