[Tweeters] Westport Pelagic Trip, July 23, 2016. BROWN BOOBY,
SCRIPP'S MURRELETQ, FIN WHALE
blabar at harbornet.com
Sun Jul 24 13:51:04 PDT 2016
Yesterday’s INCREDIBLE pelagic trip began with a beautiful sunrise over the Cascades that looked like the mountains were on fire. As we motored out through the bar and some choppy water, we eventually hit calmer seas and fair skies. Along this area, we encountered hundreds of Sooty Shearwaters and Common Murres. After a while, we came upon some shrimp boats without the usual hoards of birds around them. However, the longer we stayed the diversity became outstanding. Four South Polar Skuas cruised around with three Pomarine Jaegers, one dark form Parasitic Jaeger, 35 Black-footed Albatross, Fork-tailed Storm Petrels, Pink-footed Shearwaters, Sabine’s Gulls and our first of the year Arctic Terns.
Just beyond the boats, we noticed terns and other seabirds at this one spot. Among them was one bird that flew around and then torpedoed into the water. We immediately called out BOOBY! Phil sped the boat closer and chased what was clearly a BROWN BOOBY. The bird then turned and flew right by us with excellent views for all. Many photos were taken of this sub-adult Sula. This was our third record for Westport Seabirds.
As we got out pass the continental shelf into Grays Canyon, we started seeing more Cassin’s Auklets, Fork-tailed Storm Petrels and our first Leach’s Storm Petrel. The highlight out here was encountering six SCRIPP’S MURRELETS. Two of these stayed close for viewing and were constantly calling to each other until they finally came together. We don’t often get such great looks because they are usually flying away from us. The Leach’s Storm Petrels were scarce with only five seen. One flew quite close to the boat and most of us got great looks.
The fantastic mammal show that we’ve had this year, continued with a group of 250 Pacific White-sided Dolphins all around us at one point. Several breached as they came close and several birders got great photos of flying dolphins! Coming back from the canyon, we had five Risso’s Dolphins that stayed close to us showing their large dorsal fins and scarred bodies. The highlight was a FIN WHALE that came next to the boat and gave us great views. We only have a few records of this large whale, which can get to 89 feet in length!
Our next scheduled pelagic trip is Aug. 6, which is already full. However, the rest of our trips for August, September and October still have spaces available. With the warming of our sea, the sightings of more southern water species like Scripp’s Murrelets and Brown Booby, what other rarities will be found? How about a frigatebird or a tropicbird! Come out and join us and see what turns up. For further information and RESERVATIONS please visit our website at www.westportseabirds.com
Leaders for yesterday’s trip were Ryan Shaw, Michael Donahue, Scott Mills and myself. Boat personal and expert spotters were Phil and Chris Anderson.
Looking forward to the rest of this amazing year!
Fork-tailed Storm Petrel-242
Leach’s Storm Petrel-5
Wandering Tattler-2, jetty
Whimbrel-2, flying 20 miles offshore
Marbled Godwit-3, marina
South Polar Skua-6
Pacific white-sided Dolphin-250
Northern Fur Seal-3
Steller’s Sea Lion-10
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