Pelagic trip report:
Saturday, October 28, 2006
From Newport, Oregon offshore to Perpetua Bank, to 40 nautical miles off Cape Perpetua, Oregon.
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 LEACH'S STORM-PETREL 1 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