Sunday, September 27, 2020

September 26, 2020 Trip Results

 September 26, 2020 8 Hour Fall Seabirds Tour
Boat: Misty, Skipper Rob and Deckhand Shad
Guides: David Mandell, Russ Namitz, Tim Shelmerdine

0713-0730  Yaquina Bay, dock to ends of jetties
Harlequin Duck 2                                                              Common Loon 2
Surf Scoter 55                                                                    Brandt's Cormorant 25
Red-necked Grebe 5                                                       Pelagic Cormorant 60
Pigeon Guillemot 1                                                          Double-crested Cormorant 50
Heermann’s Gull 4                                                           Brown Pelican 25
Western Gull 75                                                                Great Blue Heron 1
California Gull    10                                                           European Starling 4                                   0731-0759  Tips of jetties, north, out to 5 miles offshore
Cackling/Canada Goose 30                                           Western/Glaucous-winged Gull 1
Surf Scoter 20                                                                    Red-throated Loon 6
White-winged Scoter 3                                                  Pacific Loon 4
Dunlin 4                                                                                Common Loon 3
Cassin’s Auklet  9                                                              Sooty Shearwater 16
Rhinoceros Auklet 1                                                        Brandt's Cormorant 5
Western Gull 4                                                                  Pelagic Cormorant 6
California Gull 7                                                                                                                                
0759-1059 From 5 miles offshore to fishing vessels 34 miles offshore
Red Phalarope 28                                                             Long-tailed Jaeger   1
peep sp. 2                                                                            Common Murre   8
shorebird sp. 7                                                                  Cassin's Auklet 71
South Polar Skua 2                                                           Rhinoceros Auklet 1
Pomarine Jaeger 3                                                           Sabine’s Gull 165
Parasitic Jaeger 1                                                              Western Gull 10
California Gull 70                                                              Flesh-footed Shearwater 1
Herring Gull 3                                                                     Buller’s Shearwater 20
tern sp. 1                                                                             Sooty Shearwater 52
Black-footed Albatross 16                                             *humpback whale 1
Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel 110                                       **northern fur seal 2
Northern Fulmar 25                                                         **ocean sunfish 2
Pink-footed Shearwater 52                                          **blue shark 2
1100-1200  Commercial fishing vessels including processor
South Polar Skua 5                                                           Common/Arctic Tern 1
Pomarine Jaeger 15                                                         Laysan Albatross 2
Parasitic Jaeger 6                                                              Black-footed Albatross 350
Long-tailed Jaeger 5                                                        Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel 3
jaeger sp. 3                                                                         Northern Fulmar 250
Sabine’s Gull 200                                                              Pink-footed Shearwater 500
Western Gull 100                                                              Flesh-footed Shearwater 1
California Gull 500                                                            Buller’s Shearwater 50
Herring Gull 4                                                                    Sooty Shearwater 150
Arctic Tern 1                                                                       Sooty/Short-tailed Shearwater 5
1202-1446 Returning  to 5 miles offshore
Greater White-fronted Goose 30                                   gull sp. 1
Red-necked Phalarope 2                                               Black-footed Albatross 5
Red Phalarope 15                                                             Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel 3
Red-necked/Red Phalarope 3                                      Northern Fulmar 9
South Polar Skua 3                                                           Pink-footed Shearwater 10
Pomarine Jaeger 2                                                           Flesh-footed Shearwater 1
Parasitic Jaeger 3                                                              Buller’s Shearwater 4
Common Murre 15                                                          Sooty Shearwater 46
Cassin’s Auklet 24                                                             Pelagic Cormorant 1
Rhinoceros Auklet 1                                                        ** Dall’s porpoise 3
Tufted Puffin 1                                                                  **northern fur seal 1
Sabine’s Gull 40                                                                 ** California sea lion 1
Western Gull 1                                                                  **ocean sunfish (mola mola) 2
California Gull 9                                                                                                                               
1446-1501  Return from 3.3 miles offshore to tips of jetties
Surf Scoter 6                                                                       California Gull 4
Western Grebe 1                                                              Pacific Loon 1
Clark’s Grebe 1                                                                  Sooty Shearwater 2
Red-necked Phalarope 2                                               Brandt’s Cormorant 1
Cassin’s Auklet 2                                                               Pelagic Cormorant 1
Rhinoceros Auklet 13                                                      **Steller’s sea lion 4
1501-1513  Return from ends of Yaquina Bay jetties to dock
Harlequin Duck 1                                                              Western Gull 100
Surf Scoter 30                                                                    California Gull 50
Red-necked Grebe 8                                                       Common Loon 2
Western Grebe 1                                                              Brandt’s Cormorant 25
Western/Clark’s Grebe 1                                              Pelagic Cormorant 30
Rock Pigeon 4                                                                    Double-crested Cormorant 50
Surfbird 3                                                                             Brown Pelican 12
Red-necked Phalarope 1                                               **California sea lion 3
Pigeon Guillemot 1                                                          **harbor seal 1
Heermann’s Gull 2           

OPT 9/26/20 Pelagic -- Great Trip

Yesterday (Saturday, September 26), the forecast led me to believe that we were in for a rough trip. And we did start that way, with up to 12 foot swells, and some wind waves to boot. Fortunately, the ocean calmed down throughout the day, we found blue sky after passing through fog, and we had a pleasant trip overall. We started seeing some good birds as we headed offshore, even seeing our first South Polar Skua, Black-footed Albatross, and Flesh-footed Shearwater. About three hours into the trip, we found a small fishing fleet that included a processing ship -- seabirds follow these in clouds, and such was the case this time. We had about 1500 birds of many types. Highlights were both Laysan and Black-footed Albatross, up tp 5 skuas and all three jaegers, many shearwaters including the elegant Buller's and another rare Flesh-footed, lots of Sabine's Gulls. After an hour, we had to pry ourselves away, and start the three hour trip back to the dock in Newport. My thanks go to the friendly passengers, my great guides Russ and David, and Skipper Rob of the Misty, all of whom made this trip an exceptional one. 

Sunday, September 13, 2020

OPT September 12 Pelagic Summary

11 intrepid birders braved the smoke and closed highways, and our September 12 pelagic went out from Newport yesterday. We enjoyed the calmest ocean I can remember in a long time. We did escape the smoke that is covering Western Oregon, but unfortunately the smoke was replaced by dense fog. We also knew that commercial fishing boats were in the area, but never found them. As a result, we had to work hard for our birds, although we did see most, but not all, of the expected species on a fall trip. Because we had several birders on their first pelagic, close views of Black-footed Albatross and Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel were a highlight. Sooty and Pink-footed Shearwaters showed well, and eventually everyone got decent views of Cassin's and Rhinoceros Auklets. Both phalaropes were present although Red-necked outnumbered Red. Although we missed all three jaegers, we did have a South Polar Skua fly by the boat -- our first for the year. Russ Namitz and Jim Danzenbaker did their usual outstanding job guiding. We have four more trips this year: 8 hour trips on September 26 and October 24, a 10 hour trip on October 4, and a 7 hour trip on December 5. The trips on September 26 and October 4 are already confirmed to go, weather permitting.