[Tweeters] Westport Seabirds Pelagic Trip 4/27/2013

Shep Thorp shepthorp at gmail.com
Sun Apr 28 17:07:24 PDT 2013

April 27, 2013 - Westport Seabirds pelagic trip

We were in the middle of big spring migration numbers for a lot of species on our April pelagic, and fortunately the forecasted weather front held off for long enough that we were able to enjoy great looks and impressive numbers. Our highlights started inside the Harbor in the morning, with Bonaparte's Gulls everywhere. After we passed the jetty ends on our way offshore, we were in the middle of a dense river of Pacific Loons moving steadily north. Flocks of Brant, Cackling Geese and White-fronted Geese appeared throughout the day, to far offshore. The first Red-necked Phalarope flocks were just off the ends of the jetty, we kept seeing them in numbers until they were replaced by Red Phalaropes once we got to the outer shelf. Our tally of both species was big, 800+ Red-necks and 400+ Reds. Storm-petrels were also abundant, we began seeing Fork-tails mid-way out the shelf and large numbers were over Grays Canyon, where the first Leach's began to appear. Beyond the shelf, Leach's dominated. We had almost 300 of each! And, Sabine's Gulls kept showing up in small groups all day, our tally was 142, virtually all in breeding plumage.

There were a couple of our regular species that made us nervous, we only had a few fulmars, and they did not show up until we had reached our furthest point offshore where they joined the throng of Black-footed Albatross eating chum off our stern. And, our only Pomarine Jaeger didn't appear until we were halfway back to the dock. Were it not for that bird, our tally for jaegers would have been zero, almost unprecedented for us. Other offshore regulars included Pink-footed Shearwater (31), Sooty Shearwater (1500), Arctic Tern (3), Common Murre (600), Cassin's Auklet (52), Rhinocerous Auklet (220) and Tufted Puffin (2).

And a couple of miscellaneous highlights were a group of 6 Dall's Porpoise that rode our bow wave for several minutes, the first group of Dall's to do that in a couple of years, Harlequin Ducks along the jetty, and 80 roosting Surfbirds on the jetty. Most of us will remember the great looks at so many birds in breeding plumage, and the impressive numbers. Join us for our May 18 trip, when spring migration will still be underway, there are still spaces available.

Bill Tweit, Bruce LaBar, Gene Revelas

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://mailman11.u.washington.edu/pipermail/tweeters/attachments/20130428/36327c92/attachment.html>

More information about the Tweeters mailing list