Westport, Washington Pelagic results 9/21/02

Ryan Shaw rtshaw80 at hotmail.com
Sat Sep 21 23:01:56 PDT 2002


9/21/02
Greetings all,

It was a great day offshore with Westport Seabirds.  The sky was clear, sun 
shining the whole day, and the seas were relatively calm and forgiving, with 
a 5-6 foot swell for most of the day, with only a little chop here and 
there.  What was unusual was that we had the direction of the wind flipped 
from what we usually get, as it was blowing from the east.

Leaving the harbor, we observed the usual spectacle of Heermann’s Gulls, 
Brown Pelicans, Cormorants, and such.  Common Loons were moving south high 
overhead in good numbers just past the breakwater.  Shortly after crossing 
the Gray’s Harbor Bar, we began encountering our usual Sooty Shearwaters, 
then before we knew it, Pink-footed Shearwaters began flowing southward far 
closer to shore than usual.  Several Parasitic Jaegers were harassing 
California Gulls in the early part of the trip, and even a Sabine’s Gull and 
Northern Fulmar were seen roughly 4-5 miles from shore.

Soon, we encountered a large feeding group of Shearwaters, made up largely 
of Pink-footed Shearwaters, with a good scattering of Sootys.  After passing 
this flock, we came upon several large groups of Fork-tailed Storm-Petrels, 
numbering around 420 birds altogether, quite the specatacle!
After working our way through the Petrels, we came upon another wheeling and 
turning feeding flock of birds.  This group though, was made up mostly of 
Northern Fulmar.  A few hundred Fulmar were counted, along with a few 
Pink-footed Shearwaters, and Sooty Shearwaters.  Also in the flock, a 
Short-tailed Shearwater arced right over the bow, and our first Flesh-footed 
Shearwater of the day made its way through the group of birds.

We encountered a couple more Flesh-foots and Short-tailed Shearwaters after 
leaving the group, and a nice South Polar Skua, and several Cassin’s 
Auklets, when we approached a shrimp trawler.  With the trawler were a 
massive number of birds, including roughly 80 Short-tailed Shearwaters 
wheeling and turning with the wind, giving great looks with all the typical 
fieldmarks present to separate from the more common Sootys.  Buller’s 
Shearwaters began flying through the mass of birds, all cleancut white below 
with the distinctive “M” pattern on their dorsal surface present, as always. 
  Black-footed Albatross were landing behind the boat coming into our chum, 
and a few more Flesh-footed Shearwaters passed behind the stern delighting 
all the observers.

After leaving the boat, we encountered more shearwaters of all kinds, 
including a couple more Flesh-foots, and many Buller’s.  South Polar Skuas 
began pouring their way through, with at least 4 passing by as we headed for 
our “chum” spot at 125 degrees West Longitude.

We put out a slick of Cod Liver Oil and suet, and waited.  No birds turned 
into a couple of birds, as Black-footed Albatross and Northern Fulmar began 
coming to investigate the strange smell.  Which in turn attracted the 
Jaegers, of which put on an impressive show.
An adult Pomarine Jaeger with full spoons flew in to the chum, and soon a 
Parasitic with full forks followed.  Then another Parasitic, and another, 
all adults, with a few more Pomarine’s coming in aswell.  We had a handful 
of Poms and Paras, beginning to harass a group of Sabine’s Gulls that came 
through to pick off the top of the surface, and then a dark morph sub-adult 
Pomarine showed up to try to confuse us with its identification.  After 
that, 2 beautiful adult dark-morph Parasitic Jaegers flew in to accompany 
the more common light morphed birds.  We stayed and studied and observed the 
jaeger spectacle for a while, before heading back towards shore.

A few more of every species we had previously seen, were observed, including 
5 Leach’s Storm-Petrels to a few of the observer’s delight, and 
surprisingly, one Ancient Murrelet was seen by a few of the spotters, flying 
away.
The trip totals are as follows.

Black-footed Albatross – 75
Northern Fulmar – 640
Pink-footed Shearwater – 760
FLESH-FOOTED SHEARWATER – 9
Buller’s Shearwater – 127
Sooty Shearwater – 1300
SHORT-TAILED SHEARWATER – 86
Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel – 427
LEACH’S STORM-PETREL – 5
Red-necked Phalarope – 2
Red Phalarope – 2
Pomarine Jaeger – 29
Parasitic Jaeger – 22
Long-tailed Jaeger – 2
Jaeger Sp. – 1
South Polar Skua – 9
California Gull - 535
Glaucous-winged/Western Gulls – 686
Sabine’s Gull – 87
Common Tern – 3
Common Murre – 846
ANCIENT MURRELET – 1
Cassin’s Auklet – 83
Rhinoceros Auklet - 12

Inshore (mostly)
Red-throated Loon – 2
Pacific Loon – 1
Common Loon – 44
Brown Pelican – 745
Double-crested Cormorant – 10
Brandt’s Cormorant – 125
Pelagic Cormorant – 81
Surf Scoter – 200
White-winged Scoter – 20
Harlequin Duck – 1
Heermann’s Gull – 800
Black-legged Kittiwake – 35

Mammals
Harbor Porpoise - 6
Dall’s Porpoise – 30
Harbor Seal – 1

Cheers and Good Birding/Seabirding
Ryan Shaw

www.westportseabirds.com


----Ryan Shaw
----Lacey, Washington
----rtshaw80 at hotmail.com
----(360) 491-1084
----AIM: RTShaw80



_________________________________________________________________
MSN Photos is the easiest way to share and print your photos: 
http://photos.msn.com/support/worldwide.aspx



More information about the Tweeters mailing list