Last weekend Jacob and I joined Oregon Pelagic Tours for an all-masked half-capacity 8-hour trip out of Newport. Weather reports showed clouds with a chance of rain and the ocean conditions sounded rough with a hazardous seas warning. I was a little nervous this might be my first time getting sick despite taking Bonine.
Thankfully it never rained on us and the despite the 8-10 foot swells I never felt sick. Things started off slow with a few Sooties here, a couple Pink-footeds there, and eventually a skua. Most pelagics I have been on have only turned up one or two skuas but this trip had at least five. We saw a couple mola molas early on.
Our first Buller's Shearwaters came by along with a bunch of Sabine's Gulls and Red Phalaropes.
We were approaching some distant fishing vessels as bird activity picked up and another South Polar Skua flew by close to the boat.
I was very excited to get my first Oregon Flesh-footed Shearwater soon after:
Black-footed Albatrosses began to appear in good numbers and I managed some combos with a fur seal and a Pink-footed Shearwater:
Both dark and light morph Northern Fulmars always make a good showing:
Sabine's Gulls flew close by as we entered the fishing vessel area.
The bird frenzy consisted of hundreds of Black-footed Albatross, hundreds and hundreds of shearwaters, fulmars, gulls, a few Fork-tailed Storm-Petrels, an Arctic Tern, and oh yeah, did I mention jaegers? There were lots of jaegers with Pomarine the most abundant.
A few flew close by the boat but sometimes there was just a pile of them sitting on the water.
The bird frenzy also turned up a couple Laysan Albatrosses, another state bird for me!
A few more from the bird storm: Sooty Shearwater, Buller's Shearwater, and Black-footed Albatross flock.
The guides decided not to chum because all the birds were flying around us anyway. It was a little overwhelming trying to sort through them all.
We ran out of time eventually and began the long ride back to Newport. A bonus bird on the way back was this non-breeding Tufted Puffin that sat calmly on the water for us:
It was a great trip with all the expected birds and then some! Complete trip results can be found on the OPT website here. Good times!
How fun! Some really amazing birds too...I would like to try again I also get sea sick pretty darn easy!! Hope you're having a good week.ReplyDelete
Wow, a lot of bird action at sea! Thanks for sharing all your pics!ReplyDelete