Pelagic trip report:
Saturday, September 22, 2007
From Newport, Oregon, 40 miles SW to Perpetua Bank, 32 nautical miles off Yachats, Oregon, and from there SW 6 miles into Lane County waters off Heceta Bank.
Seas fairly rough, winds to 20 knots. High 58 F.
Captain Rob Waddell
Newport Tradewinds Charter
The Bird Guide, Inc.
Guides: Greg Gillson, Tim Shelmerdine, Tom Snetsinger, Troy Guy, Lisa Sheffield, Russ Namitz
A Northern Fulmar passes by a Sperm Whale. Photo by Greg Gillson.
A rather windy, rough day made for some tough birding conditions. We ended up seeing average to low numbers of most of the expected species, but not all the views were satisfying due to the bouncy seas. The most unusual species was a Pectoral Sandpiper that circled the boat twice 32 miles offshore.
The highlight of the day was an amazing three Sperm Whales! This is the first time we've had this mammal on our trips. In fact, it is the first time the Captain has seen this species. We estimated the length at 60 feet, thus indicating a larger male, as expected this far north. Interestingly, it surfaced just as we pulled to a stop on our Perpetua Bank chum stop. At this exact location, over the years, we've seen two Shy Albatrosses, two Short-tailed Albatrosses, and now Sperm Whale!
The whale logged on the surface for a while, barely moving. It's breaths were loud, deep, and extended. Finally, it began its dive, slowly upending until it was vertical, then it slowly submerged. Twenty minutes later it surfaced again, right near the boat. It repeated this three times. We saw another animal nearby, then a third a half hour later and about 6 miles to the SW--the flukes just standing there, suspended in the air, slowly sinking.
Species list Red-throated Loon 2 Pacific Loon 1 Common Loon 3 Red-necked Grebe 2 Western Grebe 25 Black-footed Albatross 50 Northern Fulmar 225 Buller's Shearwater 6 Pink-footed Shearwater 150 Sooty Shearwater 100 Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel 8 Brown Pelican 25 Double-crested Cormorant 45 Brandt's Cormorant 100 Pelagic Cormorant 25 Great Blue Heron 2 Greater White-fronted Goose 85 Northern Pintail 50 Harlequin Duck 1 Surf Scoter 80 White-winged Scoter 6 (seen by few) Black Turnstone 2 Wandering Tattler 1 (seen by few) Pectoral Sandpiper 1 Red Phalarope 15 Red-necked Phalarope 25 Parasitic Jaeger 3 Pomarine Jaeger 5 jaeger (sp.) 5 South Polar Skua 1 (seen by few) Mew Gull 5 California Gull 70 Glaucous-winged Gull 3 Western Gull 45 Heermann's Gull 15 Common Tern 1 Common Murre 45 Pigeon Guillemot 6 Cassin's Auklet 15 Rhinoceros Auklet 25 California Sea Lion 80 Steller's Sea Lion 1 Harbor Seal 25 Northern Fur Seal 2 Harbor Porpoise 8 Pacific White-sided Dolphin 15 Sperm Whale 3 (males)