September 20, 2003
7 hours out of Yaquina Bay, 20 miles west of Newport
Sunny and windy conditions offshore made for very slow headway against the waves (about 7 knots), but we were able to reach 20 miles offshore, and chum some albatrosses, fulmars, and other seabirds up to the boat. Nearshore we had good looks at some Marbled Murrelets, White-winged Scoters, and other waterbirds. Shearwaters were widespread, including nearshore, so we always had birds to look at. However, wind, and its effect of limiting us to only getting offshore 20 miles, caused us to miss several species including terns, storm-petrels, and Sabine's Gull.
We had good looks at a pale phase South Polar Skua on the return to shore. There were several jaegers during the day, Parasitic and Pomarine, but most were distant fly-bys.
We also observed a few Ocean Sunfish, including one about 7-8 feet across that we passed. The water was filled with large brown Sea Nettles, a jellyfish that looks more like a glob of algae than an animal.
Here is the list of all species seen, though conditions prevented any one person from seeing all species.
Common Loon 3 Pacific Loon 4 Red-throated Loon (few observers) Black-footed Albatross 3 Northern Fulmar 11 Pink-footed Shearwater 189 Sooty Shearwater 211 Buller's Shearwater 5 Brandt's Cormorant 34 Double-crested Cormorant 25 Pelagic Cormorant 22 Brown Pelican 19 Canada Goose 1 (few observers) White-winged Scoter 18 Surf Scoter 55 Peregrine Falcon 1 Surfbird 2 Red-necked Phalarope 2 (few observers) Red Phalarope 1(few observers) Glaucous-winged Gull 3 Western Gull 49 Herring Gull 1 Heermann's Gull 11 California Gull 37 Bonaparte's Gull 1 Pomarine Jaeger 3 Parasitic Jaeger 3 jaeger (sp.) 4 South Polar Skua 1 Common Murre 57 Pigeon Guillemot 1 (few observers) Marbled Murrelet 12 Cassin's Auklet 36 Rhinoceros Auklet 22 Tufted Puffin 1 (few observers) Rock Dove 10 Belted Kingfisher 1 European Starling 20 California Sea Lion 20 Harbor Seal 13 Harbor Porpoise 2 Dall's Porpoise 5 Ocean Sunfish 4 Sea Nettles (jellyfish) many