Pelagic trip report:
Saturday, September 15, 2012

8 hours Seabirds of Oregon Trip, 0700-1500
From Newport, Oregon, north to Yaquina Head, then offshore up to 30 miles.

Seas calm, light winds. Light fog until late morning, then clear and sunny. Water temperature about 52F.

Boat: Sea Venture I
Captain Steve Mauro
Newport Tradewinds Charter

The Bird Guide, Inc.
Pelagic Trips

Guides: Greg Gillson, Tim Shelmerdine, Tom Snetsinger, Shawneen Finnegan, Russ Namitz, David Mandell

Two Northern Fur Seals in typical "jug handle" pose.

We had another trip with calm seas. Though supposedly the peak of Arctic seabird migration, few or none were seen. This includes Sabine's Gull (none), Arctic Terns, phalaropes, and jaegers. Other birds were also in rather low numbers except for SOOTY SHEARWATERS. Several thousand were along shore feeding on bait fish.

An exciting marine mammal early in our trip was a MINKE WHALE. This animal is 15-20 feet long with a tall falcate dorsal fin. It has no blow or spout as other whales. It was at a bit of a distance but travelling fast and surfacing several times in succession, including once where the lower jaw and white throat pleats were visible.

Throughout the offshore region we encountered several NORTHERN FUR SEALS. Patches of flat water allowed us to spy several RED PHALAROPES offshore. On our return one such area of smooth water held a pair of SCRIPPS'S MURRELETS, recently split from XANTUS'S MURRELET. Visit our blog and read a post on the recent split of Scripps's and Guadalupe Murrelets.

Trip photos: Greg's pBase photo album

Species list:

waterfowl (sp.) 200 
Northern Pintail 70 
Green-winged Teal 6 
Northern Shoveler 75 
Surf Scoter 34 
White-winged Scoter 16 
Red-throated Loon 1 
Pacific Loon 8 
Common Loon 6 
Black-footed Albatross 25 
Northern Fulmar 11 
Pink-footed Shearwater 55 
Bullerís Shearwater 4 (distant, seen by few) 
Sooty Shearwater 6238 
Fork-tailed storm-Petrel 3 
Brandtís Cormorant 50 
Double-crested Cormorant 55 
Pelagic Cormorant 115 
Brown Pelican 4 
Great Blue Heron 1 
Wandering Tattler 1 
Red-necked Phalarope 19 
Red Phalarope 11 
Marbled Godwit 14 
Western Gull 239 
California Gull 132 
Glaucous-winged Gull 1 
Common Tern 3 
Arctic Tern 1 (distant, seen by few) 
South Polar Skua 2 
Pomarine Jaeger 1 
Parasitic Jaeger 2 
jaeger (sp.) 3 
Common Murre 74 
Pigeon Guillemot 1 
Marbled Murrelet 6 
Cassinís Auklet 12 
Rhinoceros Auklet 19 

Harbor Porpoise 7 
Minke Whale 1 
Stellerís Sea Lion 1 
California Sea Lion 3 
Northern Fur Seal 8 
Harbor Seal 11 
Ocean Sunfish 2 

One of a pair of Scripps's Murrelets.