Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Hawaiian Petrel on our April trip!

The following photo and crop of a Hawaiian Petrel was taken by Stephen Rossiter on April 30, 2016 about 50 miles off Newport, Oregon.

Hawaiian Petrel off Oregon by Stephen Rossiter

Hawaiian Petrel off Oregon by Stephen Rossiter
Hawaiian Petrel off Oregon by Stephen Rossiter. April 30, 2016.
Hawaiian Petrels are very rare in the Eastern Pacific. They are found very far off shore, but seen regularly as close as 50 miles from shore off southern Oregon and northern California primarily in late April-May, and late July-September.

There are 7 records of this species accepted by the Oregon Bird Records Committee (OBRC), plus two additional records accepted as Hawaiian/Galapagos Petrel. These two species were split from the former Dark-rumped Petrel a couple of years ago after identification differences were worked out.

The shorter inner arm and smaller hood as shown in the photo are supportive of Hawaiian Petrel over Galapagos Petrel, but written descriptions will probably be necessary to confirm the identification for the OBRC.

This is the first Hawaiian Petrel spotted in 24 years as part of The Bird Guide/Oregon Pelagic Tours birding trips--about 200 trips.

A rare bird indeed!

Monday, May 2, 2016

April 30 Deepwater Pelagic Results

Oregon Pelagic Tours 2016 Spring Deepwater Pelagic started with flocks of shorebirds migrating past us as we headed out Yaquina Bay.  Rough ocean conditions, required a top speed of 6.5 kts, making us wonder if we would even get out to deep water.  Conditions improved, and we eventually ended up just over 50 miles from shore. We made two chum stops, one at 33 miles out (Laysan Albatross), and the other 50 miles out (1000 fathoms -- HAWAIIAN PETREL).  A couple of participants had poor views of a Parakeet Auklet.  Below is a compilation of all species and total numbers, from the dock until about 5 miles from shore on the return. Please remember that no one, including the guides, sees every species on a typical pelagic. The ocean conditions limited our alcid sightings on the way out, and none of the alcids were chaseable. Mammal sightings include a northern fur seal, Pacific white-sided dolphin, northern right whale dolphin, and an unindentified distant whale (large spout -- probable blue or fin whale). Interesting misses: no jaegers, Sabine's Gull, Leach's Storm-Petrel. 

Harlequin Duck 1

Surf Scoter 3

Redb-breasted Merganser 3

Red-throated Loon 1

Pacific Loon 8

Common, Loon 10

Laysan Albatross 1

Black-footed Albatross 74

Northern Fulmar 6


Pink-footed Shearwater 12

Sooty Shearwater 212

Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel 51

Brandt's Cormorant 21

Double-crested Cormorant 45

Pelagic Cormorant 40

Brown Pelican 2

Black-bellied Plover 40

Wandering Tattler 3 (on north jetty)

Whimbrel 8

Red Knot 2

Surfbird 1

Sanderling 1

Dunlin 30

Western Sandpiper 1300

dowitcher (sp?) 10

Red-necked Phalarope 2

phalarope (sp?) 2

shorebird (sp?) 15

Common Murre 199

Pigeon Gullemot 60

Marbled Murrelet 1

Cassin's Auklet 1

Parakeet Auklet 1 (seen by 2)

Rhinoceros Auklet 18

Tufted Puffin 1

alcid (sp.? – 1 probable Parakeet Auklet) 3

Bonaparte's Gull 1

Western Gull 90

California Gull 29

Herring Gull 5

Thayer's Gull 2 (seen by few)

Glaucous-winged Gull 11

gull (sp.?) 61

Caspian Tern 3

Rock Pigeon 4