Sunday, May 9, 2021

May 8 Pelagic Results

OREGON PELAGIC TOURS kicked off its 2021 season with a successful 6 hour pelagic on May 8. 21 birders and 3 guides climbed on board our favorite fishing boat Misty, skippered by the ever-capable Rob, and assisted by his deckhand Shad. Ocean conditions were worrisome as we watched forecasts during the week, but the waves had settled down to decent wave heights for our trip. As usual on these 6-hour trips, we birded the bay and nearshore (Marbled Murrelets again did not disappoint), before heading offshore toward Nelson Island. A couple of flocks of feeding Sooty Shearwaters held our interest for a while, and we managed to pick up our first Black-footed Albatross only 11 miles out. A group of 20 Pacific white-sided dolphins came in to check us out, then quickly lost interest. Our chum stop about 23.5 miles offshore brought in more albatross and up to 50 Fork-tailed Storm-Petrels, allowing all of us great views of these species, as well as the many Sooty Shearwaters and several Pink-footed Shearwaters. Two Sabine's Gulls came by briefly to investigate our slick, but unfortunately did not linger long enough for everyone to enjoy them. Highlights of our return trip included a breach by a nearby humpback whale and a very late sighting of two Ancient Murrelets seen by a fortunate few. Russ and Jim did their usual great jobs guiding, pointing out birds and offering natural history information. We got off the dock tired but satisfied, and looking forward to our next trip, another 6-hour trip in July. All future Oregon Pelagic Tours trips have spaces available -- hope to see you on the ocean this year. 

A full list of all sightings will be in the next post. 

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