Newport, Oregon Pelagic

 Last weekend Jacob and I joined an 8-hour Oregon Pelagic Tours pelagic trip out of Newport. The weather was ridiculously calm with no wind, though mostly cloudy and foggy all day. 

Common Murre

Pigeon Guillemot

Early on a Common Murre chick that refused to surface for more than half a second had some folks hoping for a Scripp's Murrelet but no luck there. Sooty Shearwaters started appearing and flocks of Red-necked Phalaropes skittered away from us as we headed out. 

Rhinoceros Auklet


Blue shark

More shearwaters started appearing along with tiny Fork-tailed Storm-Petrels, Black-footed Albatross and Northern Fulmars. We stopped to chum and got great looks. 

Northern Fulmar

Black-footed Albatross

 Someone spotted some dolphins in the distance which turned out to be a mixed group of Pacific white-sided dolphins and Northern Right Whale dolphins, the latter of which was a life mammal!

Pacific white-sided with fins on the left, Northern right whale dolphins on right

Northern right whale dolphins

I uploaded these dolphins to iNaturalist and someone commented that one of the Pacific white-sided dolphins is a Brownell's morph, the far right dolphin below.

A bit after that we came upon another large flock of birds sitting on the water that included my lifer Short-tailed Shearwaters. I studied these birds before our trip and hoped we'd see some so I was psyched. 

Short-taileds and Sooties can be tough to distinguish but Short-taileds have a more rounded head with a steeper forehead and skinnier/shorter bills. 

Sooty in front, Short-tailed in back

A fishing boat had its net out and the birds were lining up along the length of the net where dead fish were floating. 

Laysan Albatross!

Pink-footed Shearwaters were particularly loud and feisty

Sooty Shearwater

One more Laysan shot because why not. This bird was banded but have not had a reply yet about it.

Buller's Shearwater, one of the few we had on this trip

Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel

When you're on a boat that is rocking back and forth many of your photos will end up with the birds in a weird spot in the frame.

Black-footed Albatross 

Pink-footed Shearwater
Fork-tailed Storm-Petrels sitting on the water with a couple Sabine's Gulls

Dreamy Black-footed Albatross

We managed to go much of the morning without any jaegers but slowly we started seeing some and eventually had all but Parasitic.

Long-tailed Jaeger


Pomarine Jaeger

South Polar Skua

On our way back in we had great looks at this ocean sunfish, aka Mola mola:

Sea lion identification always trips me up. These are definitely sea lions.

As we returned to Newport someone spotted a Short-tailed Shearwater sitting the on water in the Yaquina River which is very unusual. It was close to the North Jetty which is accessible on foot so I put the word out on Whatsapp and many land-birders were able to chase it. Pretty cool!

Another thing that's cool? Jacob noticed that in addition to the Laysan Albatross being banded there was a banded Black-footed Albatross too. I submitted the band for him and received this:

15 years old! 

Overall it was a great day out on the ocean and it was fun to see some birders I hadn't seen in a long time.  Good times!!!


  1. Wow...what a great saw so many awesome birds and mammals, the eyes on the Albatross so very expressive...really close crisp shots...Hope your week is a good one.


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