Thursday, November 30, 2023

December 2/3 trip weathers out

Today (Thursday, November 30), I received a call from Newport Tradewinds. The weather forecast of high winds and swells up to 14 feet both days is way beyond our ability to venture out on the ocean. Oregon Pelagic Tours will look into trying to schedule another winter trip in early 2024. 

Monday, November 20, 2023

December 2 (or 3) Newport pelagic has enough participants to go!

We are happy to announce that the winter pelagic scheduled out of Newport on December 2 (with December 3 as a weather date) has achieved the minimum sign-up that will allow us to run this trip. We did have a couple of people drop out, and so are hoping for a little more participation, but we are planning on going. This trip is arguably the best chance for birders to see Short-tailed Albatross, which is not guaranteed, but has been seen on past trips. Other seasonal specialities seen on this trip include Parakeet Auklet (once), Ancient Murrelet, Black-legged Kittiwake, and Short-tailed Shearwater. Not yet seen, but to be hoped for, would be Mottled Petrel -- is this the year? 

Report of Crown Princess Repo Cruise, October 20-22, 2023

Report of a repositioning cruise between Vancouver, B.C. and San Francisco aboard Crown Princess from October 19-22, 2023. People included 7 birders as part of an Oregon Pelagic Tours trip, and 11 birders from the Portland area and Central Oregon. This report only includes bird lists from the two at-sea days. The weather and ocean were very decent. The first day we were able to bird above the bow on Deck 8; the second day we began on Deck 8, but were asked to bird from Deck 7, the Promenade Deck due to concerns about high winds. The birding was not exactly hot, but most of the species expected this time of year were eventually seen by at least some birders. Both Black-footed and Laysan Albatrosses were seen, we had numbers of Pom Jaegers and one South Polar Skua, three species of shearwater, and the highlight, a Brown Booby! Mammal sightings were better, with Gray, Fin, Humpback and Minke whales seen, along with Dall's Porpoises, Common Dolphins, a possible beaked whale, an Elephant Seal and Northern Fur Seals.

October 8 Newport Trip Report

 Each pelagic trip this year was been fun and interesting, and the October 8 pelagic was no exception. The day before this trip was scheduled to go out, a worsening weather report made us wonder if we would even be going out. Fortunately the incoming heavy weather slowed its approach, and we started the day with very decent ocean conditions. Once again on Misty with Skipper Rob, we followed our usual routine of birding the bay, looking for Marbled Murrelets (successfully) and other nearshore birds, then heading offshore searching for fishing boats and flocks of birds. Guides Dave Irons and David Mandell did their usual outstanding pointing out and identifying birds and other sealife for the passengers. 

While we did see many of our target birds, including the always-popular Black-footed Albatross, two jaeger species, Sabine's Gulls, Red and Red-necked Phalaropes, three species of shearwaters, Cassin's and Rhinoceros Auklets, and much more, marine mammals stole the show, We saw three species of whales, including two incredible BLUE WHALES, which hung around our boat for almost 20 amazing minutes. This species is very rare on the continental shelf of Oregon. (Gray and humpback whales were also seen on the trip.) Dall's Porpoises around the boat and riding the bow wave added to the excitement of the trip, and for a little while took our minds off of now bouncy ride home.