[Tweeters] Recent Pelagic Highlights - Short-tailed Albatross, Parakeet Auklets

Ryan Merrill rjm284 at gmail.com
Wed Mar 13 11:25:35 PDT 2013

Scott Mills and I spent early March surveying seabirds along the
Washington and Oregon coasts as part of a NOAA Northwest Fisheries
research cruise aboard the Bell M Shimada. Most of our time was spent
within ten miles of shore, though we did spend one day at the head of
Grays Canyon. Unfortunately we had to return to land a week and a
half early due to the recent government sequestration.


Brant - 410 in several flocks migrating north off the northern Oregon
coast on 3/4

Laysan Albatross (4)
3/2 - 1 just 5.5nm off the beach near Bandon
3/8 - 3+ at Grays Canyon

Black-footed Albatross (123)
3/5 - 1 off Leadbetter Point
3/8 - 122 at Grays Canyon

Short-tailed Albatross - A second-year bird at Grays Canyon on 3/8. I
think this is about the 13th modern record for Washington, most of
which have been first-year birds.

Northern Fulmar - Seen every day with a max of 100 off Leadbetter Point on 3/5

Pink-footed Shearwater - 1 off Leadbetter Point on 3/5

Sooty Shearwater (27) - They seemed to be just starting to arrive

Short-tailed Shearwater (9)

Manx Shearwater (6)
3/4 - 1 7nm west of Manzanita
3/5 - 3 off Long Beach
3/7 - 1 off Leadbetter Point
3/9 - 1 a couple miles west of Carroll Island

Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel - 1 off Leadbetter Point on 3/5

Red Phalarope (24) - In some ways the most surprising bird of the trip.
3/1 - 1 off Newport
3/5 - 2 off Leadbetter Point
3/8 - 21 at Grays Canyon

Glaucous-winged x Glaucous Gull - 1 first-cycle bird off Leadbetter Point on 3/5

Glaucous Gull (2)
3/5 - 1 off Leadbetter Point
3/6 - 1 off Grays Harbor

Pomarine Jaeger - 1 adult off Leadbetter Point on 3/7

Common Murre - Many seen every day with an impressive 16330+ off
Leadbetter Point on 3/7. At one point in a 180 degree scan there were
about 8500 in view, forming a carpet of birds spread across the water.

Ancient Murrelet - 40 total from Curry, Coos, Lincoln, Grays Harbor,
Jefferson and Clallam Counties

Cassin's Auklet - Max of 87 off Curry/Coos on 3/2

Parakeet Auklet (2144!) - The second most common bird of the trip.
The largest flock this year was only 23 birds compared to 50 on the
2012 cruise.
3/2 - 579 off Curry/Coos
3/6 - 8 off Grays Harbor
3/7 - 2 off Leadbetter Point
3/8 - 1503 at Grays Canyon
3/9 - 30 off Grays Harbor and Jefferson County, plus one particularly
nearshore bird just a mile off La Push
3/10 - 21 off Tillamook/Lincoln

We were also constantly within view of K and L Pod of the Southern
Resident Killer Whales with the exception of the day at Grays Canyon
when we spent the day with Offshore Killer Whales. Also Fin, Gray and
Humpback Whales, Dall's and Harbor Porpoise, Steller's and California
Sea Lions.

Updates on some of the Killer Whale research can be found here:

Some photos from the cruise can be found here:

Good birding,
Ryan Merrill
Kirkland, WA

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