Pelagic trip report:

Saturday, October 28, 2006

10 hours
From Newport, Oregon offshore to Perpetua Bank, to 40 nautical miles off Cape Perpetua, Oregon.

Boat: Misty
Captain Robert Waddell

The Bird Guide, Inc.

Guides: Greg Gillson, David Mandell, Stacy Strickland

Our final pelagic trip of the year. Seas were acceptable, but a bit of fog kept bird numbers low. Nevertheless, we saw most of the expected species, even though 14 species were represented by only one or two individuals. No winter kittiwakes or ancient murrelets have arrived yet. We went out over 40 miles to find a dragger with a few albatrosses. Tubenoses have generally been in low numbers all fall.

Of note was a single fly-by LEACH'S STORM-PETREL about 25 miles offshore, as we were motoring for home. It was badly back-lit toward the sun in the fog, and not in view long, though we tried to give chase. An immature TUFTED PUFFIN is fairly late. We circled it a couple of times at close range. It actually took a bit of firm assertions to make people take more than a cursory look and not dismiss this all-dark bird as a Rhinoceros Auklet. Looking closely, the bill was a tiny bit too big, and there was a scruffy hint of white lateral crown stripe; but this was a challenging ID for many. The many NORTHERN FUR SEALS were fun. Some jumped out of the water in play, or looked at us with those big, watery, dark eyes and long whiskers. Others just laid on their backs, holding their long hind flippers in the air, ignoring us.

Species list:

Surf Scoter               500 
White-winged Scoter       250 
Common Loon                50 
Pacific Loon               75 
Red-throated Loon           1 
Western Grebe              20 
Red-necked Grebe            3 
Horned Grebe                1 
Black-footed Albatross      9 
Northern Fulmar           350 
Pink-footed Shearwater      1 
Short-tailed Shearwater     1 
Sooty Shearwater           45 
Buller's Shearwater         2 
Great Blue Heron            1 
Peregrine Falcon            1 
Black Turnstone             5 
Pomarine Jaeger             2 
Parasitic Jaeger            1 
Heermann's Gull             1 
Mew Gull                   65 
California Gull           350 
Herring Gull                2 
Western Gull               65 
Glaucous-winged Gull        2 
Common Murre              100 
Pigeon Guillemot            8 
Marbled Murrelet            4 
Cassin's Auklet            65 
Rhinoceros Auklet          75 
Tufted Puffin               1 

Ocean Sunfish              30 
Gray Whale                  2 
Harbor Porpoise             5 
Harbor Seal                10 
California Sea Lion        10 
Northern Fur Seal          18