[Tweeters] FW: Trip report for Westport Seabirds on August 10 2013

Ryan Shaw rtshaw80 at hotmail.com
Mon Aug 12 19:42:33 PDT 2013

Greetings all,
Attached is a trip report by Bill Tweit for the Westport Seabirds pelagic Saturday 8/10.
Westport Seabirds - August 10, 2013 We left the dock under less than optimal conditions at 6AM, with heavy fog, some drizzle, and turbulent bar conditions. But, after we crossed the bar and began heading northwest towards the area where the shrimp trawlers have been fishing recently, conditions began to improve. The swell dropped, fog began to dissapate, and the forecasted winds held off. Ocean conditions looked good, we saw a lot of foraging by Pink-footed and Sooty Shearwaters as we headed out, and small numbers of both phalarope species and Sabine's Gulls, and some cooperative Humpback Whales. A cluster of shrimp trawlers and sardine seiners were a welcome sight about 25 miles offshore, north of Grays Canyon. In addition to large numbers of Pink-foots and Sooty Shearwaters following the shrimp trawlers, we found a fairly cooperative Flesh-footed Shearwater, our first Black-footed Albatross of the day, and both species of storm-petrels. Reluctantly leaving those large flocks, we continued west to the edge of the Continental Shelf, north of Grays Canyon. We found our first South Polar Skuas of the day, and the third pufffin of the day sat on the water for all to see. Our chum stop over the shelf edge was not as birdy as normal, but it did provide great close-up views of both Leach's and Fork-tailed Storm Petrels. On the return leg, we found more skuas, ultimately totalling 17. The skua high point was provided by three adults standing together on a large floating log, one of them was a light phase adult, a very rare sighting off our coast. We revisited the fleet of shrimpers as we headed in; the numbers of shearwaters had grown substantially, including over 4000 Pink-footed Shearwaters, a very large total, and our first Buller's Shearwater of the fall.
There were a couple of puzzling misses, no Long-tailed Jaeger or Arctic Tern, and low numbers of Pomarine and Parasitic Jaegers. Still, it was a great day with continuous action, and great viewing conditions once we left the fog behind. And most birds cooperated for good views, like the Cassin's Auklet that sat near the boat, and the Pomarine Jaeger that flew high behind our stern with it's tailspoons prominently displayed. In addition to 9 Humpbacks, we also saw Dall's and Harbor Porpoise, Pacific White-sided Dolphin, Northern Fur Seal, several Sea Lions, and a couple of very large Ocean Sunfish.
Our next trip is next Saturday, and while most of our remaining trips are full or nearly so, there are lots of spaces left for the October trips.

Ryan ShawTacoma WArtshaw80 at hotmail.com

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