Sunday, December 22, 2019

2020 Schedule Set, Prices Tentative

Greetings, everyone. 
We are still awaiting price information from our primary charter, Newport Tradewinds, but as many of you have been inquiring about our 2020 trips, we have gone ahead and put our schedule on the Schedule/Prices page. If prices do indeed change, we will be passing those increases on to our passengers. 
Three tours have no prices yet; I will be contacting those charters by the beginning of February, after I return from a seabirding trip to New Zealand and Australia. I will also be a little slow to respond to emails through the third week in January due to this trip. 
All 2020 trips have plenty of spaces available -- until I mark a trip as FULL on the Schedule/Prices page, you may sign up. 
Hope to see you on an Oregon Pelagic Tours pelagic in 2020! 

Thursday, December 5, 2019

December 7 Pelagic -- weather cancellation

The weather forecasts indicate that Saturday's pelagic would be at best a miserable trip, so after discussion with the charter office, the skipper, and another guide, Oregon Pelagic Tours will not be running the scheduled pelagic on December 7. Passenger safety and comfort will always be a priority. We apologize for any inconvenience. 

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Oregon Pelagic Tours 2020 Proposed Schedule

I am waiting to hear back from our charter, but here is the schedule Oregon Pelagic Tours is hoping to run in 2020. 

February  9 – Winter Seabirds (8 hours) (Pacific Seabird Group)
February 16 – Winter Seabirds (8 hours (Pacific Seabird Group)
May 31 – Spring Seabirds (8 hours) (Michigan tour)
July 18 – Summer Seabirds (6 hours)
August 16-- Early Fall Seabirds (8 hours)
August 29 – Fall Deepwater (12 hours)
September 12 – Newport Fall Seabirds (8 hours) (WINGS)
September 12 – Ilwaco Fall Seabirds (8 hours) (OBA)
September 13 – Ilwaco Fall Seabirds (8 hours) (OBA)
(Date TBD)– Shorebird Festival Pelagic (5 hours, Charleston) 
September 26 –Fall Seabirds (8 hours)
October 4 – Perpetua Bank Pelagic (10 hours)
October 24 – Late Fall Seabirds (8 hours)
December 5 – Winter Pelagic (7 hours)

December 6 -- Weather date for Winter Pelagic (7 hours)

Several groups have reached out to us to provide tours in 2020. These tours are not exclusive, and are open to all. 

We are hoping to keep our tour prices where they were, and will be setting them soon. 

December Trip Almost Full

Our December trip only needs good weather to be successful! We have a nearly full boat, a full complement of guides, and are just waiting on the weather.  Only 3 spaces left as of Thanksgiving Day. 

Sunday, November 10, 2019

December 7 Pelagic Confirmed!

We reached the point where I felt comfortable confirming our last pelagic of 2019 with the charter office, and weather permitting, this trip will go. 
Why would anyone choose to go out on a NE Pacific pelagic in December? Several reasons. 
1. Winter pelagics are not that common, so we are still doing a little bit of exploration, and learning what birds are around this season. 
2. The past two years we have had three species of albatross (Black-footed, Laysan, and Short-tailed), and hope to repeat that again this year. 
3. We have an outside chance at a pterodroma, Mottled Petrel. Full disclosure: this species has been seen exactly once on pelagics off Oregon. We will be lucky to find this species, but our odds are a lot better on the boat than on land! 
4. We have a possibility of finding  Parakeet Auklet -- not an easy species to see south of Alaska. We had one last year. 
5. You get to do an Oregon Pelagic Tours pelagic! Friendly guides, who want to share their knowledge with you, and who look forward to making sure your day on the ocean is as good as it can be. 
There is still space available on this tour.  Join us on the ocean! 

Monday, October 28, 2019

October 26 pelagic -- weathered out

Well, it happens sometimes. You set up a pelagic months in advance, and then the weather just does not cooperate. Sometimes the decision to cancel is straightforward -- the ocean and or weather conditions are bad enough that even the charter says "nope". Sometimes the Coast Guard makes the decision for you, closing the bar. And sometimes we have to make our best decision for our passengers. Conditions for Saturday were for winds up to 16 kts, which is very doable in our boats. The forecast also called for swells of 9 ft, with wind waves of 5 ft. The boat movement would have been extreme, making a trip not only dangerous for all participants, but also making watching birds very difficult, if not impossible. In the face of those conditions, we decided we had no reasonable choice but to cancel. 

Friday, October 18, 2019

What have we been seeing this fall?

This post is way overdue. Oregon Pelagic Tours has been running a series of exciting pelagic trips this fall, and I am going to share some of our notable sightings.
Birdwise, the highlight of the fall has to be the very cooperative HAWAIIAN PETREL that come into our chum slick on our 12 hour deepwater trip on August 24. This is the third sighting on an Oregon Pelagic Tours deepwater pelagic (2 in the fall, one in the spring). 

Other notable bird sightings:
Laysan Albatross 8/18, 10/6
Buller's Shearwater: 8/18, 8/24, 9/14, 9/22, 10/6, 10/12
Flesh-footed Shearwater 9/14
Short-tailed Shearwater 10/6
South Polar Skua 8/24, 9/22, 10/6
Red-breasted Nuthatch 10/6 (first for OPT -- landed on a passenger and a guide) 

Baird's beaked whale   5 on 8/24/19   
Blue whale   1 on 10/6/19
Fin whales   up to 15 on 10/12/19
Risso's dolphin   6 on 10/12/19
Northern elephant seal  2 on 10/12/19

Great sightings so far in 2019! 

Thursday, August 15, 2019

OPT Trips Filling Fast!

I am very pleased to announce that the first three OPT Newport trips are either full or nearly full. This refers to our pelagics on 8-hour on August 18, our 12-hour on August 24, and our 8-hour on September 14. 
Oregon Pelagic Tours is pleased to offer two pelagics going out of other ports than Newport.  
We are hoping for more birders on our Shorebird Festival Pelagic (September 22, out of Charleston). This 5-hour trip is excellent not only for birders with little or no pelagic experience, but still delivers most of the species we see on our longer trips. 
We are also looking for birders wanting to add to their Tillamook County list, or just wanting to go out of a different location. The Garibaldi 8-hour trip was initiated last year as part of the Oregon Birding Association annual meeting. We had some great birds, and are happy to offer this trip again. However, we definitely need more sign-ups to make this trip a go. 
There is still lots of space (including early registration price slots) available on our October 6 10-hour, our October 26 8-hour, and our December 12 7-hour pelagics. The latter trip has had three albatross species two years in a row, can we make it a three-peat? 

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Always Learning...

If you do pelagics, or even are checking out this website, you probably are a fan of seabirds. As I have been ever since I did a fishing trip to the Farallones back in high school. Shearwaters and puffins made an impression even before I knew I was a birder. In addition to providing pelagics for Oregon Pelagic Tours (and The Bird Guide before that), I seek every opportunity to seek out seabirds in other states and parts of the world. 
Which brings me to my current trip. As I write this, I am on a cruise ship off of Kamchatka, Russia, with a final destination of Japan. We passed through our best location for Whiskered Auklet near Dutch Harbor in the pre-dawn hours, so one life bird went a-beggin', but hopefully more await as we near Japan. And having a Mottled Petrel as the first bird of the day is a thrill, no matter how you slice it, and seeing two Red-legged Kittiwakes (the first I have seen in 21 years!) on a floating piece of wood goes a long way as well.  I saw no new birds this trip in the ABA area, but seabirds are awesome wherever you find them, and I have no complaints.
Speaking of finding seabirds, we are still working out details for our Hawaii to Vancouver trip next spring. This trip is beginning to generate interest, and more details will be forthcoming, both on this website, and in other communications. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Shorebird Festival Pelagic -- yes!

The Shorebird Festival is going to take place after all, and Oregon Pelagic Tours is pleased to provide a 5-hour pelagic trip. This trip will be from 7am-12pm on Sunday, September 22, and run out of Betty Kay Charters in Charleston. We have a smaller boat, and have to deal with a price increase,so the 2019 price will be $100. This is always a very popular trip, and we see many of the species seen on our longer Newport trips. There are only have 18 spaces available to us, so birders wishing to take this short but great pelagic will want to register soon.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Hawaii to Vancouver, Spring 2020

Calling all Pelagic Enthusiasts!  

Travel with Oregon Pelagic Tours as we cross from the Hawaiian Islands to Vancouver, British Columbia in May, 2020. We are finalizing details, but we plan to offer landbirding on at least one of the islands we will be visiting, then share our knowledge of seabirds as we spend 5 days crossing the Pacific Ocean between the Hawaiian Islands and Vancouver. We have personal experience with the seabirds of this cruise, two of us have made a round-trip to Hawaii and back in the fall. This is a unique opportunity that other companies/organizations are not offering! 

Tentative Schedule: 
May 1 --  We meet at the cruise ship dock and board the ship. The cruise ship departs Honolulu at 11:00 pm.  
May 2 -- Lahaina, Maui. Birding Haleakala and time for shopping/sightseeing. 
May 3 -- Nawiliwili, Kauai. We are only here about 6 hours total, so will see if we can arrange any birding opportunities. 
May 4-8 -- Days at sea. Exciting. We will be on deck in hopes of seeing many exciting birds: Bulwer's, Cook's, Bonin, and Hawaiian Petrels, among others; Brown and Red-Footed Boobies; Black-footed and Laysan Albatross; Red-tailed and White-tailed Tropicbirds, Christmas, Newall's, and other Shearwaters; various marine mammals. 
May 9 -- Victoria, BC. Details TBA.
May 10 -- Land in Vancouver and disembark. Tour ends. 

Other details: 
Participants will make their own stateroom arrangements with the cruise line. (PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS YET!)
Participants are responsible for their own travel to Honolulu and from Vancouver. 
Participants will pay a separate fee to Oregon Pelagic Tours for their ondeck wildlife observing experience, summaries of the day's sightings each evening, and land excursion(s).  For those who are interested, we will be having a group dinner each evening. 
Please do not make any travel arrangements until we are sure the trip will go. 

Questions or interest? 
Please email Tim at

Monday, May 6, 2019

May 18 Trip Full

Once again our spring pelagic trip has reached maximum capacity.  This popular trip has sold out for the third year in a row. Please consider joining us for our fall season. We offer 8 hour trips out of Newport on August 18, September 14, and October 26, and one 8 hour trip out of Garibaldi on September 29. Longer trips (all out of Newport) include our 12 hour trip on August 24, and our 10 hour trip on October 6. Finally, we close our season with a 7 hour winter pelagic on December 7. 

Friday, March 22, 2019

Spots open on May 18 trip (trip confirmed with charter)

I am happy to announce that we have enough sign-up for our May 18 Newport 6 hour pelagic to confirm with the charter office.  If we have good weather and ocean conditions this trip will go! Having said that, we do have spots available.  If you are interested, you may wish to sign up sooner rather than later -- the past two years, this trip has sold out.  Why go out in the spring?  We should see Red and Red-necked Phalarope in their most colorful plumages, catch the northward passage of jaegers and Sabine's Gulls, and still see albatross, shearwaters, auklets, murrelets and other seabirds. Come join the fun! 

Sunday, February 17, 2019


I am sorry to say that the March 2nd pelagic from Newport did not reach the sign-up required to go. This trip has been cancelled. The next Oregon Pelagic Tours trip is the 6 hour trip from Newport on May 18, 2019.