Date: 9/21/18 2:33 pm From: Jim Danzenbaker <jdanzenbaker...> Subject: [obol] Oregon Pelagic Tours September 15 trip summary
On Saturday, September 15, Oregon Pelagic Tours ran a very successful pelagic trip to the waters about 30 miles offshore of Newport, Oregon. In this case, successful means loads of birds, loads of mammals, and nobody seasick!
Bird highlights were many and included:
GREAT SHEARWATER: 1 which came into a slick amid hundreds if not thousands of other birds. At one point, it was on the water within about 20 yards of eager observers. Stunning photos taken and memories etched.
LAYSAN ALBATROSS: 1 at our first chum spot. We certainly didn't have to stress about finding one since it was in the first flock of albatrosses that we encountered.
Long-tailed Jaeger: at least 15 which included one stunning full tailed adult. At each chum spot, there were several Long-tailed Jaegers flying around, probably having something to do with the next species....
Sabine's Gull: at least 2200 of them! At one chum spot which was near the fishing fleet, we had about 1500+ Sabine's Gulls in and around the fishing fleet and the OPT boat. Totally stunning to see so many in one area! Most were adults but a few young of the year were good to see.
Short-tailed Shearwater: a few were seen but not very well and I think that some participants may have missed them. Unfortunate that Short-tailed Shearwaters have shown up early in our area due to adverse conditions in their favored feeding area in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska.
Each boat of the fishing fleet had thousands of birds in its wake which included Sooty, squeaking Pink-footed, and a few Buller's Shearwaters, very close Fork-tailed Storm-Petrels, and about 300 Black-footed Albatrosses. Of course, these were joined by hundreds of gulls.
Other expected species were seen including Cassin's and Rhinoceros Auklets, Marbled Murrelets, Common Murres (with chicks), both Phalaropes, Parasitic and Pomarine Jaegers, and a few Arctic Terns!
A big highlight of the trip was the abundance of whales. Wow, we recorded 4 species including:
Fin Whale: 6! Humpback Whale: 12+ including breaching individuals and a chance to see whale poop Minke Whale: 1 Gray Whale: 1